It seems to me that everyone wants to be chosen. Fantasizing about being a super-hero, or to be chosen to be loved by a super-hero, chosen for a mission, chosen for a job… What ever it is – people want to be chosen. No one seems to be the one not-chosen, standing awkward in the middle of the field, begging to be good enough for someone to choose you.
Everyone seems to want to feel they are so good at something only they can do it. That their environment (work, social etc) cannot make do without them. That they are vital for the proceedings. Isn’t that a part of wanting to be loved? To have at least one person (apart from you mother) who wants you, specifically you, and noone else? Maybe that’s why monogamy is so prevalent.
The current spiritual movements, raging from neo-paganism, core shamanism and the like (in second thought, this includes other spiritual movements, including those which tell us god has a plan for us all), all emphasize that each person has a Gift, a Medicine, a Priesthood. Each were chosen for a destiny, for a role in this world.
The thing is, once you are chosen for something, not everything becomes roses and glitter. You actually have to put in the work, prove yourself, be actually worthy of someone else’s choice. Being chosen, as desirable as it may seem, is a pain in the arse.
Say you have a Tarot reading. Say you get the Death card. Whoever is doing the reading will reassure you- death doesn’t mean literal death, only a passing of something from this world, transformation (if this isn’t the definition of death than fuck knows what is) at the end of which you will be re-born. The reassurance is to let people know it’s not the body which dies, but something else. This is supposed to be soothing. We are so scared of the body dying, we don’t notice that death of any kind is just as painful, maybe even more so- we’re still around to experience it, and we have to live through it.
People throw the word ‘initiation’ around a lot. Initiation is a rite of passage, a change, a transformation from one state of being into another. People seek out initiations. They call them trials, and neglect an important part of what trials are- sometimes you fail. Sometimes, you don’t pass. In old times (a vague term used to hide the fact that I have no direct reference to a time or a culture which practiced the following, yet I have some knowledge that these practices where held somewhere, at some time) youths were sent out into the woods to survive on their own and come back grown ups. It’s not a nice stroll in the woods that makes a person grow up- it’s facing something downright scary and dangerous and behaving in ways children wouldn’t, doing those ugly deeds that must be done in order to survive. In the story of these initiations, the ones who don’t come back are not spoken of.
People who give advice often tell people (who take advice) to face their fears. Probably they are basing their advice on the theory that there is nothing to fear but fear itself, or that what the person is running away from isn’t so bad and can be dealt with. Sometimes they are wrong. Sometimes, the best course of action is to run away. Sometimes, facing your fears leads to loosing to the monster. Standing upright and fighting sounds good in stories, and mostly ends well in stories, but in life it at times lead to a bloody defeat.
Having something die in your life, be it relationship, aspects of yourself or anything else of importance feels like shit. It’s hard and painful, it’s loss, it’s gut-wrenching sad. Being re-born might even be worse. It’s tearing away, it’s gasping for air, it’s being lost in a new state and having to learn everything from the beginning. It doesn’t have to be this way, but mostly it is.
Going through initiation is terrifying, it’s hell. Moreover, it’s having to find your way out of hell. It’s killing parts of yourself, and painfully growing new ones. It’s unveiling the worst in the world, and discovering the worst of yourself. Not only the worst, sometimes you find better things- but the worst is always there.
Facing your fears is chilling. It’s immersing yourself in terror, hoping that you can find the way out while petrified to the core. It’s knowing that you might loose everything you hold close to yourself, anything you love.
Being chosen means all these things.
Initiation, death, transformation, fighting fears, facing daemons. Most of all- it means surrendering to whoever and what ever did the choosing. It means going through all the above knowing that you had a choice, and you gave it up in order to be chosen.