And who you are not
To be able to practice magic and spell casting, and to grow spiritually you need to know many things. First and of most importance, you need to know yourself.
In an ideal life, we grow up knowing who we are. But life is seldom ideal. We often come to adulthood not as our true selves, but as an illusion of what we think those around us want us to be.
I’ll use myself as an example. For a host of reasons, I realised when I was in my late 40s that for most of my life, I had based every truth about who I was around other people. Not just labels like wife and mother, but also dozens of tiny things like what food I liked to eat, what TV shows I watched, interests and hobbies, and more.
When everything I was was stripped away from me for years ago, I was left adrift, and unknowing. How was I supposed to figure out who I am without the reference point of another person telling me the answer?
It hasn’t been easy. But slowly, I am coming closer to the core of my being. At first, it wasn’t really a matter of determining, what do I like but ruling out that which I do not like. As each untruth have been removed, I have been able to catch more and longer glimpses of my authentic self.
Knowing myself means not hiding from the “bad” emotions of anger, hate, sadness, envy, and the rest. It means allowing myself to feel emotions (as best as I am able and in my own way), so that they can move out of my body without becoming trapped at a cellular level. It also means allowing myself to feel the “good” emotions of love, happiness, joy, contentment, again as best as I am able and in my own way, and allowing those as well to move out of my body without becoming trapped.
Knowing myself means realising that my needs are just as important as the needs of my children, my friends, and the people around me. Not more important or less important, but equally important.
Knowing myself means recognising what my needs are, and taking steps to meet them. Not waiting for someone else to meet my needs, but doing what I need to do right now.
Knowing myself also means recognising that I can’t do it all myself, and it’s safe and okay to ask others for help.
Knowing myself means embracing the labels that define me – mother, witch, Pagan, autistic, chronically depressed, rheumatoid arthritic, friend, healer, introvert, intuitive, empathic. Labels aren’t inherently good or bad, they just are. Individually, these words don’t define who I am, but each forms a part, big or small, of a greater whole.
I know who I am a whole lot more today than I did four years ago. Better still, I have a much greater idea of who I am not.