Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Personal Responsibility

Blessings Darlings!

Today's installment in my series on 'oft bandied about Wiccan/Neopagan sayings' is "Wicca/witchcraft/paganism is a path of personal responsibility."  Oh, you'll find that all sorts of folks mention that it's part of the path, investing one line or two - maybe even one paragraph! - to the concept, but then you look at what happens in almost every online esoteric group ... and you see them violate it.  And calling them out on it can easily make you a pariah in online groups and gets you booted and banned. I touched on this a LITTLE in an earlier post about how most online Pagan groups are dysfunctional.

Short definition of personal responsibility is that you are responsible for your actions and inactions.  That you do the best you can with what you have to grow and mature.  That when you fuck up (and you will) you admit you did and try to remedy the situation.  Most folks try to do that ... to some extent.  But we all have serious blind spots here (and in most areas of our lives.  And, yes, I do too.)

The biggest blind spot about personal responsibility that I see in others (because seeing things in others is WAY easier than seeing them in myself, sort of by definition) is that people take a lot of actions to DISable other folks' personal responsibility.

When a person asks a question in a group instead of taking the responsibility of Googling it - you do them no favor by NOT pointing that out.  By not pointing that out, you are enabling their lack of responsibility and initiative.  To put it Kabalistically - you are pushing them into the Vice of Malkuth.  Telling them to Google and read, and then when they see that sources disagree on something to come back and ask about the disagreement ... that is promoting responsibility.

When a person in a group complains about a situation (assuming it's a support group and that them posting that is appropriate there), you validate their experience and then help them go on to find solutions THEY can do.  And hold them responsible for taking those actions.  BY THE WAY - I've run real support groups.  The point of the groups is support in changing their situation, not in keeping them in that situation but letting them vent about it. 

Yeah.  Me.  I ran support groups.  Stop giggling.

Ain't nobody out there has infinite time to do anything, and most of us don't have unlimited money to buy supplies/get medical care/afford the best foods/whatever.  This is the reason that you should ask that folks stop saying that 'all books have at least one thing that is useful in them'.  Respect yourself enough to insist that folks respect your time/money/etc, by allowing folks to challenge the books/authors they recommend.  Because that info help you have responsibility for your choices.

And respect yourself enough to present yourself as ... a functional adult.  I don't mean LIE about your life.  I mean, be a functional adult.  You want to know about, say, 'how to cast a circle'?  GOOGLE IT BEFORE ASKING IN A GROUP.  Google it, read about it, think about it, TRY one of the ways - and then ask fucking INFORMED questions in a group.  We all feel isolated/alone at times.  We all ask for attention at time.  Try to not ask for attention by presenting yourself as someone too lazy to do any work on your own.  The only supportive attention that you will get from such an approach is by folks who will enable your laziness.  Is that what you want?  (BTW, if that's what you want, then why haven't you figured out that this blog is NOT a good place for that?)

You're not going to get replies to PMs or tagging most Pagan authors on Facebook ... because they take personal responsibility for their use of their time.  If they are participating in an online group on a topic, and your question is on that topic, they are likely to chime in ... because they have chosen to participate AND because it reaches more than one person.  Respect that in yourself as well.  Set clear and enforced boundaries.

You're going to find some group leaders want to hoard information, only giving out what they agree with.  They are trying to keep you a spiritual/magical child.  They are taking away discussion of their recommendations and limit your access to discussion of other sources.

There are lots of folks out there trying to limit your control and responsibility for your life and choices.  Be aware.  Be very aware.

Frondly, Fern

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