This is a post that's somewhat different from the others that I've posted so far. For one, it only contains one picture. And for two, it's not focusing on simple things that make me happy, but about a sort of revelation I had when writing my last post. And it's about spirituality, something I've said earlier I would not write about.
Plus.. it's very long. I will probably also receive some nasty comments on this, knowing some of my friends and family.
I was raised in an atheist family that's (however very intelligent) mostly typically Dutch, sceptic, loud and a bit blunt. Even though I'm usually more of a silent, inwards drawn person I love all of them very much. However, due to this environment I've also always been very atheist and sceptic - I respect religion and spirituality but it was never for me. I'm still not able to believe in a God of some kind and I don't want to hatch myself to a specific religion because there would always be something that I would disagree about. I don't want to follow anything I disagree with. If religion works for you, I won't judge you. However, it's just not for me.
I have always been very interested in stories, fairytales, myths and legends and I've been intensely studying them for years. My specialities are ancient Greek/Roman mythology, Celtic mythology and Scandinavian mythology, although I really like classic fairytales as well, out of which I draw much inspiration for my paintings and my everyday life. I also know a lot about the great monotheistic beliefs of today (most about Christianity), and their origins.
One other thing that I've been interested in since I can remember, is nature. I remember wanting to be a marine biologist when I was a little kid - instead of watching Dragonball Z and Cow & Chicken I watched documentaries about sea life and I drew literally thousands of fish and dolphins. I refused to eat fish because I was attached to them and didn't like the taste (and I still don't). The love for nature is something I share with my family as well. My uncle works with and studies birds, my grandpa is an archaeologist and my grandma worked with Natuurmonumenten and Duinbehoud, which are Dutch foundations for the preservation of nature. She taught me names of all the plants and animals in the garden. We often went for long walks or went camping in the woods and we hiked in the mountains.
When typing my last post I realised that I still feel a deep connection to nature, which is something my sceptic mind can't explain. Being in the woods or in a grassy field calms me down and makes me feel utterly free and in harmony with myself, and I always feel impressed when I realise the variety, complexity and beauty of the ecosystems around me. It's not something I would attribute to a god (I'm still a firm believer of Darwin's theory) but nature is an amazing 'machine' - with every detail fitting in and able to adapt to different circumstances, always improving itself along the way. Even the city is a habitat for an enormous amount of grasses and plants between the pavement and so many different birds, small animals and insects who thrive. I feel a bit emotional writing about this!! I also realized that this love for nature already manifests in wearing floral prints all the time! I have a ridiculous amount of floral dresses.
The second part of my 'revelation' is about a friend of mine on facebook. I met him years ago and I don't really have that much contact with him anymore but I do follow his activities with great interest. You could call me a bit of a creeper there! This friend of mine (whom I will not name, but some will probably guess who it is), is a pagan and very much involved in spiritual healings, blessings and he gives workshops and organises spiritual travels with his wife, with whom he had a traditional handfasting ('wedding'). The Pagan religion is all about nature and inner spirituality. My facebook acquaintance recently had a baby girl and he posted some pictures of the baby blessing ceremony he held last Sunday - and they almost looked magical, out there in the fields. I admitted myself being jealous of how truly happy and harmonious they looked. I wish I could've had enough contact with him to have received an invitation because I would have loved to be there.
Now, back to my past..
I strongly associate my depression with discord and being trapped. For a long time, this was literally the case. Due to clashes with some family members I locked myself up in my bedroom and avoided them as much as possible for years. I got bullied and talked about at school so I never really felt at home there either, and there was (in my mind) no way to get out of my situation - feeling trapped, both at school and at home.
Ihis manifested in trying to escape into my drawings, paintings and books. I also had the tendency to desperately fall in love with every boy of around my age who was nice to me.. thus drawing away all of my friends with my obsessive behaviour. I felt extremely lonely and I tried to conceal my violent emotions to others, especially my family. I drew myself back into my dark bedroom and kept my mouth shut about it to my family, even if it meant that I had to lie about things. I am not proud of that. I had the occasional emotional outburst out to my group of (internet) friends, who repeatedly told me I should stop complaining and ranting. So I felt guilty about that. Etc etc. It was a vicious circle that I could not get out of.
When I am outside in a forest or a field surrounded by plants, insects, birds and animals, I realize I feel exactly the opposite from being depressed. Instead of feeling trapped, panicky lonely and small, I feel big and free of guilt and in harmony with myself and the world around me - which is the person I would like to be. I feel home. I am never lonely because there is so much life around me.
Therefore I have decided to dabble a bit into paganism in the near future. I know a bit about paganism but have always shunned the spiritual aspect of it, which is why I've never really delved myself into it, as spirituality is such a huge part of being pagan. I will keep my mind open as much as I can and I want to figure out what works for me and what doesn't. If I can, I will try to follow workshops and spiritual healings in the future and perhaps post about that. I hope you don't mind. :)
I also want to thank my facebook friend for this and I hope he reads it! I feel quite emotional now but also liberated :)