When I was little, I started out with an animistic view of the world. Then I was taught that some things are not alive, and even though plants are living things in a sense, they don’t possess consciousness. At the time, I believed that, because the grownups know what’s what, right? But eventually I ended up defaulting back to animism. I can’t remember when or how that happened, and it’s interesting to me, because no plant or stream or anything ever talked to me, so what was my belief even based on? But it’s the only thing that ever felt right to me.
Whatever else I may be, it’s built on a foundation of animism, and that affects how I interact with the world: Since I believe that everything deserves to be treated with respect, I try to be a good neighbor or a good guest to whoever I’m sharing space with. And when I see places where nature is hurting, I want to help.
That desire, of wanting to make things better somehow, that’s been the most important thing to me for…I guess most of my life. I think it is a good aspiration, but it seems I need to walk a different path.
The way I relate to the world won’t change, I will go on being a good neighbor, but I have to give up this notion of trying to help make things better. I think help is very much needed, but that work is not for me. I have other things I need to be doing; I need to focus on that now, and let this go. There is a keen sense of loss in this, but I want to move forward.
Despite that loss, I’m happy with my new direction. I think I’m happier than I’ve ever been, and really excited to be moving forward. Also a little scared, because while I have a general sense of where I’m going and how I’ll be getting there, I don’t know how I’m supposed to get past all the obstacles in my way. But I’m going for it anyway. I have to.