Thursday, 30 June 2011

Self-responsibility: My Pagan Value

This month has been about Pagan Values for some of the blogosphere.  I had intended to take part and post a few things but babies and hospitals got in the way a little.  I shall probably post some things over the next month or so anyway as the topic is of great interest to me.

Central to my Pagan practices is the relationship I have with my surroundings.  I include my relationship with the Gods as part of my surroundings.  I attempt to live in harmony with those around me and part of that is being responsible for my actions and choices.

Self-responsibility is easy to talk about and theorise about but living it day by day is a lot harder.  To me it means accepting the consequences of my actions.  It also means that I control how I react to situations and the actions of others.  If I let someone control me then it's not that person who is at fault but me.  I have given away my responsibility, my power, to another.  If this is true then I can take that responsibility and power back if I choose too.

However, I need to be flexible as well.  If I do not give any responsibility then I can not share power with another and that is also a very lonely road.  I give responsibility and power to others, most notably my husband, and I call this trust.  I trust others with my responsibilities and they trust me with theirs.  This is responsibility for my emotions as well as my physical world.  In other words, I trust them not to willingly hurt my feelings and to not abuse our relationships.  If that person violates that trust, I must take back my responsibility for that relationship and not allow that person to continue to violate it.  This is self-responsibility in action, to my mind.

I guess what I am saying is that self-responsibility in my relationships is key to building harmony with my surroundings.  I feel this is an important Value for everyone but as a Pagan where we don't particularly have a guiding text or set of texts this is even more important.  Paganism, to me, is such an individual path that we need to be even more mindful of our Values and Principles.  I think that walking a path that is more individual requires more discipline as we have to make up our own minds and decide our own principles for faith.  Hang on, in other words, we are responsible for our own actions as Pagans.

This is why self-responsibility is so important, to my view, to my practice as a Pagan and as a person in general.


Sgnr.Perceval said...

I agree entirely with this value and principle. It's why I've been so antipathetic towards the predestination based philosophies and religions.

This idea of Pagan with a capital P being an actual religion is new to me, and I'm yet to learn how it corresponds to what I know as paganism in the historical sense, which is where I'm loosely coming from.

So, forgive me if it sounds really ignorant to you when I ask whether you would consider such things as the Havamal as a "guiding text", as I do?

Sgnr.Perceval said...

Oh, but thanks btw for a very good post which has made something suddenly click in my head as to my own "articles of faith", which I've long been trying to find ways of articulating in words.

Kitty said...

Sgnr. P: I think when I speak of a guiding text I mean a central book of some sort (I suppose like the Christian Bible or the Torah). I personally read many different texts and listen to the wisdom of all of them weighed against my own opinions and experiences. I used to say that I read everything and take what feels useful but that is too simplistic really.

Incidentally, I have yet to read the Havamal but shall now be adding it to my list :) Interestingly, your last post about your visit to see Odin helped shape this post. I love the way that happens!

Sgnr.Perceval said...

Yeah, some of yours have influenced mine as well :)

I know what you mean, it's the difference between a text being considered holy, definitive and authoritative, and it being considered advisory, more of a guide than an explicit manual.

And yeah, they all have wisdom in them, and truths, amongst the crap... but then, you can say the same of an episode of Eastenders, but we don't form religions round them do we? Well, I dunno about some people, but... lol