“Isolation” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Thor’s Day!

This mostly a post to keep the steak of posts every day going but I just wanted to let everyone know that I am pretty much an introvert and spending time at home alone is something that I do a lot.  If it wasn’t for work some days, I would not go out.  I do worry about this aspect of myself because I do crave good relationships.  I just have high standards.  I the meantime it seems everyone else is taking on my lifestyle thanks to the virus COVID-19.  Enjoy.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Fidelity, Atheism, and Asatru” – Of Wolves and Ravens – Fidelity

Happy Mani’s Day

Discussion:

I always have a little twinge of guilt when I write about fidelity or loyalty.  I have had an affair.  I am not proud of it but it happened. I can’t say that all of it was bad either as the reasons I did it were real and in some ways could be justified as I felt at the time loyalty was harmful to me in a lot of ways.   My loyalty to my wife was harmful because it seemed to benefit her far more than it did me.  It led to a passive-aggressive relationship.  My sarcasm is usually playful but at the time with her, it could be biting and it was the same the other way.

As an atheist, fidelity has a give and take to it.  For a long time, I felt love was to sacrifice even to the point of being loyal to a fault.  If anything has changed it has the realization that the person I need to love the most and be loyal to the most is myself. I am all I really have no matter what others may do.  The blind loyalty expected of Christians I now see for what it is – the groundwork to use people for your own ends by playing on their loyalty.  Pride is removed in Christian loyalty which means you can make people do anything because they have no honor and no shame.

Fidelity under Asatru, however, is different.  It has honor as its foundation so no amount of loyalty should robe you of your pride.  If anything fidelity should either build your pride and thus lead to greater honor or it should cause you shame when you fail so you work to make it right and truly a two-way street. Above all, there is no demand to sacrifice your loyalty to yourself – ever.

To the Wolves and Ravens:

“Feed the Wolves, but Listen to the Ravens first.”

Needs (Geri):

The need here for me was to change my expectations of loyalty to myself.  If there has been one struggle that is affecting all my relationships it is the fact that sometimes I have walked away because I still have my pride and I will not deal with people who do not respect it. I will not tolerate disloyalty, even from myself, and the challenge is to know when that is happening.

Wants (Freki):

What I want is to restore my sense of honor and loyalty to myself. I do not want compromise to the point where I am in any relationship that has all the benefits or even most of them are going one way – away from myself to the other person.  Mutually beneficial is what I am after here; where loyalty is the strength of those relationships.

Reason (Huginn):

The problem is I can usually rationally see what needs to be done in each relationship.  I have done the infamous INFJ door slam to several people but it takes a lot for me to get there. Mostly though I don’t want to cause pain to others because I get a feedback loop emotionally.  It’s kind fo bitch to know how far you can go before the negative emotions of others start to affect you emotionally.  Reasonably, I can see each relationship and know what to do or should do. It is the emotional lines in the sand I don’t want to cross that can get in the way.

Wisdom (Muninn):

The wisdom is never let loyalty to be slavery to the other person.  Someone who cares about you and is loyal to you will want you to be free and not want you to be their slave. If they cross that line too many times it might be time to let go – self-respect, honor, and fidelity to self are far more important than any relationship.

Conclusion:

Fidelity is important to me and mostly the shift caused by the crisis and becoming an atheist has been to be a person who is loyal first to himself and then everyone else.  My moral philosophy and my loyalty to it and myself are the central things in my life. Every other relationship needs to build that loyalty to myself or respect it, or I am going to have a problem with it.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Lonely Milestones” – The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and The Wayfarer – Part 24

Happy Sif’s Day!

Introduction:

I know some of you are probably expecting Space Tramp and I do apologize for not having it this week.  I am really struggling with inspiration for writing and the issue of my muse is going to come up soon in my writing.  Its why I am trying to finish both Rogue Wizard and Space Tramp in the next couple of months because I am trying to get a completely new fantasy series going that creates a muse of sorts.  Or more concretely explores the topic of inspiration so I can find a source for it that is more consistent.

I have a few things to talk about in this edition of The Grey and The Wayfarer.   1) Some Milestones for the Blog, 2) My Loneliness and 3) A Personal Reflection on Therapy.

Blog Milestones:

Some good news upfront.  1) This blog actually past 500 posts a couple of weeks ago.  Now I can say I do have a bit of content.  2) Yesterday I hit the 100 WordPress follower mark.  I want to thank everyone for reading and following.

My Loneliness:

The Grey for the last few weeks has brought about loneliness I can’t describe other than to say that no matter what I do I can’t shake the feeling.  I don’t know if it is the realization of mortality or perhaps simply a broken heart still bleeding on the inside. I miss some people being in my life more consistently but there is the need in my heart for someone who truly gets me.

I either did have that for a few months in 2018 or thought I did and I miss it terribly. There is still a hole in my life from a relationship that is now gone and I am still dealing with it.  It’s the same observation that I have had that I long for a relationship that is intimate on a more instinctual emotional level.  But my heart is guarded by attack dogs, a wall of Trust No One and staying distant for fear of being hurt again.

