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    Community Voices

    Navigating Nature, Community, and the Digital World as a Witch

    I have a lot of difficulty with integrative practices, by which I mean my brain can be quite rigid and compartmentalized due to trauma, and it's hard to mash two compartments together.

    One of the ways this presents for me as a practicing witch is my struggle to unite the natural aspects of the practice, which I find grounding and liberating, with the communal and Digital aspects, each of which I find independently triggering as well as inseparable in our modern world.

    I feel the call of the hermit. My broken BPD heart just wants to be alone in the forest listening to the animals and the wind in the trees. And I'm actually taking steps to make my real life closer to the this, but I also know I crave community. This is the part that is harder for me.

    Community is triggering. In my past, and particularly related to my religious trauma, community has represented a controlling force, mass enmeshment, and segregation from outside groups. The community I envision for myself is nothing like this, but I still find myself too afraid to engage much in any group of community members.

    Individual interactions are also triggering. While I find it easier to cope with one person than with a group, I live with attachment issues, have difficulty reading other people, and carry a lot of residual shame that keeps me from opening up effectively. It's hard for people to understand this, and even harder to get them to stick around long enough to learn how to get to know me.

    Which brings me to the Digital world, including here on The Mighty. Using screens and internet has left me feeling very ungrounded in the last couple years. I lose too much time, get distracted and unfocused, or see something triggering that could have been avoided. And then I end up thinking about all that lost time and energy I could have put into the "real world".

    Can anyone else relate to any of these struggles?

    Are there ways you have been able to integrate your spiritual practice into community and/or online efforts?

    Do you have any other coping skills or tools you've found useful in these areas?

    Thank you for reading. 🙏🌿🌙

    #Disability #ChronicIllness #MentalHealth #CPTSD #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #Anxiety #Depression #Spirituality #Nature #Community #MightyTogether

    3 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Growing Pains

    Back in the day,

    We used to play outside till dawn

    Now, we're just another government pawn

    Back in the day,

    We used to live, laugh & grow

    Now, we are forced to work our asses off bro

    What is this shit? (mind my language)

    Death is a trap to try and get us to submit?

    As kids, we couldn't wait to be adults

    Now, I reflect and I am like that was truly nuts!

    The days when we could cry and be comforted

    Childhood turned to adulthood and those days plummeted

    Now, we're struggling to make ends meet, Who would have thought, childhood was only a treat

    But it's life,

    So put away that knife

    It is what it is -

    God is good, all is his

    Better days are ahead

    So, go and continue to chase that bread!

    #Life #resilience #NeverGiveUp #Suicide #SuicideAwareness #Selfharm #selfharmawareness #strength #courage #bravery #Independence #freedom #freedomwriters #useyourwords #expression #expressyourself #creativity #Deep #deepthinkers #bold #Spirituality #Meditation #Spiritual #calm #Zen #gowiththeflow #liveinthepresent #loa #TheSecret #manifest #manifestation #Positivity #PositiveVibes #GoodVibes #vibes #Energy #YouCanDoIt #Believe #Hope #Care #Empathy #compassion

