Thank You, Consequence
When I stop to look at my life from a bird’s eye view it isn’t hard to see that Newton’s third law is totally relevant. This is the law that states, “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” So, you know, when my priorities in life included doing drugs recreationally as opposed to paying my bills the result was my becoming a homeless teen. This is also the case in good situations too. For instance, when I learned to moderate my behavior I was able to complete college which resulted in the gift of a week-long binge at a desert party known as Burning Man. Actions and consequences can go either way, in my opinion that’s a sort of magick.
There is another way in which consequences are magick as well. They teach us. Regardless of the outcome for any situation, the results of our actions aren’t actually the reactions we receive but rather the lessons we learn. I can apply this logic to most things both mundane and magickal.
We are going to pretend that you’re lonely. You want a partner who will love you and always be there for you. You do all the magick things to obtain this partner and you put in the mundane work as well. The day comes when you meet the perfect frog, kiss them, and bingo bango bango, you have yourself a royal partner.
Great right? No, wrong. You put out an intention so specific about wanting a person who is ever-present and that’s exactly what you got. Now this fool who thinks they love you is annoying and smothering. You tried to break up with them but they are stalking you, standing under your window begging you to come down to talk. You’ll probably do some sort of magick to handle this situation too. Cool, whatever. The point is you got what you wanted, the consequences weren’t ideal and therein lies the lesson. Don’t be so specific, and also, the grass is definitely never greener.
My point isn’t the lesson though. My point is your feelings about the consequences. You could beat yourself up and bemoan how your magick didn’t do what you wanted. You could give up and stop trying to find love. Or you could be grateful for the lesson. Because gratitude, that’s what we’re here to talk about today.
How ‘Bout Me Not Blaming You For Everything?
There is this funny thing we as humans tend to do. We shift blame to everything else in the world so as to not accept it ourselves. Like, for years I said it was my parents’ fault I spent a decade homeless on the streets. In all likelihood, yeah, probably my parents had something to do with it. I mean, when you’re fifteen and homeless the blame is likely not all theirs, but you certainly didn’t end up there through only your own actions.
Why worry about blame though. Yep, it sucks to be thrown into the world unprepared. And sure, you have limited devices with which you can maneuver through the world at that age. The thing is I made it through that stage in my life. I survived it. How I survived it isn’t even important, not as important as the fact that I did survive it.
I wake up every day and give thanks for the life I lived. It took me a long time to get to this point. I had to learn that, the lesson in that journey I took, living on the street was necessary. I could not see it at the time, obviously. In hindsight though, boy did it make me strong. I learned so much in being homeless. I learned things people can’t learn in high school. Okay, so what that I became a sex worker, so what that I had to deal drugs, to live with loose morals. I learned how to sell the product, my product, myself.
When I give thanks for the path I’ve walked I’m giving thanks for the experience. I’m giving thanks for the humbling effect that life had on me. I’m giving thanks for the sense of self I developed. If I never experienced that life I’d have nothing to write about.
How ‘Bout Me Enjoying the Moment for Once?
I listen to this amazing podcast called Basic Witches. These Witches aren’t exactly basic. They are profound and witty, creative and funny. Sure, I listen and sometimes I’m like, “wait what, you didn’t know that.” But who am I to judge? They aren’t where I am on the journey. And that’s okay, because guess what, they own it, they’re basic, it’s in the name. And I learn things when I listen to them too.
Rachel Laforest and Leah Knaure are awesome because they humbly say, “this is where I am now, I’m going to share because maybe you’re here too.” And that’s amazing. Everything about these Witches tells me they are in fact witches. Because basically, they’re doing all the right stuff. They don’t assume or present themselves as knowing everything. They don’t knock down anyone for what they don’t know. And also they are going out of their way to learn while bringing that learning to thousands of listeners.
There is this one thing they do more than anything else. They give a basic blessing at the end of every episode. What that means for these Witches is, they stop and think of one thing they are thankful for. Here’s why that is amazing: it’s basic. In my opinion the most basic practice in witchcraft should be a daily practice of gratitude. I’m pretty sure this was the first thing I learned from my teacher Cyndi Brannen.
When we stop to give thanks we are more likely to find more things to be thankful for. Recently, I am learning that when I am thankful for things as they are, even if they are not the way I want them to be, those things become much more manageable to deal with. Being grateful “even though” is imperative for my development as a witch.
The reason gratitude is helpful has everything to do with acknowledging what you have instead of what you wish you had. For instance, I have a 2000 Toyota 4Runner. Sure, I’d rather have a 2020 model but I don’t spend my time thinking about that. Instead I take the time to be thankful for the fact that I have a vehicle that gets me to work with zero mechanical problems. I don’t get bent out of shape that I have to work a 9 to 5 job while attempting to write a book, build a house, get back in shape, and care for my family. I express how thankful I am for having a job, a book deal, the ability to learn to build a house, the skills to get back in shape, and a family to love.
For me practicing gratitude is the most Witchy thing I do most days. I light a candle and start listing all the things I have to be thankful for, and you know what? It feels good. In doing this I’m no longer fearful of consequences, no longer searching for where to place blame, and I’m no longer failing to live in the moment.
The soundtrack for this article is Thank U by Alanis Morissette.
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