Thanks to Aubs at Mystical Bewilderment and her recent post I am reminded that things don’t have to be complicated. One of the hardest things about being a polytheist is that, not enough people talk about their simpler, daily routines. Everyone wants to be cool and have Big Adventures and Interesting Stories. Ritual out the ass, proper altars and shrines and setups. It’s not accessible, it’s not sustainable for everyone. This, more than anything, is what trips me up with changing religions.
See, the most available information on worship of the Deva is gonna be about puja. It ranges anywhere from simple to complex, but there are still rules, it’s still a ritual, and it can still be really inaccessible. Most info says shrines should not be in rooms where there’s food, nakedness or sex, which cuts out pretty much every room in an apartment. I don’t live in a house, I live in a 2 bedroom apartment. There is no room for me to place a shrine. Further, I have a toddler, so even if I got a cabinet (as has been suggested to me), I’d still have to keep her out of it and off of it.
My hubby likes real candles, and electric candles have dangerous batteries. So, that means I would have to constantly move everything off the top of the cabinet or shrine, or else constantly police my daughter away from it. That is exhausting. Toddlers are persistent. They could teach lessons in tenacity.
I haven’t yet figured out anything that consistently helps my energy, and I’ve been going through a flare, so I’m already struggling. Then there’s been a lot of emotional turmoil due to the flare and the persistent, deliberate, willful ignorance of certain family members in regards to my health and my parenting. It is hard to be “properly” and fancily religious when you are constantly ill and running on empty.
I have been wanting to pray, one could probably argue that I have been praying, calling on Ma, on Kali, in my mind. I definitely regretted not taking my prayer beads with me out the house on Thursday. I was feeling it today too. Been having some depressive feelings and anxiety as well.
So, seeing Aubs’ post, especially right after being upset by some comments on a blog post that was a baring of emotional turmoil that I’ve been harboring for a while, reminded me that prayer is worship too.
Simple things, simple solutions. I don’t have to set up a whole shrine by “proper standards”, have a whole puja by proper standards, with meditation and mantras and making sure I use spoons to bathe myself and clean my whole room. I don’t have to put the pressure on myself that will lead to burnout and despair because it’s unsustainable. I am not a lesser devotee because my body sucks.
I can still pray, I don’t need a shrine for that. I don’t need a shrine for mantras and meditations. Heck, I have a book I’m supposed to be reading about worship through liturgy. It doesn’t have to be complex, draining. Worship is supposed to energize my spirit as I give praise to Her Name, not make me feel worthless and like I don’t deserve to kneel at her feet. She already loves me.
My daughter doesn’t really talk (don’t let her fool you, she knows words, she sings), but I know she loves me. She can’t clean or wash dishes, she kicks me and screams and throws things, but I know she loves me. All she does is say “Mommymommymommy!” and give me a big ol grin. I scoop her up and give her kisses. I can do the same, I gotta remember that.