Is hard work something we all seem to be allergic to? It certainly seems to be that way. There’s always the hunt for the “easy way” through an issue. Or looking for the “shortcut” to get from Point A to Point D without touching base at Points B or C. And to be completely upfront, this seems to be a product of the hectic hustle and bustle of modern western society. We always seem to be in a hurry to get things done. We’re in a rush to get from place to place. And for what? So we can feel that we accomplished something at the end of the day, as we pull on our pajamas and our slippers? And in order to compress more stuff into our day, we seek shortcuts in getting things done, all in the name of “saving time.”
Here’s a confession: I am just as guilty of this as anyone else. In fact, I’ll drop an even bigger confession: during my first five years working my way through the Bardic grade – I was constantly seeking shortcuts. In the end, I stopped, took stock of what I was trying to do, and the manner in which I was trying to accomplish it. And it was fairly easy to see that in trying to round out the corners, and find faster ways to get from Point A to Point D – the only thing I was cutting short was myself. Once I started taking my time with the lessons, and started doing what was being asked of me instead of looking for shortcuts, everything started to fall into place for me to understand. Rather than trying to “rush” through everything, it was more of a time-saver for me to complete each lesson completely rather than looking for time-saving changes to things.
Let me put it another way. If you were to build a house, you would want every aspect of it to be built correctly, right? You would want the company doing the actual construction to do things right, and not cut any corners on your home. After all, you want the house to stand for decades as you live in it. You don’t want the eastern wall to fall over in three years, simply because the construction company cut corners by not extending the foundation in that part of the home. Right?
So why do we seem to do the same thing where construction of rituals or spell work is concerned? We want to skip over some steps because we want to get to the end result as fast as possible. And when those skipped steps can be costly in terms of the effectiveness of your ritual or spell, would you not want to go back and do it the right way? If it takes three days to work out the construction aspects of your ritual, wouldn’t you want to start doing that four or even five days ahead of time, so that its ready when you need it?? Or would you like to fit three days of work into less then five hours?? And in terms of ritual, who are you shorting on that? Yourself? The people who attend your ritual? Your Gods? All of the aforementioned??
Being prepared is one thing. Understanding the need to follow directions and get the timing right is another, though related, concept. But why are we hustling through these things? Especially when it comes to something like acquiring knowledge. Everyone learns at a different pace or a different methodology. And, by the way, learning things and expanding your knowledge and understanding is not a fecking race. So why are we constantly setting ourselves into positions where it seems to be just that??
In my case, its something I have been coming to grips with lately. I have a tendency to over-schedule myself. I want to do this or that, but I just don’t have the time to handle such things. I have a hard time saying “no” to people. And to be honest, I don’t like to disappoint anyone. And what happens is that I disappoint everyone else, and I disappoint myself when “I can’t do this because of that.”
Life is not a race. Expanding your knowledge and training within your own Tradition is not a race. Proper preparation, proper concentration, proper attention shows respect for what you are trying to do – whether that be ritual, spell work, grocery shopping, your job, or listening to your significant other or kids. We don’t need to rush from spot to spot in our lives. We wind up missing out on the details, we wind up trying to find shortcuts. And in the end, we wind up coming up short on things that really do matter. #TwoPence