So I was browsing the internet like I usually do when I get the free time and I don't have prying eyes hanging over my shoulder and I came across a blog I found quite interesting. It is called Pagan Blog Prompts and you can check it out by clicking on that link. The most recent prompt, posted a week ago is called "Giving of Yourself," and talks about telling how giving of yourself might be a way to raise your spiritual level. I was inspired by this and wanted to write a little bit about it.
I was raised in two Christian households. No I did not misspell that, I meant two as in the number two. I bounce between living with my mom and step-dad and my maternal grandparents. My mom and dad are Catholic and my grandparents attend the local Cowboy Church. Mom and Dad always encouraged my Pagan studies, when Grandma found out about it she got really upset and told me that witches go to Hell and that she was worried about my eternal soul. Of course, living with Grandma and Granddad I can almost literally get away with anything other than being a Pagan. That I can accept because they mean the world to me and I am willing to hide being Pagan to keep my grandma from constantly worrying that I will be going to Hell. It's just the generation she was raised in and who am I to try to change that?
In both households we were never dirt poor but never rich either. Even though we often wore knock offs bought at Walmart, or handmade by Grandma, we always knew there were others that were worse off than we were. We were always glad for our family and we've always been close. We enjoy the simple things. Both my parents and grandparents taught me, not in words but in deeds, that giving of yourself can be a very fulfilling experience. Of course when I say giving of yourself, I mean giving of your time, food, money, friendship, whatever the situation calls for.
Grandma always taught us that if you had more than someone else and could live comfortably without making yourself do without the fundamentals then it was good to give to others. Of course she was always trying to teach me that it is not okay to give your last five dollars to someone if your stomach, your animals stomach(s), your gas tank, or your table would suffer but she was very big on helping people. "Willow," she would say, "If ever you come across someone who needs help, whether they need a shoulder to cry on, a ride to the nearest gas station, a burger to eat, or even a good smack in the face, don't hesitate to help them. There are so many ways you can help a person. A good meal and friendly face can change a person's entire life."
I've always tried to live by that. As a college student, money is always tight, but friendship is free. I used to make people work for my friendship because I had been hurt in the past and refused to be hurt again. But love comes with many faces and is not only about finding a romantic soul mate. Friendship should always be free. I know I've changed my own life by offering people a sympathetic ear and open arms. There have been a few times where I have gotten phone calls at 2 or 3 in the morning from friends asking me to pick them up from the bar or a party or sometimes, like in the case of my friend who was allergic to Sulfa drugs, from the hospital. I find it personally fulfilling, knowing I can help someone.
I enjoy having friends come over and just want to spend time in an environment where they know they are accepted and are not judged. Many times I have had friends show up with bags under their eyes and a pillow under their arm and ask if they can sleep on my floor. Apparently my room is so comfortable to them they sleep the best here, which makes me proud. Giving of myself may not literally up my spiritual level but it definitely makes me feel good and when I feel like a good person I'm a better witch.