I’m not a religious person. I used to consider myself spiritual, during my younger, more pretentious days, but when you get right down to it, I don’t know that I have much in the way of a belief system. I believe in Karma, as far as balance goes, and I consider myself to be superstitious, but only because I have the kind of luck that seems to indicate that the Universe likes having fun at my expense. So I will actively knock on wood after I express a hope or a goal. As Swearingen said on Deadwood, “The best way to hear God laugh is to state your intentions.” That being said, I don’t know if I believe in God or if it’s simply a knee-jerk reaction ingrained by years of Catholic school and a devout grandmother.
To counter that, the people closest to me, namely Amy and Bill, are practicing Wiccans. They believe in little rituals that seem to work out well for them. I understand energy and, to an extent, quantum mechanics. I know that “mind over matter” is a truth because of the way energy can be acted upon by other energy. Your mind and will can affect an outcome because it’s a tug-of-war between different waves of energy. In short, “it’s all about your attitude”. It’s not a cure-all, but a positive outlook can affect the world around you in a positive way, if only emotionally.
With all that in mind, Amy helped me conduct a cleansing ritual on Tuesday night. Since it was the night of the New Moon, she told me, it was the perfect time to rid myself of some negativity that has been plaguing me, and us, for the last few months.
I’ve mentioned here that 2005 saw a potentially wonderful business deal go South for us due to the arrogant greed and dishonesty of some folks we were involved with. I won’t go into detail; it’s not worth it and it would go counter to all of our efforts on Tuesday. Suffice to say, money was owed to me for my services and I’d spent a great deal of time negotiating, cajoling, threatening and begging in order to get it. This is nothing new. I’m often owed money and I was very worried that this situation would rival the disaster that Femme Fatale turned out to be just before it was sold to the current owning entity (i.e. that I would never see what was owed to me).
But, to my surprise, my debtors turned out to be men of their words, at least as far as the money was concerned, and my final check arrived. This meant a great deal to us as we could now afford to pay some bills and upgrade our equipment—putting what I was considering “blood money” to positive use.
I made a photocopy of the check and deposited it. When Amy got home, we gathered up all the email received from these gentlemen, all the documents and drafts of scripts, ad copy—anything we could find—and, as the sun went down, we burned it all. With each handful of paper shoved into the fire, we said goodbye to empty promises, to ill feelings, to broken promises and false friendships, and to out-and-out lies told to our faces. We said goodbye to the arrogance we exhibited when backed into a corner; to the wasted time; to the wasted energy; to the anger and bitterness and jealousy and slander and wrongs both committed and inferred. And contempt. And resentment. We burned it all away. It was supposed to make me feel better.
I didn’t though. Not right away. The next morning, though, I felt more positive than I had in a long while. I no longer felt the urge to gripe about the situation or the people involved, or to flap my arms in frustration and rage.
It was over.
The money cleared, plans were made to edge our own projects forward again. I sent emails out to thank them for their prompt efforts and received a short “You’re Welcome” in return.
And now it’s all behind us. Neither party has to deal with the other ever again.
I’ll catch myself going over the events and working myself up again. So there’s still some resentment left in the Pandora’s Box of my psyche, but that’s just wounded ego. It’ll heal over provided I move forward. Of course, I never stopped moving forward, but now I can take bigger strides.
There’s still ill-will on both sides—how could there not be? But now it’s not the main focus of my energies.
So was it the spirituality of the cleansing, or was it the simple, consumer’s approach that the money cleared? Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. I’m free. They’re free of me. All is well again. I’m no more or less paranoid than I was before the problems, and the people who know me in the industry still trust and respect me. I didn’t lose—if anything, I came out ahead.
Whatever it was, I can’t deny that I, like all other humans, need certain rituals. Call it what you want: closure, magick, therapy, placebo, whatever. Even blogs are ritualistic, albeit public. All I know is, I feel better with this behind me and a clean slate in front of me. And ultimately, what difference does it make where this feeling of freedom came from. If it was God’s doing, I’m grateful. If it was Karma, then the balancing act works. Whatever.
I’m free again.