Self-Care and Spirit Work

I don’t know how coherent this post is going to be, but this is something I think needs to be spoken on.

I’ve sort of noticed this pattern among spirit workers and devotional polytheists of “The gods come first. Our first responsibility is to our gods.” And anyone who isn’t constantly serving or working with their gods is being selfish or lazy. And I take issue with this mentality.

I’ve been struggling immensely for the past year, really, with severe depression, anxiety, and PTSD. And I am essentially unmedicated, considering my current meds do nothing for me. This means that I don’t have the energy at all for interacting with astral beings of ANY sort, gods or otherwise. Trust me, I’ve tried. But it’s incredibly stressful and I have felt nothing but guilt and self-hatred because I feel like a terrible person for “ignoring” them. I’ve felt like a shitty partner, too, toward my husband and more recent spirit companion, because I can’t bring myself to spend time with them. It just takes up more spoons than I have and puts an incredible amount of pressure on me. And the mentality that I need to be constantly devoted to Loki and jump when He says jump only serves to make this worse, and by extension, make my illness worse.

It’s only recently that I’ve sat down and allowed myself to NOT pay as much attention and devote as much energy to the Powers. I actually cannot handle it. It exacerbates my illness. And you know what? They understand. Loki understands. My other spirit companion understands. We can all still be bros and hang out when I have spoons, but I just DON’T right now.

There’s this idea that if someone ever actively separates themselves from their gods, that they’re somehow shirking responsibility or not being a Good Pagan, but that’s bullshit.

I am serving my gods by serving myself. I’m useless if I’m not healthy enough to do even basic functions like eat, sleep, and move. All of which I struggle with daily. So by stepping back, saying “I’ll see ya around” and focusing on myself and my own innate, non-gods-related spirituality, I am serving Loki the best way I can. And anyone who thinks otherwise can go shove their athame where the sun don’t shine.

So there’s my ramble-y 2 cents on that.

Serve yoself.