Sunday, December 29, 2013

Introspection – Are YOU a Pagan Nutbag?

Introspection can help us learn a lot about ourselves, deal with our inner demons, and gain a little perspective in our day-to-day lives.  It’s good to do some self-examination and perform inner reality checks.  The challenge of course, is that not everyone has the same standards for what is and is not rational behavior in the pagan community.  I’m going to cite a few examples from people I’ve known over the years for you:

You may be a Pagan Nutbag if:
  • You have any secret self-description that basically amounts to “Chosen One”.
  • You refer to non-pagans as “mortals”.
  • You believe that only you (plus perhaps a chosen few) are holding back an extra-dimensional invasion of evil magic alien beings in flying black saucers.
  • You think that your spiritual evolution (or lack thereof) is unaffected by the health of the very real body you live in.
  • You think that you have “conquered” any emotion.
  • You tell people that you’re the reincarnation of any famous person.
  • You count goldfish, crystals, and infants as members of your coven.
  • You spend so much time telling others how to live the perfect pagan life that you don’t ever meditate or so much as light a candle yourself.
  • You spend so much energy criticizing others you have none left for your own growth.
  • You tell people you’re cavorting with faerie lords by moonlight when you’re really just drunk off your ass and trying not to fall down in the dark.
  • Your list of problems is longer than your list of skills or accomplishments, and you blame your lack of spiritual progress on being a sensitive empath.
  • You author a blog or host a podcast that no one reads or listens to, and you think you are an important voice in the community without being able to use two and too correctly in a sentence.
  • You insist that although on this plane of existence you’re on permanent disability, in another reality you’re the queen of everything and so people should feel privileged to kiss your ring (made from an old coat hanger) and bring you offerings of food.
  • You insist that everything, in all its forms, is for the greater good.  That’s just twaddle and you know it.  Sometimes things suck.
  • You insist that only the darker side of life is powerful.  Twaddle again, life isn’t monochromatic.  It’s a freaking rainbow, deal with it.
 And that’s just the short list.

We’re all a *little* bit off sometimes, and that’s part of what makes life fun.  But carried to extremes of self-delusion, what started off as a harmless quirk can take you deep into the realms of nutbaggery.  Or is that nutbaghood?  Either way, it’s a bad thing.  So how to avoid it?
  1. Make friends you can trust and be honest with.  Good friends are going to tell you when you’re edging too close to the line of professional nutbag.
  2. Regular spiritual practice.  The simplest acts, like meditating daily and journaling privately, can help you stay in touch with reality.
  3. Get off your butt.  Go outside and garden, go for walks, volunteer at something that helps others.  Getting outdoors in fresh air, interacting with non-pagans and getting away from the computer will help keep you grounded.
  4. Eat healthy.  I’m not saying you have to adhere to some strict diet, but keep the processed foods & sugars to a minimum and eat fresh fruits/veggies and you’ll stay grounded more solidly with less effort.
  5. Cut back on the fiction.  Really, reading is fun.  It should be.  All work and no play makes a dull pagan, but overdosing on fiction is a fast route to living in fantasy land.
  6. Be creative.  Learn to cook something new, knit or crochet, sew, paint, draw, sculpt… something that engages your right brain actively and creates something physical.  You get to use your creative juices for something constructive this way, without it dragging you into nutbaghood.
  7. Get some counseling.  Hey, reality slips for everyone sometimes, and if your friends are avoiding you or telling you you’re nuts, get a professional opinion.   Worst case scenario, you’ll get some therapy or medicine to help you with a serious condition, or they’ll say you’re fine and not to worry so much.

That was it, really.  Be good to yourself in constructive healthy ways, and be good to your friends.  Heck, be good to your enemies, it will make them nuts and maybe they’ll stop being dirtbags after they get some professional help.

Peace out, witches.