I hate being INFJ where you can read other emotions on people like a book and even have my own emotions mimic theirs.  The only time I know what I am truly feeling is when I am alone and then when I try to express it verbally to others, it comes garbled or not at all because I don’t want to trouble others with my feelings. Only writing them seems to work.

The lonely wanderer is who I am and I both love and hate it. There is a wisdom to it.  There is loneliness I can’t describe to it as well.  I am glad I have a support group, a job coach and a therapist to talk me through things. But at the same time, they can’t fix my problems, I have to do that.

Therapy Reflections:

Of course, some of you are wondering at this point – ‘what about his wife?”  My wife is a wonderful person and I know she loves me and I love her.  It is just with all the changes to me and my outlook on life I am starting to feel trapped again by this marriage.  There is no common core goal for this marriage anymore and that is largely my fault because I am the one that has changed so much.  I like change – life is a journey of constant change and I embrace that and it is hard to live with someone who would rather have stability and security.  Nothin wrong with those things, they just are not me anymore.  They also are not real to me anymore.

This is why even though our relationship is much better as far as friendship and intimacy, it still leaves something to be desired from my perspective.  Once again because of my changed worldview.  My wife and I got married because we were Christians and called into the ministry and everyone told us we would be good ministry partners. We were also secretly personally guilt driven into marriage because we were having sex for months before we were married. In the mindset we were brought up in; once you fuck you better get married or you’re sinning against a holy god. There was no consideration of compatibility or common interest.  It is why some look at us and don’t get it. I at times feel that way too.

That is why in therapy the majority of focuses on what my new identity is now to deal with the loneliness question and a lot of questions on how to make this marriage work despite widely diverging values.  My wife seems content but I know I am restless.  Very restless. I don’t want to get to the point where I hate my life and marriage and all that goes with them again.  But if something doesn’t change soon, that is where I will be.  I know myself much better now and the danger is very real.

Thanks for reading all that if you did.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“The Walking Paradox – INFJ” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Sif’s Day

Anyone who has been a part of The Grey Wayfarer family knows that I talk often about my personality type.  Myers-Briggs to me does a fairly decent job of defining personality through its simple four-letter designation.  Well, four letters and dash with either an A or T behind it to indicate whether one’s identity is assertive or turbulent.  In my case, my full letter combo is INFJ-A. I have found that in exploring the implications of this I have discovered more about myself and it has helped me with that struggle because as we will see in a moment, INFJ’s struggle with this.

My recent musings into the subject led me to discover a YouTube video that talked about how INFJ’s are walking contradictions. It is something I have heard and explored a little but the video offered some very specific contradictions that seem to be part of most INFJ’s and so after watching it I have to ask myself if they apply to me and more importantly what they mean for me.

8 Reasons Why INFJs are Often Described as a Walking Paradox

I like firstly how the video points out that it is not that we intend to be misleading or lack conviction but that our personality type puts us into these tensions.  We have a high value on personal integrity and these contradictions are mostly due to our complex nature.  With that let us dive into the eight contradictions and see if and how they apply to The Grey Wayfarer.

One – Craving deep connections, but being so private:

My standards of friendship and love are fairly high. This is the product of my desire for deep connection.  I want a few good/great friends not a whole bunch of different ones.  When it comes to love there are certain expectations I have coming back toward me.

The problem, of course, is that I am so very private as a person.  It makes it hard to form those friendships and my wife is learning that love is something very important to me and she needs to spend some time nurturing it or I start to think very dark thoughts about our relationship.  This happened once right after our last child graduated high school and I was expecting that now the two of us would get to spend more time together and rekindle some of that fire we had before kids, but that didn’t happen.  It almost caused a divorce seven years later. Part of that was me having a hard time talking about it and the other was my high expectations.

Two – You find people interesting and draining at the same time:

I am definitely a people watcher but interaction with them is draining, to say the least. I can spend all day on a park bench watching people and studying them.  I have been that way for a long time, pretty much most of my life. But in social situations where I have to interact with people I can only do that for so long and then I have to retreat and regroup periodically.

Three – You can understand people better, but you hardly understand yourself:

Oh yeah, this is why I probably spend so much time talking about my personality and how it works.  It’s more about self-understanding and trying to figure myself out than anything else. I have to think about my motives and desires, where figuring out other people’s motives and desires because of my natural empathy is far easier.

Four –  You love to help others, but you find people annoying at the same time:

Yep.  It made me a good pastor but at the same time a pastor that was constantly annoyed with people continuing to make the same mistakes and continued to drain my time with the same problem. I find the fascinating part of people lasts only so long and then their flaws become so apparent that I am ready to head for the door and when I can’t head to the door I feel trapped.

Five – Being a perfectionist who often forgets small details:

Yep.  I have a whole slew of small routines that are designed to make sure I don’t forget the little things and everything has its place mostly for practical reasons along the same line. I like things to be clean and things to go according to plan.  When small details don’t pan out, I can feel let down for sure.

