Pagan Blog Project 2014: “L” is for Lessons

I been feelin’ I had to teach lessons to slow learners
Go head act up, get smacked in the head with the burner
I dont fight fair, I’m dirty-dirty
– 50 Cent, “If I Can’t”

This is a post about lessons. It may read more like a story than my usual blog posts, but I hope this departure in tone isn’t too jarring.

That said, let’s start.

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not too good at keeping up with my lessons. Even doing my physical therapy exercises for my knee is a challenge, mostly because I keep forgetting. Spiritual lessons are no different. Have you ever been berated by a spirit for going to bed too tired for days on end to do your lessons? I have. It’s a weird experience. Most of the time, when I do get lessons, I don’t remember them right, or they’re jumbled up in dreams.

But I do remember one clearly.

His hand pulls me down through the water, and up out of a puddle; I’m a little confused, but I can see where we’ve ended up. A warehouse, abandoned, full of obstacles and concrete and rusted oil drums.

“I thought you hated water,” I say once I’d regained my feet, perfectly dry.

“It has its purposes.” Oh good, the rebirth symbolism isn’t lost on either of us.

I look around the warehouse. “Nice place you’ve got here.”

“I’m noting the sarcasm.”

I’ve changed my attire to mimic his – dark t-shirt, dark jacket, dark jeans – and I stick my thumbs in my pockets. “Okay, so this is the proving grounds, huh? This is where you fix me.”

“No, you’re fixing yourself. I’m just here to make sure you don’t hurt yourself too badly in the process.” I make a face at him, and he points to a series of old tires laid out on the ground. “Hop through those tires. We’ll start there.”

My knee twinges when I remember my injury in the real world. “Good thing I don’t have to deal with that,” I say as my knee brace flickers around my bad leg for a moment, and begin to do the agility training. I’m not sure, but he might have smiled a bit.

The training soon progresses to me having to leap up to hang from bars as well. “You have to be stronger,” he tells me as my arms burn and the bars slip from my grasp again and again, “you have to be the only person who can define who you really are. That’s what makes you free. You’re in a cage of other people’s expectations. Break that down first. Find out who you are. Then you rebuild. Trying to rebuild on this foundation will just cause it all to collapse again, and worse. Tear it down. Tear it all down. Break it until you can’t break any more. That’s when you know your foundation. That’s when you know what you’re made of.”

I can feel my focus wavering as sleep comes to claim me. “Oh, is that all.”

“Yeah,” he says as I flicker out of consciousness. “It is.”

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