Trust, Supplication, and Projection

So, I have sort of a triple pronged post tonight.

The first subject is trust. Others might opt for the word “faith”, but I think in my scenario, “trust” is a more apt word. I had a discussion with a concerned soul tonight who ventured that I was making a worrisome choice in trusting Lilith as my guide and protector. I understand such fears, but my heart sinks when people air them verbally to me because I know their concerns are genuine and yet I am committed to my goddess and will not change.

Still, when someone says to me “Lilith doesn’t have to tell you the truth! She could just be saying what you want to hear!”, I am compelled to use that same argument against them.

At the end of the day, it’s one Divine’s word against another’s.

This is where that “trust” word comes into play.

The most profound words I ever said to Lilith were “There are times your reputation scares me to death, and I worry about my own fate. But I won’t run anymore. Win or lose, better or worse, I’m yours, because I choose to defy my fear and trust you instead.”

The way I figure it, she’s always been in my life, even before I knew her name, and she’s had ample opportunity to harm me; if she was planning on it, I’m sure she’d have done it by now given her usual M.O in myth and legend.

Of course, there’s always the possibility that the legends are entirely false, but that applies to any divine.

Trust is ultimately a decision, and those who make it are those who are happier and more secure in their lives. Those who do not make it tend to live a sadder, more worried and stressed existence.

I’m glad to have Lilith in my life. When I was little, I actually fell in love with her. It never really wore off either, but there were a few times my anxieties drove me away.

But in a dream where I met Hel, the Warden-Mother of the underworld, I faced her without fear. If I could manage that, then surely I could face the goddess I so loved without fear. So I decided to stop letting fear rule me.

That’s not to say I don’t still feel it.

The hardest fear for me to overcome is the fear of speaking about Lilith to others. I know she’s often thought of as a demoness, and I often refrain from speaking completely about her to try to protect her somehow, and myself as well, even though I know she a) does not need my protection, and b) would much rather I be honest about how I feel and think about her.

But if you come to me saying that I should be careful about trusting Lilith because she may not always tell the truth, bear in mind that my love and trust in her is no less than the trust you have in your deity.

The second topic I would like to discuss is supplication.

We are often called to supplicate before our divinities either out of (gasp) subservience or respect.

I hear many heathens in particular claim that they “stand before their gods, not kneel”. It displays the mindset they have; they wish very clearly to have allies in the gods, rather than masters. That’s fine. I can respect that. I can even respect a soul who kneels before the God of the Christians if they did so for honest reasons. Whom you kneel before is little my business unless you make it my business.

But let us consider why we do what we do here.

I do not specifically kneel before Lilith, though I would if she asked. Why? Because I love, trust, and respect her. She commands me, yes, but I only obey because I choose to, and that choice is born from that love, trust, and respect. There have been points where my loyalty was shaken by outside forces that sought to subvert my trust in her, and it led me to disobey her. When I overcame those forces and the damage they’d done, I went back to willingly “kneeling” before her, although the closest I’ve come to actually kneeling in my dreams was when I was told to close my eyes and not defend myself at all. When she told me to open my eyes, she had me in a warm and loving embrace. If I had not trusted or respected her, I would not have allowed that. I’d have walked, plain and simple.

As it is, I often refer to her (and treat her) as “My Queen”, and that is an affectation she has honestly won, fair and square without bribe or trickery.

That said, I wince when people accuse me of devil worship. This is understandable why they would call me that, even if it’s false. This is projection, plain and simple. People expect a certain thing from a name such as Lilith (which led to me trying to cover her and myself by giving her the name “Vanafridr” for a time) and when my descriptions of what I actually do fail to conform to those preconceptions, they say “oh, well the Devil has you in his trap and you don’t even see the bars!”, projecting what they expect onto me instead of facing a truth that doesn’t agree with what they want it to be.

Religions have been doing this since the dawn of religion as a concept; it’s not a new problem or one we can just “cure”. The only thing we can do is to avoid falling into that trap. I fall into it, my friends fall into it, my family does… everyone does on occasion. There’s no shame in that.

The trouble is in not correcting it when you encounter evidence a falsehood has taken over your perceptions.

Only a fool alters the facts to fit their views. Unfortunately, there’s more than a few of those, and we all spend time in that pool from time to time.

People expect Lilith to be a child-murdering demoness, when the truth is that she’s always been kind and gentle with me, even when I was extremely young. But people’s expectations often overpower truth, and that is when projection kicks in.

Spirituality is a tricky enough beast at the best of times. It should remain free of issues such as fanclubs and projection, in my opinion, because they only serve to make our existence more complicated and stressful. We all trust our gods and goddesses, so why not revel in that together and begin trusting *gasp!* each other? Why this obsession with finding flaws in the spiritualities of others and breeding all sorts of antagonism amongst ourselves?

Perhaps I’ll look into that subject later.

Gods guide you.

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