I also don’t notice the little achievements I make as much.  I am looking for the big goal to be accomplished, so when small successes along the way to those big goals are present, I rarely notice them

Six – You are natural loners, but people often mistake you for an extravert:

“Ed, sometimes you are hard to read” and “But I thought you would like that (insert name of a social event)”.  I have heard those two a lot over the years.  Mostly because I am fun-loving and sarcastically humorous enough to wade through most social situations.  I am confident and my ‘-A’ tells you I am also assertive. I was a pastor that dealt with people on a regular basis. I get mistaken for an extravert a lot.

However, I would rather be home alone reading a book or writing or name that at home alone activity.  I am quite comfortable with my own company so I don’t ‘need’ social situations but I do need them periodically to remind me that I am a member of the human race.

Seven – You want to be in a relationship, but often choose to be single:

I am not single but the issues of being in a relationship that is loving are pretty high for me as I possess very high standards of what love is.  This actually causes a lot of problems in this area as I am very aware of what love is but most cannot live up to what I think. The video is spot on about being in love being rare as it has only happened to me three times and when it does I tend to take it hard when it doesn’t work out.

Eight – They are complex, but they have integrity:

This video describes us as being like an onion that you have to peel layer after layer away to get to a true understanding of an INFJ, and I don’t know too many INFJs that would disagree.  It can take literally years to completely understand all aspects of our personality. In the end, if you take that kind fo time you may actually understand us better than we understand ourselves.

Our idealism, however, has a large amount of personal honor to it.  It is no accident that the part of Asatru I struggle with the most is honor and it is the struggle I consider most important. I find it actually more upsetting to myself at my failure to uphold my honor than I give two shits about what others think of it.

Conclusion:

Being walking contradiction or paradox is probably the most accurate thing I have heard to describe me.  Whether this applies to other INFJs I would not speculate but if it is common enough to talk about this way, it is probably mostly true.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

 

“My Sexual Identity” – Freya’s Chambers – Sexual Identity

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day!!!

Disclaimer:  The topics covered in Freya’s Chambers include serious discussions of sex, sexuality and related issues.  If it isn’t your thing; you can move along, otherwise enjoy and feel free to discuss.  Given the nature of some subjects be prepared for nude images as there may be some.  I avoid genitalia as a general rule but is not always possible.  

Introduction:

I have been writing for about a month on the topic of sex and sexuality and their various issues and the one thing it is high time I do is to write about my own sexual identity.  How do I view myself in regards to my sex and my sexual desires I think will help people understand where I am coming from as far as my own sexual perspective.  A few things up front.

  1. I tend to be very science-oriented about these things.  At least that is where I start.  Much of academia these days listen to the social sciences on these issues but I know as someone who has a social sciences degree in political science that much of what is believed there is indeed political posturing and belief, not actual science. For me, genetics and clinical psychology count a lot; and so, if an opinion does not line up with those, it is probably destined for the scrap heap. I live in the real world using real-world observations, not fanciful fantasy.
  2. That said, part of this is my opinion about said evidence.  Sex and sexuality have fuzzy edges because human beings are not black and white when it comes to these issues.
  3. I am a strong proponent of freedom of choice and liberty regarding these issues.

So I would boil my own sexual identity and orientation down to the following words which I will explain in more depth below: masculine, heterosexual. gynephilic, and egalitarian.

Masculine:

See the source image

I have a penis, so I am male.  I also like being a man and masculine.  I have no shame of any of this and anyone who says I am toxic, even in part, because of my masculinity can bite me, fuck off, etc. I find such statements ironic because they are sexist but trying to address sexism.  So no apologies for being a man and acting in masculine manners.

I suppose being INFJ, my intuitive empathic side is a little feminine but it most definitely expresses itself in the form of masculine reason and logic. I fight to survive and thrive in life.  I am protective of my own. I seek to be strong for those I love. I am loyal to family and principles I hold dear. I seek rational action.  I can be patient with some things, but in the end, something has to be done and the man in me rises up to do it.  I strive for peace but prepare for war.  I am aggressive but strive to tailor that to the situation.

Heterosexual:

Image result for heterosexual

I have actually taken tests in this regard and have a few personal experiences in life and have found I don’t really have any attraction to men sexually speaking at all. I don’t trust the motives of most men for one and I don’t like how they always see the big guy and need to posture and thump their chests trying for dominance over me.  Sorry there dude, – alpha male here.  Save your insecurities for someone who wants to respond to them.

Sexual orientation wise I like girls and don’t like guys.  I was kissed once by a homosexual man, and while I won’t say this is wrong morally, I found it personally distasteful.  Not my thing. The tests I have taken on this issue say I am 90% to 95% heterosexual. Sorry gentlemen I like ladies. In fact, I love women.

Gynephilic:

See the source image

While I have loved a few women very strongly in my life, I would have to say that I have been gynephilic since I hit puberty which for me happened early at about ten.  I love women in general and have ever since.  I am attracted to and admire femininity greatly.  It has gotten me in trouble so many times, but you know I don’t care.  It’s an addiction I will gladly keep because there is a lot of joy in it for me personally.

