My Life’s Top Priority

Almost fifteen years ago I gave oaths of loyalty, service, and affection to My Lord. This undertaking had more steps than I anticipated. When I first decided, “Yes, this is something I’m going to do”, He stopped me. My heart wasn’t in the right place. My motivation wasn’t right.

But isn’t this right? I asked. This is what you wanted from me. I’m just doing what you asked me to.

That was the problem and that was my very first lesson.

What Loki challenged me on years ago was my tendency to do for others what I wouldn’t do for myself. He challenged me on my willingness to do what the Gods ask without reflection, analysis, or critique. He challenged my using of O/others as an excuse to avoid looking closely at myself. Where were my needs in this decision? Where were my desires? Where was my careful consideration and necessary negotiation?

His lesson that day was to take action under my own initiative, for my own reasons, with my own desires in mind – regardless of W/who was asking for my action. Before long it became very clear that my highest loyalty would have to be to myself. I might have named My Lord as my life’s top priority, but that priority was chosen from my desires; that priority was chosen for the fulfillment of what I believed my life’s potential to hold. I bless My Lord for his leading me to value a potential I barely realized I had.

This lesson and its fundamental importance to my life and my spiritual path have been driven home over and over and over again. I’m not supposed to act without considering what impact those actions might have on myself, my ability to fulfill my responsibilities, or on my future. In a way, I’m oathbound to myself by virtue of the promises I made to my Gods.

In a very real way, I don’t get to put the Gods above myself. Even when I do (or appear to), it’s out of loyalty to myself. Without this loyalty, my path unravels. Today, I recognize things about myself that I didn’t know back then. I use helping others as an excuse not to help myself. I use community service as a mask for dealing with my own problems. I use religious devotion and love of the Gods as a distraction from the fact that I have had little love or consideration for myself – or, at times, for others.

For some people, putting the Gods first is the means to positive growth. For others, including myself, putting the Gods first is a damaging and potentially dangerous road that feeds self-loathing and a disdain for manifest creation. Which is right for you? To determine this, one has to examine the outcome. Are you a healthier, happier, more compassionate, more responsible person able to help others and serve the world, including the Gods, as a result of putting them first? If so, great. If not, perhaps a different tactic is called for.

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17 thoughts on “My Life’s Top Priority

  1. Jen says:

    After years of sexual abuse from a relative and my first relationship with a boy, I have struggled to take care of myself. Since I was 13-14 I self abused to the desperation of masochism, hiding (drowning) in empathy, nearly starving myself because the stress was so intense and robbed me of my appetite many times. But when Loki came into my life nearly 3 years ago, self harm ended and I really had to focus on healing. It was very very challenging because all I heard within myself repetitiously and like ghosts from the grave, was “I’m not worthy, I’m useless, etc etc etc”. It hurt so much to hear those inner voices and still is. It scared me to face these broken numbed, traumatized, near lifeless parts of myself..those that were raped emotionally and physically. But I need to…for the love of myself and him. And my mother goddesses too. …I’d rather love, be love and beloved forever instead…and thus dearly the healing continues. Which vow to no longer be my relative’s sexual possession, to not starve myself, hurt, harm, nor suicide just because this relative is unable to work through their own drunken problems. This is a frightening vow truly, but it’s one I make to myself because I cannot be remain paralyzed shattered nor lifeless forever

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  2. Limnaia says:

    Reblogged this on Mud and Lightning and commented:
    I, too, have had my gods demand this of me. It’s a harder practice than one might think- there’s a lot of guilt I feel over not putting my Beloveds as my highest priority, because I adore them, so isn’t that the way to show it?

    Apparently not. Loki made sure that before I made vows of marriage to any of my husbands, divine or mortal, I first made similar vows to love and cherish myself. It was only then that I had his blessing to make such life altering vows: to him, to Morpheus and to my mortal husband. I know in the future, when the time comes for me to make my marriage vows to my fiancé and fiancée, I will take some time beforehand to remind myself of the first vows I made.

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    • Silence says:

      Yes, this what I experienced as a child. Sometimes this admonition led people to break out of selfish behavior, to become open to the experience of Divine love, and to actually live the faith they claimed to have. Sometimes this admonition stifled the voices of abuse victims, encouraged harmful behavior, and gave people an excuse to be terrible to themselves and one another. I feel that the outcome of the strategy has to be examined very carefully in order to determine whether or not it actually has any value to one personally. A person might need to make more than one attempt. I did, and that was because My Lord shut down the first one very quickly. Even years after that first lesson I would be reminded of it and made to reframe my attitudes about my priorities.

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  3. Jolene Poseidonae says:

    This speaks to me of the different forms that placing ones Gods as top priority can have in life, my favorite refrain of it doesn’t all have to look the same.

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    • Silence says:

      Yes, there are definitely different ways to arrive at the same place. Learning to prioritize myself as a being worthy of support and care has, in turn, allowed me to elevate the Gods within my own sphere. At the time that my personal priority set was laid down, I didn’t have the maturity to realize that I was doing considerable harm to myself by prioritizing the Gods and their work above things like learning to be a decent and responsible human being. And it’s perhaps worth mentioning that I came from a religious context that sometimes did elevate religiosity and belief in/service to God over human welfare. While I’m sure there are instances where this kind of priority structure can result in positive things, my own lived experience is that considerable harm can be done at the same time. (Not to say that prioritizing the self is necessarily a path that results in less harm, of course. Unfortunately, people manage to harm themselves, others, and the Gods even when our hearts are in the right place. And of course I’m simply an outlier in many regards; I suspect this is another instance where my own path unfolds very differently than it does for others.)

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      • Jolene Poseidonae says:

        ((((( ❤ )))))

        In my mind, this prioritizing of self care, and accepting/believing of worth inherent in one's being simply because one is is very akin to compassion for self. The idea that, if you are able to hold yourself with compassion, then you are better able to offer a more complete, a deeper amount of compassion for others. I used scoff at the idea that the compassion I had to offer others wasn’t “real” because I did not believe I was worthy of any, or worthy of anything at all, really. Love, health, security, let alone compassion. And I don’t think the compassion and care I was able to give to others at that time wasn’t real, but, well? The well runs deeper, now, is all, and with Poseidon’s guidance, it’s bound to grow deeper still.

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  4. moonfire2012 says:

    Loki actually told me recently after I asked Him what He wanted from me, to take care of myself.I don’t know about other Gods, but I’m sure They would want us to balance self care, family/friends and service to Them.

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    • Silence says:

      Sometimes I think that it’s a matter of where we can individually do the most good. Sometimes we are positioned to have a positive impact on people who cannot be helped as easily by others. Family and close friends, for instance, may not have others they can turn to for help where a God might have many people they can rely on. The opportunity to serve and love Them doesn’t generally close but instances when we personally need care or when people close to use need help are generally more pressing. It makes sense to balance these things with compassionate and responsible attention.

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