Set, Choices, and Going to France (Or Not)

Spiritual Journal Entry From 4/18/2017:

[ Set has been around since driving home from work, when the radio played “Every Little Thing Is Gonna Be All Right,” and “Cake By the Ocean,” which seemed fitting for the energy between him and me that night.

He told me to make rice and beans for dinner, which I stalled on, writing blog posts, and then forgot about– until he appeared behind me, kissed me on the head, and pointed back toward the kitchen.

So I made the food– and put a side of ranch dressing at his request (He threw it out of the fridge at me…). And, Lord help me, it wasn’t that bad… I’m glad I got some protein an more than one meal, come to think of it. So I guess he was looking out for me.

It also gave me time to sit and have a conversation with him. He was more serious this time… As he ate the food I offered him, he told me to go to France.

I balked.

He said it was a “test of trust”– or something.

I said he couldn’t be serious.

“I mean… if an offer to go to France just magically shows up out of the blue, I’ll go to Fran– I mean I’ll consider it. I’ll seriously consider it. Coming from you, I’d consider it.”

When he looked at me, and said nothing, I got nervous I’d done the wrong thing. So I fluttered anxiously in my head and then asked,

“Wait.  Seriously?! Are you serious? Drop everything and go to France? I don’t have the money! It’s not in the budget! P (my friend) would hate me!”

When all he gave me was more silence, my gut sank and I had to consider maybe he really was serious.

But this was ridiculous! How could I go to France?! The flight alone would cost all of my savings buffer. I’d have to go to the airport, and in France, and just turn around and fly back!

“Well…” Here, I gave up inside. “Maybe there would… be something worth it… Some synchronistic sign or something….”

My heart sank, because no, I didn’t think it would be worth it… And this was starting to feel like previous wanderings I’d done, alone through the city, looking for signs that turned out self-shaming and disappointing…

Then, to myself, for just a moment and not fully-formed in words, I thought:

“Well… Even if it’s a waste of time and money and makes me feel bad, it’s not like I could hate myself any worse… It’s no more than I deserve… And maybe he’ll approve of me if I do it.”

Here, he stopped me.

Set: ” I want you to repeat back to me your entire thought process when I told you to go to France.”

Me: “…What?”

He pointed to the drawing above my altar that said, “Crystal Clear Thought, Focused Intentions.”

When I was silent and still feeling down and confused for a moment, he indicated what I had just thought– all the shame and self-loathing that had gone into my almost-decision to go to France and be miserable about it.

Me (feeling hurt): “But… I thought you wanted me to trust you. I wanted to trust you…”

Set: “Then do things because you trust me. Not out of self-loathing. I’ve seen this pattern in your head too many times– doubting and second-guessing yourself. Trust and self-destruction are not the same thing, kid.”

He placed a finger under my chin, and only then did I realize that I had my head down in shame.  He lifted my eyes to look at him, in whatever god-space he inhabits…

Set: “Do things because you want to and because it aligns with your goals. Go to France because (IF) you want to. Not because some loser tells you to.”

After sitting there and feeling really, really TOLD, I sighed and said, “Thanks, Set.”

“I love you, kid,” he said. ]


Spiritual Journal Entry From 4/19/2017:

[Me: “I still feel hurt about yesterday.”

Set is there, listening. I feel his presence laying behind me, in bed.

Me: (sorting through the emotions) “I feel… sort of betrayed, I guess? And less trusting. Because I have wounds in that area of trust , and … having been gaslit before… I know what you did was not the same thing. But I feel raw and bruised about it. I just thought you would be sincere with me.”

Set: (not unkindly) “I have a responsibility to help you more than I have a responsibility to be your friend, kid.”

His voice was not angry at all– but patient, compassionate, and even somber…

I thought about it some more, sifting through my feelings.

I understood why he did it and what he was trying to teach me, but I still felt hurt about the way he did it… Devo, of The Twisted Rope, had said in a post about Set that we may not always like his methods of helping…

Then my mind went back to what medium Pamela Aaralyn channeled about Lucifer, playing a role for souls of… “punisher,” or something, to help a soul work through the cathartic release of grief and shame, and find self-forgiveness… but that he doesn’t like seeing people suffer… And I wondered if Set had a similar job…

Me: “Set… Would you be sad if we weren’t friends anymore?”

His reply was quiet and sincere.

Set: “Yes. … But I would respect your choices. Forgiveness is always your choice.”

From this, without words, I sense that if that was what I decided, he would remain in the background, helping me, even if we weren’t talking or being friends. So… This was something that was completely up to me. Like my own stuff to sift through, and it didn’t mean he didn’t care about me.

I knew that, ultimately, I wouldn’t be harmed by this instance. I would be okay.  But I feared being toyed with in the future– being told to do something, and then laughed at and abandoned when it went colossally badly and I failed…

If I trusted him in the future, would I be giving up my ability to choose for myself?

But then, he said, “Then trust me– but don’t choose to do what I say out of self-loathing!”

So I reviewed the conversation we had had the previous night: What exactly had hurt so much?  It was feeling tested, feeling tricked– like it was a no-win situation… Why was it a no-win situation?

And then it hit me: The only thing that was ever at stake was his approval of me.

I would never have gone to France, or if I had somehow forced myself to do so (highly unlikely, given that I was not enthused), he would have said something, or I would have realized how foolish I was being and had a mental breakdown that confronted me with all my motivations for poor decision-making…

In the end, the stakes were not actually that high, and mostly fabricated by my insecurity and desire for his approval.

And that’s what he was trying to show me.

My power of choice, my safety, I had feared losing by trusting him is with me– no matter what he does or says, or any “test” or ultimatum he (or anyone) throws at me. In fact, it’s not about him at all.

It is entirely dependent on me, and my ability to make choices that I can live with.

Even if I was sad that he stopped interacting with me, or “being my friend,” (I don’t think he would stop loving me and wanting what’s best for me) I am the only one I have to be with in my life.

I am in control of the choices I make that create my life and who I am– and that is more important than anyone else’s approval of me or presence in my life. ]


I transcribe this tonight, months later, sitting in a coffee shop, after work.

I notice that Set’s and my relationship has changed and developed since this entry. I honestly think these moments of doubt, early on– and there were several– and working through them with honesty, helped to build trust and intimacy between us.

I also notice that I do a lot less wandering, looking for clues of what some god or outside entity “wants” me to do…. but that I still have parts of me that fear losing approval.

Sometimes learning is a continued practice.

I remind myself to continue on.



of The Heart Road.

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