I love how women think, look, smell and act.  I like the way they walk and talk.  There is still something magical for me about the feminine and if that magic ever goes away, it is probably time for the dirt nap. I have no particular preferences either.  I can usually find the beautiful side of any woman who accepts their femininity in some way.

That’s probably the only turn off for me personally –  when a woman denies their femininity. Note I didn’t say tries to act like a man but denies who they really are.  You can act like a man and I still can know you are a woman because you do it without denying you are a woman.

I love women and it will probably be the death of me, but I will go with a smile on my face.

Egalitarian:

See the source image

I love women to the point I have no desire to dominate them or be dominated by them.  I want to stands as equals with them and I have always loved those moments where I and any woman have worked together; and because it was a woman/man partnership, it seemed actually to work much better than otherwise.

I have come to see through these moments how much better life is when we work together with our male and female strengths coming together to cover our weaknesses as human beings. We need each other and I find the constant bickering and rivalry troubling. While we should be fighting side by side against the chaotic forces of this world, this sexual rivalry, however, seems to rob us of what we could achieve.  Our survival and prosperity depend on us working with each other.

Conclusion:

I suppose as with all things INFJ, I am being idealistic here.  But someone has to do it. It is probably this sexual identity that keeps me looking for the perfect relationship which does not and probably cannot exist for me.  It is this idealism that explains why I go over the edge when I am in love.  But when I look at issues like sex, sexuality and the issues that are related, I must admit I see them through the filter of my own sexual identity.  So what you see written in Freya’s Chambers should be read in that light.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Scattered Grey Showers” -The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and The Wayfarer – Part 21

Happy Sif’s Day

Of course in the middle of the triumph of achieving a goal, The Grey would have to make an appearance and the problem is it is not one single thing causing the issue but several scattered showers of shit I would rather not deal with; but there it is.  There have been all kinds of scattered Grey showers this week and I haven’t been able to control them all the time which has led to some sleepless nights and emotions that have been less than happy ones.

It actually started the day after I achieved my one-year blogging goal with the simple thought of – ‘yeah that’s great, but you still don’t have a better job yet.”  I hate moments like that because they seem to take all the joy of succeeding at something away from me in a second. I shell up and just exist. I need a new job it’s true, but blogging every single day without fail is an achievement,  I know and anyone who blogs knows it is. It’s just The Grey has a tendency to crop in after I have a high moment.

If this wasn’t enough, I am working one day and over the speakers, it becomes clear that they have at long last changed the loop of songs to something new.  Cool right?  Except that now twice a day it seems I hear the song I don’t want to hear.  “All of Me” by John Legend.  It’s not that I think it is a bad song, it’s damn skippy good.  It is also connected emotionally to Miss Salty in a very strong way and then the whole memories shit of that relationship comes up and I want to cry.  Yeah, 6’4″ 275 lbs. weightlifter crying at work.  So The Grey kicks in as a protective measure and I try to ignore the song.  But later catch me singing it and thinking about her. What the Fuck?  This is why I avoid this song in the first place, and now I can’t avoid it at times.

So, I finally get a day off and I go to bed the night before and I have a dream. Yeah, it’s about The Dirty Pig.  Nothing big or symbolic just him making fun of me and laughing. Him doing his thing of doing things for his own entertainment and throwing me under the bus to that end. I used to be able to control my dreams a little, but as I grow older that ability seems to be lost. I think I still have enough ability to keep the ‘night terrors’ I used to have a bay.  If they come back, that will not be good.

I wake up and then I had to get up for a bit.  Kind of alarmed my wife as it is unusual for me to let my insomnia get me out of bed. The whole extreme anger thing is high with him.  Hard to control.  But then there is my old friend/enemy – the Grey and I head back to bed and fall asleep.

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My personality type makes me emotionally intelligent.  Sometimes called ’empathic’ and it’s pretty high in me.  The curse is that strong emotions in others or in songs or from my past experiences get supercharged because of it.   The Grey has developed in me as a counter to that. When things get too negatively strong, it kicks in to keep me sane. Cool huh?  But the downside is I don’t give a shit about anyone else in those moments.  I have also noted that The Grey occurs more frequently when I am not taking care of myself as far as self-love.  Loving myself keeps the emotional balance better, but I have to really work at that as it is much more natural to help other people than myself.

The other defense is introversion, but that isn’t good for me either.  Part of self-love is receiving love and you can’t do that by yourself.  This what led to the problems of last year.  My wife was penciling me into her busy schedule and I wasn’t a priority.  The church was taking a lot out of me and not giving much back in terms of emotional support and school wasn’t the outlet for my attention like it had been.  Along comes Miss Salty who absolutely understood this and BAM – affair, breakup, getting fired, near divorce, life turned upside down.

