Sometimes Prayer Just Looks Like Prayer

I’m a little ashamed to admit I haven’t been as observant lately as I wish I were, and haven’t really taken the time to approach my altars longer than it takes to put on devotional jewelry before I leave the house.

And that does count as devotional behavior, because I almost always remember to do it, specifically with the idea that I am marking myself as a Heathen and carrying a reminder that what I do reflects on my gods and coreligionists. But it’s not the same as lingering by my altars and carving out time specifically for prayer.

I’ve allowed myself to get too sucked into the idea that indirect methods of devotion are equivalent to the direct, forgetting that these alternatives are alternatives, for when the direct isn’t an option. It’s good to gain knowledge in preparation for my oath, and for becoming ordained. It’s good to find ways to help marginalized and rejected people. It’s good to go into the various communities who consider me a member and try to be useful. These are all things that honor Loki. But they’re equivalent to sending a postcard when you’ve been meaning to visit. It’s not like I have to hide my faith from the people I live with, either. They think I’m a big ol’ nerd, but they’ve seen the good it’s done for me.

I had let the altar sit and collect dust, and recognized I needed to clean it. There was booze from Jol still sitting there. Altar cloths had to be shaken out. Cups had to be cleaned. I put it on my to-do list and watched that task migrate for several days in a row, being stupid and letting myself say I just didn’t feel like it, until a fly dove for my neck and I took it as a sign to get up and clean it. (That fly was…weird.)

The altar is dusted and the cloths are shaken out, and I lit apology candles, but that damn cup is still sitting on the dresser. It’s off the altar, but it still hasn’t been cleaned. What is my deal?

Aside from ADHD problems, probably fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of commitment and changing my mind. Fear of inadequacy. Fear of the consequences of lapsing, even though this is nowhere close to the first or worst time. (Remember that time I was incredibly stupid?) You’d think, 5 years in, I’d get used to this and get better at working past it.

I should give myself at least a little credit. I’ve gotten significantly better. Shadow work has done wonders for my anxiety. But I still let myself get roped into ridiculous trains of thought and tie myself in knots, acting like if I ignore the problem it will just go away.

(Stop trying to make that happen, me. It is never going to happen.)

I could do better. I should do better. An oath, especially one I offer, is not something I should keep making excuses about and prolonging. A date and time has been set to cut off any further excuses. The torc has been purchased and is sitting on the altar. I still have to work out the terms. This requires sitting down at the altar and having an actual conversation. Hopefully a looming time limit (eight weeks away) will get me in gear.

Loki can easily get by without me. He’s got plenty of other people to keep him busy when I’m not there. Ultimately, I just screw myself over when I don’t let myself relax and give in. But man, it’s rude. I’ve been rude. I’ve been playing a game with something bigger than me and an awful lot more clever. It’s foolishness. I have to get up off my tuchus and fix it.

3 thoughts on “Sometimes Prayer Just Looks Like Prayer”

  1. Thanks for sharing & Loki has my oath and its actually a very beautiful feeling. A living thing & precious between us. Good luck with your plans 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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