In an article for Blood for the Divine, written way back in August 2009, Anya Kless mentions training, as in “breaking in.” I read it again recently, and it has me thinking.
The stage I’m in now, preparing for the Ordeal and collaring, is what I have called my training. I wear a chain that I made, which He likes, with a pendant representing Him on it. It is smaller and far less obvious than the final collar that will go with me to Ordeal. I am still learning the habits and skills I need to interact with Him. I’m still figuring out how to reincorporate things that I enjoy without them becoming all-consuming. (For instance, I went more than a month without video games at all, spent a month detaching and going bonkers on the one I was allowed, then went a week away from it again to help me reset. Still very much learning moderation where the things that go beep are concerned.)
Anyhow. I’m not particularly being “broken in,” as the article addresses, but I am being trained. It occurred to me that my training, so far, has been almost frighteningly easy. Yes, I’ve had to give up nearly all of my video games (being borderline addicted to them, that’s big for me). I’ve been Told on numerous occasions that my health must change, to the point where I have to ask sometimes if I can have certain foods. I have had to sacrifice time spent with family and friends in order to do as He asks or to spend time with Him. I’ve sacrificed my discretionary funds to buy items I need for the Ordeal and for future Work.
Have I struggled with some of this? Yes, particularly my health habits (I love food, and not necessarily all good food). But are they truly unusual or taxing requests? No, not really. The only thing physically tiring is communicating with my Deities or Guides; with practice that will pass (and I’m getting plenty of practice).
There’s a part of me that’s thankful. I still have time to spend with my family and friends; I still do well enough at my day job to pull in a useful paycheck; I can still do a lot of the things I enjoy and learn to balance the time. But there’s a part of me that’s afraid too. Things that are too easy in the beginning attract that little imp Murphy and his dastardly Law. It makes me think that this is the time to gather my strength and learn everything I can, because the Work ahead might be much more difficult.
I can’t know. Asking the Stones will just make Tamalut laugh and send me illeli tiles. Spending too much time thinking about it will distract me from my training. For now, I think I’ll count my blessings… and get some rest.