by Dalva Church
All day, every day, we engage in ritual. Ritual is no longer what we think of and recognize as ritual; but it is even more popular and invasive now than it was when we knew that we were doing ritual. Some modern people scoff at magic spells, love potions, rabbits’ feet, astrology readings, etc. They believe that rituals have no meaning.
However, we have a ritual of brushing our teeth because it we believe it will save us from tooth decay and bad breath. We believe tooth decay and bad breath are very, very important things. We have a ritual of putting moisturizer or beauty creams on at night and make-up in the morning, because we believe it will cause someone to love us or keep loving us. Our society tells us that whether we are sexually attractive or not is very important. We take our vitamins or medicine every day because we believe that will save us from death or ill health. And as we all know, according to social dogma, death and ill health are terrible, terrible things that must be fought with every ounce of our energy.
We exercise for the above 2 reasons, as well as the being sexually attractive reason, because once again we all agree that being sexually attractive and good health are very important. We buy the power suit, the briefcase, or the expensive education, because we believe that those things will bring us success. And as we all know, success is very important. We show up and leave work at the same time every day, because we believe this will also make us successful and wealthy. And as society agrees, being wealthy is very important. These are all rituals and they’re all based on a fallacy.
They are all based on the same fallacy that rituals have always been based on: that anything at all external to us can make us
and most of all beloved.
The truth is, ancient rituals began as a way of reminding us that we need to look for those things within us. Rituals were meant to shake up our everyday lives, to remind us that none of this is real. Rituals symbolized externally something that was happening internally. Then, that changed. Instead, people began to believe that rituals had somehow within themselves power. This is false. Rituals can remind us of power, but they cannot create power. Ancient or modern, rituals keep us in thrall to the illusion that anything outside us can help us. Also, to the even bigger illusion we all suffer from—that there actually IS anything outside us.
Instead of doing the same things over and over that you have been doing your whole life, the things that you believe will somehow make you happy and beloved, instead try something new.
Look inside yourself and realize you are already BELOVED. There is nothing that you need to change to be loved. You are love. You are loved. Create a ritual for yourself around that knowledge. Set an alarm on your phone to go off quietly once an hour and remind you to tell yourself that you are loved. Whenever you see someone different from you, look at them and tell yourself that that person is lovable exactly as they are now. Create your own rituals for reminding you of what is important to you.
Are your children important to you? Create a bedtime ritual where you spend quality time listening to them and really seeing them for who they are. Is your spouse important to you? Create a weekly date night where you give them 100% of your attention, and one day a week set aside time to specifically encourage them to pursue their hopes and dreams. Do you have a hobby that you adore? Create a set amount of time every day to spend doing that hobby. You can make time for all of these things by doing something as simple as turning off the television. After all, the television is just another nightly ritual. What ritual will you create today?