Guest article from a Pagan – Thank you to Brigantia for sharing these beautiful words with us.
After a day scouring the news for information, hoping beyond hope that this child is found or another gets home safe as more and more parents send out appeals for their missing children, I am sat in my room with the window open.
I’ve turned off the news, sick to my soul of the destruction, heartache, hate and grief that has rocked the nation. The Prime Minister, Theresa May, has described this attack as the worst to ever hit the North of England but I say there has never been a terrorist attack of this type before. One that seemed to deliberately target innocent children; babies, who had barely begun to live.
My heart, my soul, reaches out wanting to give comfort and ease to the suffering families tonight but I can’t. All I can do is hold my children closer, hope for the best for everyone and trust in this nation of ours to take care of those in need.
So here I am, sat by my window, listening to the birds in the trees who are blissfully unaware of what occurred with the going down of the sun. I regulate my breathing, as is my custom, I concentrate on the sounds of the birds, the trees swaying, the leaves rustling. I take in the smell of the freshly cut grass and the newly watered flower beds, where my gladioli are almost ready to flower. I take it all in, bit by bit and this composes me enough to deal with my children, to stop the tears that have been falling all day. Then something struck me… Something I probably knew all along but somehow failed to consciously acknowledge…
I don’t want to repeat to you things that are obvious but I would like to remind you of something.
Religion, faith, spirituality, whatever you like to call it; this is our comfort. This is the soul’s solace. It’s not just a way of life, a practice you adhere to, a thing about yourself that you defend. It’s not the root of all evil, it’s not the obligation on a Sunday, it’s not the subject of heated debate. These are all things that try to disguise your faith.
Your faith is your comfort, your solace, your soul’s sweet relief.
Take that in for a second. No matter who or what you identify as; Pagan, Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Jew, Atheist, Hindu, Agnostic…
Take that in. Your faith, your spiritual path, is your safe space…
In times like this we are told we need to stick together, to forget our differences and to forge a bond beyond the adversity… And of course that’s true, we absolutely have to do that… But we also have to go further… Or perhaps it’s closer… And look into ourselves and make sure that we’re not neglecting to remember that religion is not the enemy. Faith is not the cause.
Spirituality is there for us because it is ours, ours alone. We can share it with others, of course we can. We can spread the joy, we can strengthen each other with it… But, in the end… It is there for us and we mustn’t feel selfish for taking that time to calm our inner selves.
Some people don’t have that comfort, they don’t have that certainty that there’s something that is all for them, that nothing can take away… But you! You have it! Right there inside you! And I beg you, all of you, to use it.
Go outside and listen to the birds, listen to the trees, listen to the Earth. Listen to your families, your friends, your communities and bask in the knowledge that this, all of this, is yours! It’s not ours, not theirs; it’s yours! And when you’ve done that, when you’ve taken yourself and reminded yourself what you hold inside, what your faith has given you… I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much stronger you feel to share with the ours, with the they…
I hope these ramblings make sense to you… And I hope beyond hope that all of you are safe right now.
Whatever your faith, whatever your beliefs, whatever your practices… Be safe, be strong and remember… Nobody can never take this away from you…