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The problem is I am absolutely terrified of letting someone else in right now.  Miss Salty leaving me and The Dirty Pig betraying my trust and leading the other friends I had at the church to fire me have all given me current trust issues off the chart at times. I function all right with people, but let them into my life to love and be loved by them? – yeah, no thanks.  Got my family, a couple close friends and that is it.  My wife helps a lot, but we both have to work and she is extroverted so she has to get away from the apartment or she would go nuts.  That leaves me alone.

The other downside is I get along better with women than men.  Men are comrades in arms but it takes a self-confident guy to be a friend that I trust..  I always feel men are competing with me rather than trying to be a friend. If you are that insecure, yeah, I don’t like you; because I know you’re going to brag about shit in front of me and I don’t do that.  I don’t need to because I am pretty secure in my masculinity.  I don’t have to prove my manhood to anybody.  Only one other guy on the planet gets that right now and that is why we are best friends.  Most men can’t handle that so they shy away for me or our relationship is the joking sarcasm of guys doing the same job and dealing with the same shit.

So women are easier to get along with for me. You can imagine how this is a downside. Today in the western world, 1) showing a woman some attention, 2) understanding her emotions and 3) being self-confident in your own masculinity equals flirting. Like, it comes naturally to me and that has lead to being flirted with back in return more than once.  Pre-affair this was just fun and a way to play around that broke up the monotony of life.  Women made my life more bearable with this flirting with boundaries thing.

Post-affair?  You draw your own conclusions but I have some women now that it is purely professional much like I act with guys.  But my natural tendencies are still there and so subtle I don’t often realize I am doing it.  Getting close to another woman as a friend is just difficult and undesirable given recent events.

So, I am left with my one friend who lives far away who thankfully calls me every few days to check on me and my wife.  My wife and I get along and she now very much understands that you can’t just pencil me in to be my lover/friend.  I have to be much higher on the priority list than that because I am high maintenance when it comes to internal emotions.

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That’s the bitch about being INFJ.  Perfect personality my ass.  Yeah, from an external point of view, we function and don’t appear to need human interaction as much, we navigate emotional situations well outwardly and get along pretty much with anybody.  The price tag of those positives is high internal emotional costs. We pay every part of that cost ourselves for the benefits others enjoy.  No human is strong enough to take that all the time and so the trade-offs are: 1) We disappear for a while, 2) it gets to a point of overload, so we develop coping mechanisms (aka for me The Grey) or 3) Eventually we explode and do something tremendously stupid or risky.  It’s a ticking time bomb that needs to have minutes added to the clock by #1 and 2 or #3 is inevitable.

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On top of it all, today (October 5th, 2019) is the 25th anniversary of my father’s death. Yeah, that always is a grey shower no matter what I do.  I still miss him.

But I keep walking. Ravens on my shoulder and wolves at my feet. My coat and cloak pulled tight against the storm.  No rest for the weary or the wicked.  The showers will eventually end and I will be that much stronger for walking through them.

Still Walking,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“One Year – Made it” – A Skald’s Life – Foundational Virtues

Happy Mani’s Day

Journal Entry:

The moment this post goes active, there will be a WordPress notification that tells me this is a streak of 365 days – 1 year.  Tomorrow will be the one-year birthday celebration and I will talk about that in more detail then.  But for today, I want to take a deep breath and enjoy the fact that a finish line was crossed.  Something I set out to do was completed and quite frankly right now I could use the win.

In the ‘A Skald’s Life’ posts this week I will be focusing on the principles of each virtue.  The virtue is the idea, the principle is the beginning plan of action to make it happen. A guiding idea that takes each virtue and puts it into practice.

Honor:

Honor is the feeling of inner value and worth from which one knows that one is noble of being, and the desire to show respect for this quality when it is found in the world”

Principle – To possess a feeling of inner value about myself and my future with a desire to find the same in others.

GoalMaintain a daily blog streak of one post per day for an entire year (365 days).  (achieved)

Bucket List: Hike the Northern Lakeshore Trail along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan by March 2024.

Honor is one of the most tricky virtues of them all. I have worked hard to shuck off the past and live in the present moment. One can only take one’s honor at the present moment and build it and that comes from a sense of personal pride. I still struggle here for myself but note people who are honorable and people who are not.

Goal achieved today.

Courage:

“Courage is the bravery to do what is right always.”

Principle – Act with Courage at the right time.

Goal: Cross one thing off bucket list every year. Deadline March 31st.

Bucket List: Go Back to Budapest, Hungary for a vacation by March 2029.

What specifically is the right thing to do is often self-evident for me.  The tricky part is to act on it at the right time. If there is one specific thing that happened recently it was to take the plunge and be a writer first and whatever second.  That said now finding a better job may be in focus, but given the situation at my current work, I just don’t feel that is my avenue to find a better job.  Time to search for something better with more energy and act with courage.

Truth:

“Truth is the willingness, to be honest, and to say what one knows to be true and right. It is often better to not say anything at all if one cannot be honest.”

Principle – To Be Honest, and Speak Truth to Myself and Others.  To Be Silent in the presence of Fools.

