To this awakening goddess, celebrating holidays has more to do with personal history than traditional roots. Imbolc, the modern Pagan celebration of an ancient Gaelic festival, means so much more to me now than it did when I first started studying Wicca and Paganism thirteen years ago.
Thirteen years ago, I found a home in Paganism at my very first public ritual, which was a celebration of Imbolc conducted by popular Pagan writer Ann Moura and her Ladies Tea Circle. I entered my first circle at that festival, and won a raffle for the first time in my life – an amethyst earring and pendant set and an hour-long session with a psychic who would become my mentor on my path to developing my own metaphysical interests and abilities.
I had so many things to be angry about. So many people had wronged me, from my biological father who molested me, to my beloved grandmother who’d bailed him out of jail and brought him home to live with me after he shot my mother in the head, to my mother who taught me that I was worthless and unlovable, to the so-called friends who had used and betrayed me over and over.
They wronged me. They hurt me. They deserved to suffer for what they did to me. How could I possibly forgive them, especially if they were not even pretending to be sorry?
This is the story of how I made the shift from a lifetime of negative thinking to a new life of positive thinking.
What does positive thinking really mean? I used to think it meant thinking like an optimist. I considered myself a realist back then, and thought optimists were only able to be optimistic because they had never suffered as I had.
I have survived a lot in my life. Abuse, rape, neglect, homelessness, poverty, and depression top the list.
In fact, I've spent most of the last three decades surviving: getting past one overwhelming problem after another. If it's not worrying about how I'm going to pay the rent or where I'm going to live, it's a relationship done gone super-drama, a health crisis, or “someone needs my help and I'm going to help them even though I need help myself.”