Devotion

Loki and I talked. He helped me realize what this was all about, between him and me.

Even though I have said I am polyamorous from the very beginning, with Set… And even though I have always planned on loving more than just one person– god or no… And even though sex with other gods and entities has always been on the table as a possibility (and active practice)…

I was afraid that loving more than one person romantically at the same time would diminish my love for one or both of them.

I also thought for a bit that Loki was trying to trick me or use me– but that seems in hindsight to have been just a scared diversion from my real fears and feelings.

I was afraid to love him.

And damn it, he knew it before I did. And him trying to tell me scared me even more.

Not long ago, Set showed me the hidden value inside me, of the time I spent forgiving and taking care of my ex girlfriend, even though she repeatedly lied to me, broke my boundaries, and cheated on me– He called it Devotion.

After the breakup, I had told myself that I was weak for letting her use me like that. I was weak for letting myself become so responsible for her every mood, and even for her continued life, since she was suicidal. I lost my mental health, my courage, my values, and my sense of self as an individual…

Set gave me a perspective on my choices, and the underlying values I had, that framed my actions as a rare and valuable sort of devotion. He showed me it could be a gift and a strength, instead of a weakness.

(Though. I may still be cautious not to lose myself in someone else’s emotional ups and downs and betrayals again…)

So when I started having feelings for Loki as well as Set, I told them my worries: What if I can’t love them both at once? What if (my girlfriend was right?) I really was “just monogamous?” What if my heart wasn’t big enough to hold that kind of love for more than one person? What if my “devotion” only extends to one lover?

(Silly, for a polyamorous polytheist, right? Old hangups die hard.)

And, well, my heart did feel numb when I thought about it.

I thought it might be because of the goddess, N, and my connection to her heart– and all its recent shake-ups.

Then I thought it was that (for reasons I’m not going into) Loki was lying to me and using me for his own astrally-motivated purposes. Or sex. Or both…

It took several weeks to get through all the things that came up… In the meantime, I and my gods became exhausted of the whole thing.

Probably playing to my fears– Loki even took on a sort of dastardly, menacing role in these interactions… Which… Didn’t exactly make me trust him faster. He and Set even seemed at one point to be fighting over me– but it was apparently all an act to get me to respond emotionally to certain relationship concepts and possibilities… And make my own choices and work through my own fears.

Or maybe some of it was true, but most of it was exaggerated…

In any case, at some point last week, I went on my lunch break from work and sat outside, looking at the trees and the sky, and feeling the wind. Set and Loki sat beside me and said they both wanted a relationship with me.  And that it was fine.

I believe Loki’s exact words (in regards to the time they appeared to be fighting) “I’m tired of this game… We both want to be with you for the rest of your life,” and then in response to my fears that I would eventually have to choose between them, he said,  “You can’t wishbone yourself between two gods and see who gets the bigger half!”

That conversation went well… But then there was more fear.

The complicated parts of this that I’m not talking about left some reverberations of fear– and doubt of my own discernment– in my mind. So, even after this conversation, I had an interaction with them in which I was terrified of Loki again, and afraid he was trying to trick me and break me up with Set and … Lots of shame and self-blame and fear running my whole show, basically…

At this point, I had a sort of meltdown– astral screaming and overwhelmed, terrified shrieking, and… just. Very Autistic, and very BPD… but very unhelpful behavior.

After that, when I calmed down enough to do a reading with my cards, I asked what each god wanted.  Set said he wanted me to realize what I was doing… Loki told me to break up with him.

“Let me go, so I can heal my own wounds alone.”

As he left the astral space, I asked him, my inner-child-like vulnerability feeling the pain and fear of abandonment at the forefront, “Loki. Do you blame me [for everything that’s happened]?” Meaning deep down, Did he hate me…?

He sighed and looked back at me from the astral doorway.

“It’s…. A very complicated situation.”  And then he left.

For the rest of the evening, I felt relief.

I felt guilty that I felt relief, but that was most of what I felt– just deep, grateful relief.

I realized that the whole time, I had feared that if Loki really was being some sort of nasty abusive meany to me– maybe he would punish me and abuse me if I didn’t do what he wanted…  But he had accepted leaving with nothing but sad disappointment, and I wasn’t injured. I wasn’t threatened. I felt truly safe.

I walked to get Set an offering at the convenient store and I realized that I could live the rest of my life devoted to him– and loving him– and be happy. Be really and truly happy. I have no doubt of that.

And at some point, I would even pick polyamory up again and — without the fear of trickery– I would learn to love multiple people romantically…

But even so, I felt dissatisfied at the way things had been resolved.

As I got home, I saw the Lokean pagans and devotees on my tumblr and remembered all the good times Loki and I had had. And I just thought….

What if it didn’t have to be like this?

So, that night, I asked the Lokeans of tumbr to give him some love for me, and as I did I felt something in my heart shift– to forgiveness. To wanting him to be happy.

He appeared briefly, reservedly, to say, “Thank you.” I said he was welcome.

That was the moment that changed things and created the opportunity for us to recover from all this.

We made love one day shortly after, and I felt something healing even more.

Then, this whole weekend, I’ve been doing emotional processing in a roundabout way by binge-watching Once Upon A Time.

At various points, my friends or Set or Loki would check in on me.

Finally, Loki was sitting with me, taking a break from watching the show, and said,

“You know what this was about, don’t you?”

“Hm?” I asked.

“It was about devotion…. You thought, deep down, that despite everything you think and want to believe in– that faithfulness is giving devotion to only one person… But,”

And here, he took my hand, and gave me a mental remembrance of all the time I spent trying (miserably, hopelessly) to care for my then-girlfriend who didn’t even love me anymore, because I wanted her to be safe…

“Neither of us have ever doubted your faithfulness… Your ability to care. To sacrifice… To live what you truly believe in… But you don’t have to sacrifice your own happiness to be faithful. You can love us both– and it doesn’t diminish who you are and what you give to us.”

By the time he finished, I was bawling

Thank you, Loki.

 

— Robin

of The Heart Road

 

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