Goal: To Write a Non-Fiction Book by March 31st, 2020

Bucket List: Learn Latin by March 31st, 2021 to the point I can take a test and show my self proficient.

I am not sure honesty serves me well in all things, but I guess given my personality I would rather fail and maintain truth than succeed with a lie. My personality would never see this as a liability as INFJs are idealistic as fuck and here I am. I find myself quiet a lot these days.  I simply don’t think most of humanity is ready for the truth because it is uncomfortable. I would rather stay quiet than engage the comforting lies most people tell themselves.

Higher Virtue: Love:

The struggle between the love of myself and the love of others continues. The warnings I have gotten from studying my personality and my counselors over the years echo in my head – ‘You need to remember to take care of yourself. It’s something you are going to struggle with, so remember to do it.”  Yeah, I know.  I just keep running into a wall about it.

Morning Routine:

  1. Review Nine Noble Virtues (NNV), Principles, Goals and Bucket List
  2. Meditation – 3 min.
  3. Check Communications and Email.
  4. Paper Journal: Create a Daily Log and To-Do List.
  5. Stretching / Yoga
  6. Shower and Personal Hygiene
  7. Get Dressed for the Day

Better, but needs to be complete.

I remain.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Music – My Meaning Between Words (or How to Know the Real Me) ” – The Skald’s Lyre

 

 

Happy Sif’s Day

Discussion: 

It has been a while since I have discussed music and its relationship to my life.  I guess I would describe music as my meaning between words.  I don’t actually perform music but have an uncanny ability to be listening to something and feeling what the artist is feeling very strongly.  This also has to lead to sometimes shutting a song off and moving on because it is not what I actually feel, because it doesn’t resonate. When it does, then it becomes my meaning between words.

I guess the best way to show how important this is to tell you how you get to know the real me.

  1. Firstly don’t expect me to jump up and down if you meet me.  My trust level is pretty low of new people because of many painful experiences so I will speak in two languages to you at first – English and profanity (light).  Over time you might graduate to harder profanity (fuck as a root word) and sarcasm. If this offends you were are done; if not then, this means I like you. It doesn’t mean we are friends, just I like you.  If I add my fourth language – real shit, then you have become a 1st level friend.  That’s it, don’t expect a huge fanfare about it.
  2. If you want more than that, it is on you.  Sorry, introverts have friends because someone came along and adopted them as friends.  I am INFJ so understand my idealism about friendship is higher than the value I place on my relationship with my family. You want to know me better, it’s on you.  I have to see you value friendship with me enough to make some sort of effort to reach out.  Otherwise, as an introvert, I am happy to move along with my own company.  I get along great with myself.  This is the point where understanding me and friendship diverge.  They become two different things.  Friendship with me after this takes time and demonstration in action, not words.  Getting to know me is actually easier and the more you do, the more it speeds up the friendship process.
  3. To understand me completely as in my thoughts and feelings, don’t start with conversations with me, I am guarded as fuck in conversations and evasive as to my feelings and thoughts in that context.  It takes a long time for me to open up to someone in conversation. First impressions of me are often off by quite a bit because I would just as soon move on from your presence as talk to you. If you meet me don’t think you know me. Observation and conversation will get you about 15-20 percent of the real me and only the parts I allow people to see.
  4. Read what I write. INFJs pick an artistic outlet to express real thoughts and feelings and mine is writing.  This blog is right now my main expression of thoughts and feelings and a person who reads this blog will get another 40-60% of me depending on whether or not you also know me where I live.  I am pretty transparent here on The Grey Wayfarer so minimum if you live somewhere else in the world you would know about 40% of the real me by reading it.  If you know me personally and read this blog you are going to get about 60-65% of me.  The real me.
  5. Ask what music I am listening to.  This will give you an additional 10-15% because no matter what you learn from observing me and reading my writing, this fills a lot of the gaps.  There are thoughts and feelings I cannot put into words but if you listen to the music I am listening to, you will get a little more of me. that will put you at 70-80% if you know me, read what I write and listen to the music I am listening to as well. At that point, you are on the fast track to becoming a member of my very small inner circle.
  6. Getting to know the rest of me involves getting in that inner circle and that is where the friendship, and getting to know me, come back together.  Inner circle people get to actually will hear more of the real me in conversations. That’s how you know you have arrived when how I talk to you starts to sounds more like this blog. At some point, you will be at about 90%.
  7. The other ten percent requires a level of intimacy that few achieve. You have either known me for a very long time, are or were my lover at some level, or you are me. My personality is such that even with people I have considered friends all my life and even my wife I keep a few cards close to the vest. Very few get to see them. I would say only one person has gotten close to 100% and she is no longer part of my life except as a ghost.

People ask what about my wife at this point?  My wife is a good woman and loves me very much.  I love her but the struggle in our relationship is that she knows me pretty much by watching me, being my friend for a long period of time and being my lover. She is not a reader and our discussions of music involve musical taste not what we are listening to and why. This means two of the biggest avenues she could get to know me with better she does not utilize.  My personality is such that because of this I get guarded even with her because of this.  Note I am saying is mostly on me there, not her.