    1 person is talking about this

    Struggling With Religious Belief After Medical Trauma and Disability

    I was born into a Roman Catholic family. We went to mass on religious holidays, had weddings and funerals officiated by priests, and prayed before meals at family gatherings. Like most of the other kids I knew, I was baptized, attended Catholic school from K-12, and celebrated my First Holy Communion, Confirmation, and Confession. I read the Bible, completed the mandatory Religious Studies in each grade, and memorized the Lord’s Prayer and the Hail Mary. In my child’s mind, God was a mysterious and powerful figure who watched over me (which was simultaneously comforting and frightening), Heaven was an ethereal idea of the wonderful place waiting for me when I die, and Hell was the terrifying end I would experience if I had been a bad person. In my teens, I learned about other religions of the world, and my perspectives on spirituality expanded and evolved. While I did not doubt the existence of a Higher Power and the possibility of life after the death of my physical body, I began to question the contradictions and circular logic within the religion I had grown up in. As a result, I abandoned Catholicism, and became Agnostic for many years. In my late 20s, I discovered Paganism. This earth-based faith, with its triple aspect female deity and her male consort, supported the values and ideals I had developed over the years, and I embraced its practices and celebrated its holidays with enthusiasm throughout the following decade. But a few months after my 38th birthday, my life took an unexpected turn, and my attitude about spirituality did an about-face. After a series of vaccines, I developed a rare neurological autoimmune illness that hospitalized me for 18 months. As a result, my spiritual peace of mind came to an abrupt end, and I have been living (perhaps even struggling) with its absence for the last 12 years. The illness and rehabilitation process was the most terrifying, depressing, traumatizing chapter of my life, and not once did I experience the support of a higher power or any indication of an existence beyond the physical realm. Did I pray? You bet I did! I prayed in earnest. I begged. I raged. I tearfully pleaded for relief from the pain, fear, and loneliness I was enduring. When I didn’t receive a response from the Goddess of my Pagan faith, I reached out to the God of my childhood. Sometimes I prayed for healing, sometimes for guidance, sometimes even for death. I received no reply. Twice, while I was in the six-week coma, I teetered on the brink of death, but I was completely unaware of it. There was no tunnel, no white light, no passed loved ones coming to greet me, and certainly no godly entity welcoming me to an eternally peaceful plane of existence. There was nothing. Just a blank space where time continued to march on without me. I was certain that such a sudden and traumatic event should elicit some sort of spiritual experience or divine intervention. When it didn’t, I felt disillusioned and slightly betrayed. I had spent so many years having faith in a higher power, but when I needed them the most, they were nowhere to be found. I came to the conclusion that it must be because no such entity exists, and there is no realm beyond death; when we die, we simply cease to exist. I have shared my feelings and conclusions with many different people, and it has been met with a variety of reactions, from sorrow for my “loss” to outright judgment of my “attitude.” I have been given advice on how to find God again, and heard all the vague explanations and platitudes: “Everything happens for a reason.” “God only gives you what you’re strong enough to handle.” “Maybe there is a lesson in this that you’re supposed to learn.” “God works in mysterious ways.” “God always has a plan.” But none of these have been helpful to me in coming to terms with my experiences versus my expectations. In fact, many times, they have only created more questions. My husband once said, “You can pray as much as you want, but sometimes the answer is ‘no.’” My response to this was, “But why?” Why would a benevolent, loving, compassionate god not want to help if it’s within their power to do so? Why would they stand aside and allow such intense suffering to continue? And if there is some divine purpose for it, why wouldn’t they at least offer a guiding hand? It made no sense to me. The alternative was much more logical. It was even somewhat comforting to imagine that death was like falling into a dreamless sleep, where all my pain and worry would simply wink out of existence. So I’ve spent the last 12 years denying the need for spiritual practice, and viewing life and death in much more “realistic” scientific terms. Recently, however, I have found myself revisiting the possibility of a higher power and life after death. My husband passed away from liver cancer two months ago. He had a lifelong faith in God and Christ, and was always curious (even sometimes excited) about what his existence would be like after his death. He loved astronomy and absorbed every bit of new information about space and the latest scientific discoveries. He often said that he hoped, when he died, that God would let him fly around and explore the universe. I miss him terribly, and often talk to him, hoping he is listening. The possibility that he no longer exists is deeply disturbing to me. I cannot stand the thought that he might not have gotten his wish for his afterlife. And the idea that I will never see him again fills me with a profound sadness. The dichotomy of believing there is no existence beyond death and hoping my husband still exists somewhere created an eddy of uncertainty that has sparked a whole new conversation with myself. So, once again, I am allowing myself to explore the possibility that there is more to life and death than science can explain. I am only human, after all, with knowledge and perspectives limited to my existence on this plane, in this reality, in this physical vessel. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Who am I to say what other possibilities and realities exist? I have no idea where this new openness will carry me, but I must admit that releasing my anger at god(s) and resistance to spirituality has calmed a simmering tension, and created a budding sense of calm. Most importantly, it has reminded me that spirituality is deeply personal, and is impacted by our experiences and circumstances. No one has all the answers, and no one alive knows what exists beyond this physical realm. There is no “right” answer, no step-by-step guide to attaining enlightenment. Every journey is valid, regardless of what you believe and where you are on that journey. If, like me, you have struggled with spirituality, be gentle with yourself. Allow your thoughts and feelings to evolve in whatever way feels right to you, and don’t let anyone convince you that you’re wrong. You don’t have all the answers, and neither do they.

    Community Voices

    How To Define Who You Are When You’ve Lost Part of Yourself

    Hey yall,

    I wanted to share my story that was syndicated by The Good Men Project. I discuss how to find your identity when you've lost part of yourself.

