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a Month for Loki: Pride

"The point of Pride is our recognition of our own self-worth and the ability to live fully without reservation, allowing our true nature to shine outward while not giving in to the ego's temptation to compare ourselves to others. It is complete innocence, living fully and unabashedly in the moment." -Storm Faerywolf, on the Iron Pentacle

"Pride emerges when our will is engaged and we stand upright in our truth. We are often misinformed about what pride is. What is called “pride” in our culture is often merely arrogance, or what I call 'false pride.' Arrogance has its flip side in self-depreciation, which is just another face of the arrogant posture." - T. Thorn Coyle, Evolutionary Witchcraft

In today’s edition of Let’s Use the Iron Pentacle to Unpack What Binds You, I proudly (ha!) present: pride. It’s a loaded word, and often used unkindly against others. For my own unpacking purposes, I’ll talk about pride in my accomplishments, because ideally, we should be proud of them, no matter what they are, and saying, “Hey I’m proud that I accomplished this thing,” shouldn’t immediately cause someone else to infer, “I did this, you didn’t, neener neener.”

I’m proud of my college degrees. I paid for them myself, no one paid my way through school, and I got my degrees while pregnant and then a new-mother. I had my child in my junior year of college. I left zir bio dad two weeks before zie was born, and I raised zir alone. I did my baccalaureate, post-bacc and graduate work as a single parent of a special needs child. I didn’t remarry until my child was eight years old, guys. My family didn’t help me out financially in terms of finances, but they did help me with childcare, and I acknowledge that their ability to do that is certainly a privilege, just like having the degrees themselves. During some of that time period, I worked full time and took my child to five sessions of therapy a week for zir’s early childhood intervention, and today you would hardly guess zie ever needed that kind of treatment. I am proud that I was able to give my child that privilege. Also during that time frame when I was teaching, I used to attend my students’ sports games, ran a writing critique circle, and wrote at least 500 words a day. I envy the energetic thing that I used to be. :-P On days when I write multiple things, y’all can see a glimpse of what I used to be like, and I can tell y’all that low spoon days are much harder for me to take than I let on, which is why I often distract myself with Supernatural marathons and crochet. I’m sure it’s some cognitive leftover of my Miss Jr Achiever Personality (I graduated high school as a sophomore in college) and protestant work ethic cultural baggage. It has been an adjustment to take my self-worth and pride away from work and academic achievement and transform it into an understanding that even if I had not accomplished these things that I’m so proud of, that I would still be worthy of Loki’s love and attention, and that even now, when I’m sick, and especially when I’m too ill to do much other than sit on the couch and watch SPN reruns and crochet, that I’m still worthy of Loki’s love and care. Truly understanding and believing this notion is a struggle for me sometimes.

The other point of pride that I’d like to talk about is mentioned in the T. Thorn Coyle quote above, “Arrogance has its flip side in self-depreciation, which is just another face of the arrogant posture." And how is self-depreciation arrogant? Any time I have made self-depreciating comments in front of Loki, He calls me on it, and tells me two things. One, why am I questioning His judgment of my worthiness to be His? And two, when I have gone on and on about how unworthy I am, all I’m doing is talking about me and my wittle feelings, and not listening, observing, or appreciating the opportunity that I’ve been given in this relationship. Acknowledging that I belong by Loki’s side is not an act of arrogance; it’s an acceptance that allows me to become engaged and fully present in the moment and grateful for His presence in my life.

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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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