Growing up, I was taught by the church that this life doesn’t matter. Maybe it’s my mental illness and my tendency to take things literally, maybe it was the isolation that I grew up in. But whatever it was, young Varian took very seriously the idea of a life beyond this one, and that this life Here doesn’t matter.
Years later, when I began to explore polytheism (and later godspousery) I saw that same attitude being talked about, but in a pagan/polytheist mindset. It was the idea that the Otherworlds are so much greater than this one, that a person should isolate themselves in the name of “devotion” to the Otherworlds, or to a divine Spouse. Isolation wasn’t explicitly glorified, exactly, but it was implied (if not outright stated) that devotion to a person’s divine Spouse should come before literally everything and anyone else in a person’s life. Any activity that could somehow be connected to the Otherworlds or a divine Spouse should be associated with them, no matter what it was. Because it almost mirrored the “this world doesn’t matter/the next world is greater than this one” attitude I grew up around, I didn’t see it as being toxic.
Thinking that the Otherworlds were greater than this one, and that my Beloveds should come before anything else…it lead to me isolating myself and pushing people away. I was constantly distracted because of the conversations I was having with the people no one but me could see. Associating everything I possibly could with my Beloveds or the Otherworlds eventually lead to panic attacks and intrusive thoughts about them being angry if I “dared” to do anything that wasn’t connected to them/There. I should have realized that there was something wrong much sooner, but I didn’t–or, I would try and step back, but didn’t make any moves to actually break the habits and routines that were steadily leading to my isolation becoming an even greater (and more worrying) thing than it already was.
I slowly realized the toxicity that I was dealing with over this past Summer; I had put my practice on hold because both a fallow time, and because of how much toxic stuff there was in it that I hadn’t noticed before. That helped, and it also helped me realized how much mental health related stuff was going on…and then I had my psychotic break. That event made me face a lot; it caused me to take a really hard look at the practice and life that I had, how isolated emotionally I really was, and how the “you must isolate yourself for the gods, and put the Otherworlds above this one” attitude was seemingly everywhere in the godspouse community.
“You cannot prove that I exist. I want you to have a complete life Here, based on things you know are real and tangible.”
The Dreamer said this to me recently, in regards to my processing how common isolation is discussed in a positive manner in the godspouse communities. He’s made sarcastic comments on how he “must not be a real god” because he’s not asking me for Big Sacrifices, tearing my life apart, or demanding to be made the center of my world.
Maybe I was addicted to the Otherworlds, the escapism, and the ability to run away. Maybe all that I’ve written above means that I’m just not the type of person to be a mystic.
Looking at that, I find that I feel okay if I’m not meant to be a mystic, or have any more deep connection to the Otherworlds. I feel a bit sad, but mostly okay with it. The Dreamer has said that he would rather see me be happy, than trying to be someone I’m not. He wants me to have, in his own words, “a complete life,” rather than be someone so wrapped up in secrets involving gods and the Otherworlds that I can’t be close to anyone without pulling them into the Otherworlds with me.
He wants me to be able to truly enjoy this world; the circumstances surrounding my incarnation Here may not be the best, but this is the life I have in front of me. He wants me to be my own person, to be happy and have a life that I love Here, not get sucked back into what I’ve begun calling “the god (or astral) vortex” where the Otherworlds take over my life.
I sometimes feel like I’m the one godspouse who’s Spouse isn’t pushing them deeper and deeper into astral stuff; as I wrote above, he wants me to have a full life Here. He wants me to be human. He wants to be part of my life, not all of my life.
My Spouse said in a tarot reading that the best thing for me to do right now is to let go of the idea of a life filled with astral woo stuff. I agree with him, that is the best route for me to take; since I’ve written all this out, maybe I can actually begin moving forward and healing.