    "The answers to these questions will, without fail, reveal your core identity. We’re going to dig deeper than activities and nouns that describe your career. You are more than that."

    I hope this article is helpful!

    #MentalHealth #Identity #selfImprovement #personaldevelopment #Spirituality


    2 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    What has saved you?

    What has saved you during your darkest hours? When I struggle, sometimes I really don't know where to turn. I have been on the bottom of the pit at times, and if anyone has suggestions as to how they found hope, I'd love your insight.#Hope #Faith #BipolarDisorder #Psychosis #Healing #Spirituality

    2 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Honesty, Truth, Authenticity, Acceptance

    Sometimes there will be a theme that comes up for me throughout a period of time. Today's recurring theme has been Truth.

    The day began with providing my partner with some peer support. They needed reminding of the Truth of how things are, and to be reminded of the Truth of who they are. We discussed radical acceptance and living authentically.

    After lunch, I had a workshop on the Seven Sacred Teachings offered to us by indigenous peoples across the continent. Today's teaching was honesty, to others, to ourselves, in relation to reality, and in relation to our spiritual path and guides. Speaking and living and acting in Truth.

    Before dinner, I chose to watch a nostalgic kid's movie about an important car race. One of the characters meditates on desert hill between races, seeking guidance from his ancestors. He receives a vision, an elder who speaks to him and warns him of a danger in his path. The man believes this danger to be a physical threat and continues with caution. After the next race, he goes to meditate and the elder comes to him again. When he asks the elder what the danger was, the elder replied, "The greatest danger of all is to see only what you want to see, and not what is true."

    Does this theme of honesty and truth resonate for anyone else today?

    And does this ever happen to you? Do you recieve thematic lessons from the universe, etc?

    #MentalHealth #Spirituality #Truth #honesty #RadicalAcceptance #authenticity

    4 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Shell From Lake!

    <p>Shell From Lake!</p>
    3 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Hey! I absolutely LOVE shelling (picking up shells at beaches, lakes) and wonder why sea shells never caught on in the spiritual community like Crystals and other things did? I love the size, texture, color, and shape, etc. I collect them and make projects with them. Any thoughts?🌻

    13 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    I am an open well of empathy- I have a high tolerance for emotional toll and coherence. I grow slowly into emotional exhaustion, for I know many burdens. My soul is old and wise, I have a unbounding amount of knowledge. I am here to be self aware and understanding of the world. I am here to connect to nature and exist as my most natural self. I am here to connect my mind to my soul, and ground myself in spirit. I am on a journey, and I’m here to guide those who need it. My heart is open, and though it’s caused me pain. This is a part of me. I am most myself when I take care of those around me.

    1 person is talking about this
    Community Voices

    Dylan's Introduction

    Hi, my name is Dylan and I am the leader of this group! This is the first group I am running, so please let me know if you have any suggestions or concerns as we go along.

    I came to paganism through a desire for spirituality after leaving organized religion. I have chosen family who are indigenous and are practicing spirituality through reclaiming their traditional methods, and this drove me to find out what my own ancestors' spirituality might have looked like. My research led me to paganism and the associated beliefs and spiritual practices.

    I now identify as pagan, heathen, and/or spiritual, and maintain a solitary practice. I would consider myself primarily a green witch, as I feel a lot of connection to the earth and the life she sustains. I am slowly working towards a more natural and environmentally friendly lifestyle, changing one thing at a time, and trying to find methods that work with my disabilities. Ideally, long term goals include living on the land, in harmony with nature.

    I am also disabled, chronically ill, and recovering from C-PTSD. The management of my physical and mental emotional wellness overlap so often that I cannot separate them. Paganism helps me manage my health by grounding and soothing me, supporting my routine, and allowing me to access fulfillment regardless of what life is throwing at me.

    I'm hoping to use this group as a place to share my experiences with pagan spirituality and chronic conditions, and hear others' experiences on these topics. I'm also hoping to make some connections and build a sense of community, where we can support each other in our practices and in our well being. While I am happy maintaining a solitary practice, I would also love to have other pagan folk to share with.

    Feel free to make your own introductory post, or get right into sharing whatever is on your mind! I'm looking forward to hearing from you. :)

    #Paganism #Spirituality #Disabled #ChronicIllness #CPTSD #introduction

    27 people are talking about this