Here we are. Finally having arrived at the December 31st end of the Year.
While I don’t usually post much in the way of my spirituality on this forum for my readers, I’m going to, today. Why? Because spirituality is as much a part of one’s health as breathing. What it is that you believe in, or follow, isn’t the important part…it’s of having the traditions or structures within which you define your “You.” that enables you to find the strength to keep on keepin’ on.
This year was a big one for two reasons:
- It was the eighth year of my studying virtues particular to my traditional and ancestral path; and
- It was a year for a most difficult and challenging oath.
An oath is a sworn statement of action, witnessed by my community and my gods, that I take most seriously. To break an oath destroys Honour. Honour was my virtue of study for 2015.
You see the circle come ’round.
Last year I’d shorn off all my hair because of systemic issues causing, in a nutshell, my skin to fall off. Not like dandruff, but in sheets of avalanche-like windfalls. I’ve always associated my appearance with my worth, my honour, my Everything. I’ve been bullied because of appearance. I’ve been accepted because of appearance.
So. It stood to reason that this year I was going to learn what it was like to modify my appearance extreme enough to ascertain whether appearance and worth/honour are, in fact, inter-related.
In a nutshell?
They sure as shit are not. And, while I was learning some hardcore lessons about myself and my own perceptions of appearance (think of, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover,” kind of thing)…I was really learning a lot more about YOU.
For example, appearance is a choice. Sometimes we have no control over the results of medications, treatments, etc. But, we ALWAYS have a choice regarding how we modify our perceptions.
Case in point: The most common response I’ve received over the past 12 months has been: “I wish I could do that.”
Not going to lie. My first reaction during the first half of the year, in my mind, was always, “Then do it.”
It’s hair. It will grow back.
My reaction during the latter half of the year?
“Then just fucking do it!” wearing a shit-eating grin on my face empowered by the freedom that comes with the ability to control your own perceptions and fears and pissing on the societal standards of beauty and health.
I’m a 41 year old disease-afflicted woman who won a “Sexiest Costume” contest as Imperator Furiosa. I was, by my own previously meagre understanding of beauty and appearance, NOT the most prettiest woman in the category. I, for certain, did NOT have the best body. So. Why, then?
Because I fucking owned it like the badass I felt within myself. That resonates more than eyeshadow and lipstick ever can.
I learned that society wraps us up in Photoshop and CGI and, though we all know it, we (in particular, women) are held captive by these images in the dark crevasses of our self-perception.
I took the time to read articles about celebrities who talk about their beauty “faults”…and this is important. While I view someone’s seemingly perfect beauty, they, in fact, hate their nose. Loathe their thighs. Swear at their skin.
It took damn well near the entire year for me to look at someone and not compare myself. Especially those times where my girlfriends would have fun with “Colour!” and their hair. That one was the hardest. Or, when the lush locks of fellow Norse women were gloriously wrapped atop their heads.
Having kept my hair shorn was a blight to me in the very nature of my ancestral path…hence, why I chose to wrap up my oath within the virtue of Honour. Because not only did I undertake a challenge, I undertook it with bat-shit crazy levels of “Holy shit.”
My blood runs thick with the actions and deeds of my ancestors. My actions and deeds will run thick within the blood of my children, and my children’s children. And, friends, with five kids…that’s going to have the potential to be a lot of future lineage. \m/
So, this year I continued my study. I continued to raise god-poles and support friends within my community. I continued to persevere under the threat of timeline and undertake to fulfill my commitments to Kubb Canada, to the Ottawa Stray Cat Rescue, to learning, to my blog and…*drumroll*…to myself.
Self-care has been a primary focus for me this year within the context of Honour. Bizarre? Perhaps. But, if *I* am not at my best, it trickles down through the happenings of my family and my friends. It’s been a rougher-than-expected go, however. While I did make amazing strides in finding the “What.” that makes me relax, rejuvenate, etc…the chaos of my reality still often precludes me from procuring the opportunity.
Actions and deeds.
I could write for hours on the nuances of the change in my perceptions of both.
How does this relate to health and my outlook for 2016?
Because it launches me off the precipice of 2015 with a newly found empowerment and confidence I’ve simply not had in my arsenal of skill sets prior to this challenging year of introspection.
Confidence begets esteem. Esteem begets empowerment. Empowerment begets the ability to be the best damn advocate for myself and my needs…spiritually, physically and emotionally.
Whole body health care.
So? What now? Inquiring minds have wanted to know when my hair will be grown back.
Not today, love.
Not. Today. \m/