Don’t Bore the Gods!

I had a humbling Aha! moment the other day. Humbling but also freeing.

Tom and I have been reading a series of young adult novels, The Lost Years of Merlin. The five book series, which imagine Merlin from about age 9 to adulthood, are fun, full of enchanted forests, haunted marshland, fanciful and magical creatures, and resourceful humans (including females!). Merlin, who has discovered his grandfather was a great wizard, knows he has special abilities (though he doesn’t know much about what they are) and that he is destined to be a wizard also. Yet he struggles with this, alternating between being too cocky about his powers (and then either losing them or misusing them in some way) and angrily declaring he has no powers and will never fulfill his destiny (poor me). Friends tell him how he demonstrates courage and heart, and magical beings declare he has more power than he knows. We the readers know that all this is true, but Merlin, in typical adolescent fashion, moodily brushes it all away.

While we were reading the third book, both Tom and I commented that we were getting bored with Merlin’s constant worry about his powers and whether he would fulfill his destiny. We hoped he would wise up soon.

The Aha! came the next day while swimming at the health club. With embarrassment I suddenly realized I DO THIS! For years now I have worried aloud about what I am “meant” to do in the world and discounted or minimized what I have done. I fretted that my offerings were “not enough,” because I could do more, or because they weren’t the “right” kind of offering, or because they won’t “change the world.” I have received and appreciated positive feedback from others, but often not fully taken it in.

I realized I must have been boring everyone with this for years. Feeding myself negative thoughts and wasting my energy. Acting like an insecure adolescent.

When we participated in Peggy Rubin’s Sacred Theater workshops years ago, she would admonish us, “Don’t bore the gods!” I realized I must have been boring the gods too, as well as disrespecting their creation (me) and my gifts and offerings (accomplished in collaboration with them).

All of a sudden I got it.

I’ve now taken to heart what I kept yelling at Merlin as I read:

Lighten up! Trust!

Just do what you’re called to do and figure things out as you go!

Just be who you are; your powers will take care of themselves!

Whew!…feels like freedom.

 

Have you ever come to deeply get something after seeing (or reading) someone else’s experience?

How do you keep from boring the gods?

 

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10 Comments

  1. Aren’t we humans funny?! I totally identify with this struggle. We expect so much of ourselves. So happy for your revelation!

    Reply
    • Anne Peek

      Yes. When stress expert Loretta LaRouche is asked “what’s so funny–where’s the joke?” she replies “WE’RE the joke!”

      Reply
  2. As always, your blog comes at the right time! We are all a work in progress, and what Merlin is going through we still go through to some degree, no matter how old or wise we get. To your point of when you are present, your ego fades into the background, is. undeniably true. That is what makes you a great listener! The ‘film’ of ego that gets all over everything disappears when you are totally present for the other person.

    Reply
    • Anne Peek

      Yes!

      Reply
  3. Also incredible art work. It seems to be taking on a life of its own. I can see your blue picture as a sculpture in the Walker Art Center.

    Reply
    • Anne Peek

      Glad you like the drawing. It somehow felt like a good fit with this essay.

      Reply
  4. It’s interesting how we go through life looking for and finding messages along the way. Through Metaphors, nature, conversations, witnessing, dreams and experience we grow and receive ahas after ahas.
    This is a magical time. As I watch the craziness around me trying to make since of it all, I began to compare what I see and hear to my teaching days. A lot that is coming out reflects the actions and behaviors of adolescents (us against them, “I didn’t do it.”, saying what others want to here, going along with the crowd, bulling, it’s all about me). This has made me wounder. Are humans on the planet going through the same growth pattern as an individual does (birth, baby, terrible twos, childhood, adolescents, young adult, etc). Are humans at the adolescent stage on the planet as a whole. Are we moving from the roughness finding our way to adulthood? Just a thought.

    Reply
    • Anne Peek

      I absolutely think you are right Nancy. Many times lately I have thought “we are an adolescent culture.” I think we are working hard now to mature and grow into adulthood. I trust your instincts on this too based on all your years of teaching (as well as your own inherent wisdom).

      Reply
  5. What a great revelation, Anne! I have done that as well, I realize, in my attempt to show that I have ego under control. There must be a good set point for all of us who want to “not be like Merlin” 🙂

    Reply
    • Anne Peek

      Yes, there’s some struggle between too much//too little ego, isn’t there? I think for me the ego fades into the background if I do what I love, for the sheer joy of it. When I’m totally present then paradoxically I (my ego) is temporarily absent (or feels that way).

      Reply

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