You would think after 30 years of marriage, I would be having open conversations with her about everything. Especially since we actually have on top of the length of the relationship, being lovers.  But my INFJ guard is up with everyone including her and that is just how I am.  Getting to know me requires effort, reading my writing and listening to my music.  Otherwise, you could probably get to 80% otherwise at most, which is where sometimes I feel my relationship with my wife is most of the time.  Recent events in the last couple of years still haunt my thoughts about our relationship making me still guarded.  I may have had an affair, but that was symptomatic of many issues that existed in our marriage before that and we are still working through them.

So you can see where music fits as not the most important thing in my life but as something that is important and helpful in understanding me.  Ity makes the difference between having a good understanding of me and a great one.

Playlist:

Wardruna and Aurora – ‘Helvegen’:

Disturbed – ‘Stricken’:

Five Finger Death Punch – ‘Wash It All Away’:

Three songs that resonate with me right now.  Well, the first is representative of pagan music that I listen to and there are a lot of different groups and songs there.  This is just the latest example.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Meditations – Primary Identity: Writer” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Mani’s Day

In the Last Rabyd Skald, I basically stated that I needed to probably do some meditations on who I am.  It is a question I have not been avoiding but struggling with since my departure from my former role as minister and Christian.  I would say the Chrisitan part being replaced by “Deistic Humanistic Pagan” has been pretty solid and that identity has not been hard to grab ahold of so much as the implications of that change are still something I am coming to terms with on a daily basis.  The real problem is my role as minister being replaced by what?

For a while, I have had this idea of being a business person of some sort and being a writer on the side.  It is a practical choice because money is a real thing that you need to live life. I also have to deal with the fact the ministry has left me broke and without any retirement to speak of, so there is a need to make some money to make up for that. But that is a rational decision and to be blunt only listens to one of my ravens – Reason.  What about Wisdom? It also brings up the question of will my wolves be satisfied with such a role? Will I truly be getting what I need or want?

So my meditations have turned inward.  What is the call of my heart and what is the course that is wisest as far as encompassing my whole being?

I have to give a shout out to a fellow blogger from the other side of the world (the internet is an amazing place isn’t it) who on my last post on this issue wrote that perhaps I should simply ask the universe and wait to see what happens. You can check her out at Myst Nokomis.  I know I have found her observations interesting and at times inspiring. She is actually a blogger that I read regularly.

My conception of what she said in my mind is a little different but I get what she means and so I said to myself.  “Perhaps it is time to just silence myself in meditation and listen.”

Oddly enough the first thought that struck me is one word “Writer”.  Now the trick to being open in meditation is not to recoil at the thoughts that come to mind.  I have often said I am a writer but I have always placed it secondary to what other things I am pursuing.  The thought I had in that meditation session was that perhaps I have this backward.  That ultimately I am a writer first and something else second to pay the bills.  That what I should be focusing on is my writing and then focussing on an occupation that is complementary to that. Something that harmonizes with being a writer, not making my writing harmonize with something else.  Writing becoming the melody of my life and what other things I do becoming harmony to use a musical analogy.

I think I might be on to something as this feeds my wolves and it seems a wiser course of action.  It still has rationality to it, because if end up doing something I hate, I will not make progress in it. Writing has always been a love and something I do to express myself fully.  People who meet me personally, never get the full story as I pull back into myself.  I have trust issues born from painful experiences.  When I write, that inhibition leaves. Like all INFJs it is my artistic/non-verbal way of expressing myself that is true.

The main issue then is to be about the business of being a writer and that involves a few things but most notably setting aside times to write above and beyond the blogging that are substantial  Like at least an hour or two a day. I guess what I should start to get in my mind is writing on this blog is kind of my writing warm-up.  Then its time to be working on some projects for publication.

I have long mentioned I am a big fan of the science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein.  In the book Grumbles from the Grave, a letter where he answered the question of why he wrote is preserved.  His three-fold answer was:

  1. Make Money
  2. Entertain Readers
  3. Make People Think

As I have meditated on this over the years in think he had the right of it.  The first priority of a writer is how to support himself and his family by writing, the other two are means to that because if no one likes what you write then they won’t buy it.  If they buy what you write you won’t really be impactful unless you throw something in that makes people think, it leads to long-term success.  This is the right priority, any other way is just high minded idealism that won’t amount to much in all three categories.

This change will require more meditation, but I think I am on the right path, it certain resonates with my wolves and ravens philosophy; better than some career, then a writing career as secondary.  I think this needs to be switched and then I can look at my identity from the proper perspective.

Just a blog note to end things: there will be a post later today for my serial: Space Tramp, but I might be doing these meditation posts in place of journal posts this week.  My identity has become an important issue and I want to make sure I get this right.  So you might see two posts today, Odin’s Day and Frigg and Freya’s Day.  One a post like this at 10 am and the other some fiction writing at 4 pm. At least for this week.  

