Free Will

When we make a vow, a promise, some kind of commitment to deity, it matters.


Sometimes these moments of dedication – beautiful, profound, awe-inspiring, frightening as they may be – can feel so distant from our ordinary, everyday reality. Big or small, these dedications, these promises, these commitments count. Even (especially) when we return to ordinary reality.  So often, it’s here, in our every day lives, that this dedication, this commitment, will be tested. 


And you know what? We always have a choice. However urgent, or even inevitable, certain commitments feel, we always have a choice. We have the choice to make the commitment. We have the choice to bring that commitment to fulfillment. We have the choice to take action – or to refuse to take action. 


Sometimes what’s presented to us will be testing a promise or commitment we’ve already made. Very likely, for any significant promise, this will be the case many times over. How far are you willing to go to bring your promise to fulfillment? Will you play at fulfilling your obligations, or will you take it seriously? What are you willing to sacrifice to make it real? Will you dare to keep saying ‘yes’? Or when will you hit that point where you say ‘no’?


Some requests come on powerfully strong. You still have a choice, and indeed, you have an obligation to honor your capacity for choice. 


One thing I know for sure is that when the Morrigan asks something, what She asks is very likely to bring deep and profound change.  She may ask of us things that stretch the boundaries of what we believe ourselves capable of. She may ask of us things that challenge us to act or to be other than what we have been before. She may ask us to do things we’d very much rather not do, in fact. But She never asks of us that we become less than what we are or are capable of becoming. 


And we always have a choice, not only in that moment of making the promise, but also in it’s enactment and fulfilment. This is the beauty and danger of free will: it is actually possible to get it wrong, to fuck it up in small or large ways that change the trajectory or the outcome of even the most binding commitment, causing harm to ourselves and others. 


We all have this gift of free will. It holds us under obligation to take full responsibility for our actions, even  when we are acting under guidance, in accordance with our vows or commitments. Free will demands that we take the risk and our full share of responsibility for our part in how things go forward, regardless of the outcome. 


It’s an uncomfortable place to be, when things go wrong, as they sometimes do. 


Sometimes they go wrong through no fault of our own, through no lack of commitment on our part, but simply because there are other people involved, each equally endowed with free will. We rarely stand alone in our choices. Rather we remain part of a complex web of interactions, and others equally have the capacity to choose – their choice may be other than what we would wish, perhaps other than what they have promised, and sometimes this tips the balance. (But the future is generally malleable and we have incredible capacity  for creation and recovery even when things do go wrong – and commitment, it always counts for something – new pathways can and will be forged from loss.)


It’s not ever just the promise that matters. The promise – the moment of commitment – is a kind of conscious binding, a strengthening of our ties to a chosen course of action or quality we want to cultivate within ourselves. It is a powerful articulation of intention and commitment that carries consequences. If we fail to honour the commitment there is likely a price that will be paid. 


Ultimately, what makes it real? The action. The manifestation. The living and breathing it into being. We can choose to do it, embrace it fully, or we can choose to live it superficially, or to abandon it. What we choose changes things.


Free will, commitment, responsibility, action. Our choices matter, our actions matter. 


by Rebecca Wright 2014

11220130_10205174634701604_7207325183716550703_n(1)Rebecca Wright is a mother, doula, healer and teacher, and one of the founders of the Call of the Morrigan FB Community and UK retreats. You can find her on FB in the Call of the Morrigan Community group or at http://www.rebalancingwoman.com.

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The Truth

by Izzy Swanson

The truth of who I am is not pretty. I didn’t come to be who I am today with years of training as a Shaman. I didn’t travel to another place to have the wisdom of the ancestors handed down to me. The truth is, well there are many truths, and one of them is that I was born this way. The other truth is that I had to dig myself out of a pit of insanity, abuse, trauma, and 16 years of drug addiction. The truth is that my spirit and my body have been battered, demoralized, and broken in ways that hurt me to even speak of. Much of what I have seen, much of what has been done was carried out at the hands of my family or abusive boyfriends but if we are talking about truth so much of what has happened to me I did also to myself.

Why I am here? Why am I telling you this? Because the value of my trauma is that I am who I am today. I need to say this to myself as much as you need to hear it. I need you to know it because I have never believed that anything I said or did was right, or valid. I needed to be defined by the opinions of others and yet even when I started to feel like I was getting it right it was never enough. I still would look to someone else and judge the quality of my work by their definition of what is right and wrong. You need to know it because you need to know that the things you tell yourself and the emotions you feel are not that by which you should define yourself. You need to see that there is a way to feel whole, that there is a path to unbrokenness. You need to trust that the pain that I have broken my body with is the strength by which I will help you heal yourself. This is the truth, of who I am, of who you are, of why we do this work.

I will tell you my story, at least as much of it as I can without breaking others who were part of it, and I will tell you how I came here and maybe if you can stay with me through the story you will find that I can show you a way to survive yourself. I will guide you through the darkness in the pit of your soul and show you how to embrace the balance of the dark and the light. I will guard you in the liminal spaces. I will mother your tears. I will show you the peace of the warrior and I will make you a priestess of your own life.

The time has come to shed the lies, to destroy everything that you know, to make your sorrow your biggest gift, to use your pain to achieve your goals1. We are being called to the front lines of a war that is about redefining who we are as individuals, as a species. Whoever convinced you that this needed to happen peacefully, quietly, and completely in the light has not told you the full truth or maybe you did not see the other half of the message. We will have to first stand at the doorway to change and face our fears. We may even have to break, shatter into a million pieces, before we will know the complete truth and power of who we are. For powerful is what you are. It’s what I am and it is what we are together.  Do not be afraid even when the walls fall down and you are overwhelmed. Do not fear. Do not run from the immensity of who you are, of who we are. Warrior Spirit, Queen, Priestess, Guardian, Teacher, Mother, do not run from your soul’s purpose. We are here now for a reason and even if I can’t clearly define it in this moment, I will be here to help you see it. I for one did not come here to run.

02/08/2016

Izzy Swanson of Feileacan MinistryIzzy Swanson owns Feileacan Ministry in Austin, Texas. She is a Shamanic Reiki Master, Teacher, and Priestess. She specializes in healing soul wounds and working with PTSD, trauma, and addiction.

You can find her online at: www.transformationreiki.com as well as on Facebook at www.facebook.com/feileacanministry and Instagram at www.instagram.com/transformationreiki/

 

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