Recently I found myself in a situation where my UPG did not line up with that of a friend. It was over something ridiculous and that doesn’t matter much. Well, maybe to the Goddess in question it does. (Except that I obviously thought it did because I was absolutely furious about it for days-much to the amusement of my Sweetest Friend-Loki Himself-and that says more about me than the friend I had the disagreement with-waaaaay more.)
So, what do we do when we find ourselves in this position? The position of “well, obviously my UPG is right and they just don’t know what the hell they are talking about!” Well, we discuss things rationally and respectfully always, especially if it is a good friend, for a start. I like to explain why I think “XY&Z”, and often it is based on nothing other than I DO think that and sometimes it is based on lore, hoping to draw out of the other person why THEY think what they do. I like the discussion and almost always I learn something new.
Sometimes I don’t learn anything new. Other people don’t have to have a reason for what they think either.
Take a deep breath and repeat with me: “Other people don’t have to have a reason for thinking what they think.”
Not having a reason doesn’t make their experience invalid, even if it does lead to short term frustration sometimes when these sorts of things are discussed.
At the end of the day, what is real to me in my practice is what matters to me and what is real to them is what matters to them and sometimes the little things don’t matter at all. This wasn’t about Himself, whom I believe takes great joy in shape shifting and may never look the same way twice. This wasn’t even about someone whom I interact with frequently enough to take a hard stand on anything in either direction. In essence, I feel that this situation, being based on nothing that matters deeply to me, served to clarify my awareness of my own emotions.
I did realize that I have a long way to go with being truly good with myself and my thoughts on Them. It is a great, deep, comfort when we can share our UPG. It makes us feel less crazy and substantiated in some way, but….
Maybe we should all repeat this too…
“My gnosis is valid for me. My gnosis only needs to be valid for me. My practice is mine. My Gods are mine.”
My Gods aren’t the same Gods to everyone else. Not everyone needs to learn the same lessons or serves the same purpose, so OF COURSE, not everyone gets the same side of every God or Goddess. Shared UPG, while cool, is sometimes used to stave off that fear of the unknown. Maybe this is why I’ve almost NEVER seen Himself as a redhead, at least recently. He knows I need to be okay with what I see. My childhood Peter Pan visitations almost don’t count in the same way. I was totally free to enjoy them then. I had no fear of being anyone but me or validating anything.
I’m going to try harder to embrace my own UPG and to use the experiences of others as less of a crutch, even though at times I believe they are vital to the discernment process.
But always, always, I will be open minded and respectful of the discourse of others and their ideas, most especially when I don’t agree with them.