In one of the pieces in MFK Fisher's book As They Were, she mentions a lodestar.
Anything can be a lodestar in a person’s life...
It is fortunate to recognize lodestars as such. They light our paths, and shape us mysteriously, and in the process can teach true humility.
A lodestar is a guiding light, like the North Star. Something that directs you were to go, shaping your path. I got to thinking.
I don't think I have a lodestar. As a Mormon, I might have read lodestar as "Holy Ghost" or "Book of Mormon," but now. Do I have a lodestar? Do I have a guiding influence? For me, one of the most frustrating -- and scary -- parts of leaving the church was the feeling of Holy-Shit-What-Do-I-Believe-What-Controls-My-Life-Now!???!
I panicked after reading the lodestar. I've been feeling a little lost and chaotic after the excitement of moving here as become a little more day to day. I have to slow down and remind myself that I don't have to have everything figured out. Especially right now. If I can't quite figure out exactly how much food it take to feed only two people, I'm not the biggest domestic failure there ever was. If I have no idea how to get anywhere on this island other than the grocery store and the medical school, I'm not a lost moron with no sense of direction. I'm new to the island! If I try to drive B's jeep with the broken emergency brake and touchy clutch and...run it into a tree without even leaving the parking lot and a big, fat man laughs at me and shouts to B: "Better start praying!" I'm not a dumb girl who can't even figure out how to drive. I panicked! If the other spouse's don't "click" with me right away, it's not because I'm a social retard who can't figure out how to make friends. I just need to relax and smile and keep trying to make friends.
I think the biggest reason behind my panic at not having that Lodestar in my life is I was taught (however explicitly or in-explicitly) to distrust my own thoughts. I was taught the ultimate Lodestar was in control and I, as a human, had no fucking clue what was going on. I was weak, I needed guidance, I couldn't trust my own thoughts without the approval of those in authority. I lived for that approval. In some ways, I still do. And it kills me. I long for approval, but at the same time, loathe it because of what it represents: I still don't trust my own instincts. How could they possibly be right?
While writing this, I came to a sort of mini-realization: Fuck this. I'll be my own Lodestar. My own guiding light. I'm calling the shots here. I don't have everything figured out, but don't panic. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.
Everything is going to be okay. De-programming and learning to trust yourself takes time. I sometimes feel like I'm not "recovering" as quickly as I should. The Church wasn't even that important to me until suddenly I had to evaluate it and then I realize how much it really did shape my thinking and EVERY SINGLE PART OF ME.
I hate it. It's been almost two years and I still fucking hate it.
Stop mindfucking me. Please.
Just leave me alone.
Let me be.
Let me be me.
Let me be my own Lodestar.