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Asatru and Fidelity” – Of Wolves and Ravens – Fidelity

Happy Tyr’s Day

Discussion:

“Fidelity is the will to be loyal to one’s Gods and Goddesses, to one’s Folk, to one’s self, and loyalty to one’s friends was as valued as highly as loyalty to one’s family.”

Principle: Be loyal to those who have been loyal to me.

Fidelity or Loyalty, also known is Asatru as Troth, is something in certain areas I have struggled with from time to time. That said, when I was first embracing the Nine Noble Virtues after my recent affair, I didn’t list it as number one or even two as the virtues I needed the most.  It actually finished in the middle much to some people’s surprise at the time.  I will get to why I assessed Fidelity at that level in a moment.  The real issue first is what is fidelity?

This is the only time I found the website Ravenbok a little disappointing because they focused on two issues marriage and loyalty to the gods. In marriage, the point out the obvious in the idea of sexual fidelity and loyalty to one’s vows to one’s spouse.   They do that being loyal to the deities of Asatru might be challenging.

My definition of Fidelity goes much further than that, and recent experience has allowed me to visualize and define it much more completely.  My definition includes the following loyalties to be aware of: The divine, family, self and friends. One principle comes from the definition that friends are treated like family in the case of loyalty.  The other principle is my stated principle which is to be loyal to those who have been loyal to me.

It is this reciprocal understanding of loyalty that is instinctual to me and it is a double-edged sword. First, it is inherent to my being.  My personality type (INFJ) is focused on this idea of standing for each other and reciprocal loyalty, to violate this would be a violation fo who I am in a lot of respects.  It is not impossible to do, but very difficult.  It means that usually, it will be the other person who breaks faith with me before I break faith with them. That I have only broken up with one girl in all my years of dating before I got married, the rest broke up with me. Universally ‘friends’ walk away from me before I have ever walked away from them.

The other edge to the sword is to understand my loyalties are interconnected but loyalty to self is essential to maintain balance. I often maintain loyalties to others at the expense of loyalty to myself and that usually ends in disaster. By making sure it is central and all other loyalties are related to it, I can overcome this, but it takes a lot of thinking to make sure I am being loyal to myself.  It is not as instinctual, so I have to work at it.

In the end, it is not if I will be loyal or show fidelity in a relationship, but why that matters and that is why I ask why I am in each relationship constantly now. It all centers on if that relationship also reflects loyalty to self now.  If it doesn’t then there is something wrong with it that can lead to problems. To fix it, I need to ask how I can change the relationship so the fidelity in it is reciprocal again.  If it can’t be changed, then it is time to acknowledge that it might be that the other person is disloyal and the relationship needs to be abandoned rather than me showing blind loyalty to it.  Time to walk away before I get hurt.

It is treating myself like a human being and being loyal to myself is a new learning process when it comes to loyalty.  In this case, thinking of loyalty in terms of the wolves and ravens helps a lot and gives me the visualization I need most of the time.

Website: Ravenbok – The particular page is: The Values of Asatru

To the Wolves and Ravens:

“Feed the Wolves, but Listen to the Ravens first.”

Needs (Geri):

I never made any progress in understanding fidelity until I learned that seriously considering what I need and want is important.  Learning to feed the wolves is important because if they don’t get fed they go rogue on me.  The morph into a monster that.  In order for my relationship and the fidelity that is in them to bring virtue and strength, what I need has to be equally considered with the other person.  If I don’t consider what I need in that relationship, it will fail in the end because the wolves will become famished and then lash out.

Wants (Freki):

This includes not just need but want.  If I find myself giving up my goals and desires more often than the other person this is going to be a problem in the same way as needs can become a problem.  I would say learning to feed the wolves is the best way to keep them from going wild, from becoming so hungry the consume me and those I love.  This forms the best way for me to understand loyalty to myself.  “Feed the wolves”

Reason (Huginn):

Yes, reason does say to be considerate of the needs and want of others in relationships and the nature of loyalty.  Fidelity, however, is a two-way street and my problem is not showing loyalty but in making sure I receive it in return. That by being loyal I am not losing myself.  Fidelity is about being true to all relationships and that includes the one you have with yourself.

Wisdom (Muninn):

Finding the wisest path that offers loyalty to self while maintaining loyalty that is reciprocal is the challenge these days. Learning that loyalty to myself is important is one thing, living it given it is more natural for me to sacrifice than to embrace my needs and wants is not a natural act. It however essential as I have learned from painful experience. The big challenges remain: 1) What do I mean by loyalty to the divine? and 2) What level of loyalty to myself is required that finds balance with loyalty to others? It is these two questions that keep me writing and meditating.

Conclusion:

I am still learning, but I can’t deny the value of the view of Troth or Fidelity that the followers of Asatru have.  I have been asked by some why I came back to my wife and from her side, it was the end of denying she was part of the problem. From mine, it was meditating on the value of the virtue of loyalty and coming to a painful realization that the problem was not loving my wife enough, but loving myself enough so I could love my wife enough.  Only time will tell if I learn this enough and fast enough to make all my relationships stronger.

Still Walking,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!