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a Month for Freyr: Health

I was gonna kick off my month for Pop with a more general post on how awesome He is, but I came across this on the blogosphere, and I wanted to quote it, because the blog it's from is about health at any size.

"When I started out, I felt like I should post every comment that wasn’t just overt spam.   I believed that it was somehow cowardly to not post hater comments.  I have since changed my mind – I work hard to put out good information on this blog and develop a readership and I don’t have to hand that forum over to a hater to prove anything.  People are allowed to behave like idiots but I’m under no obligation to give them a place to do so."

via How to Handle a Hater | Dances With Fat.

I talk a lot about the self-work I do with Loki, but Pop is the flip side of that work - Loki does a lot for my mental health, but Pop is all about me taking care of, and taking pride in my physical body, and in showing me how my attitudes toward the physical affect the spiritual. When I did my shadow work (ha ha like that's EVER done) on my body, the kind of words I came up about were things like, "polluted. defiled. weak. debased. dirty."

Keep in mind that I was raped 20 years ago, y'all. Functional as I am, some of that sh*t lingers. I've come a long way from self-harming behaviors, and oh Gods, I did have them, particularly right after the rape, but Pop shows me the ways in which I just decided that a certain level of self-hate was okay, and that became my "normal." It's not as if that's hard to do; I was raised in protestant culture where your body's dirty and shameful anyway. And as Pop pointed out, being chronically ill has exacerbated more of that because it is hard to love a body that won't do what you need or want it to do, particularly when that one thing involves basic breathing. And the drugs to treat that are horrid; they revv up your heart rate, leave you borderline manic and unfocused, when you come off them you're exhausted, dizzy, and still unfocused.

My issues are not unusual ones, and they are mine to work out. When Loki comes at my issues, it tends to be in a more aggressive way, and sometimes I snap, but when Pop does it, He's very patient, calm, and quiet about it, and in a way, that's worse, because it shows me the ways in which I'm not fighting Him or Loki, I'm just fighting myself. And body hate is one of the ways in which I do that. So if you have similar issues, I suggest checking out Ragen Chastain's blog, because I've found it helpful in learning to celebrate the body that I have now, instead of mourning the one I had before I got sick, or the one I had before I was raped.

Not that everything about Pop is about shadow work either. I picked "Freysdottir" as my nom de Pagan because I did some experimentation with the godphone in a moment of curiosity brought on by a friend wondering if she'd broken oaths to the Christian pantheon. I went to parochial school as a child in New Orleans, I prayed to a Father God, and  I always felt like my prayers were listened to and answered. So I decided to poke at that pantheon, and I got the equivalent of "I'm sorry, your call cannot be completed as dialed." Hm. So Who was listening? I know Odin would be the logical choice, but I generally get a sexy and often Trickstery older man Odin, not a loving Father God Odin, so...not Him. Still curious, I decided to try to tap into the mindset I used to use when reciting an Our Father and see what popped up. Freyr. And He kind of had that smile that said I knew you'd get around to figuring this out eventually.

Hail Freyr, Beloved Father, Who teaches me to love deeply and without reservation.

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Lokean nun, writer, swamp witch. Heather is a Pagan monastic, writer, editor, and mother. She has written and edited for a variety of publications and social media, including science journals, romance novels, and technology blogs. She also holds degrees in education and speech-language pathology, and has a passion for historical linguistics.


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