I don’t understand rituals. I don’t get the need for them or the pleasure received from them. Somehow I feel cheated. Maybe a better word would be puzzled. Does that make me non-spiritual if I don’t feel the spiritual ritual? Does that make me non-patriotic if I don’t feel the patriotic ceremony?
Why don’t I feel the need or not recognize the need for an outward expression of an inward conclusion? Is it that I have cut my living, my life, so close to the emotional bone that I am unable to experience the centering that is anticipated with the repetition of ritual?
I can see the peace and settling that comes to those who use ritual. They see it for the symbol that it is and feel its power. It is evident that it gives them strength. Yet I don’t feel a connection with rituals.
Could it be that I do have rituals and ceremony in my life I just don’t recognize them as such because they are mine? Is such a simple thing as always putting your left sock on first, a ritual? Does it bring steadiness, peace to you? Maybe it does, maybe it gives you a feeling of control over your day. If that is the case then the use of ritual to stabilize our lives is not only the big gesture but the small and everyday gesture. The always wearing Mom’s ring on your pointing finger and the making sure you give three good-bye kisses not two or four are rituals as important as saying “I do” at the end of a wedding ceremony.
Are these then our unconscious rituals that we use incessantly to keep us centered and connected? If that is so, then I do have rituals that guide me, they are my personal, comfortable, unconscious ones.
Does this mean that conscious rituals are a learned behavior and by repetition of the act and the conviction the power of the ritual is felt? Is that the secret of the ritual?
Diana, for the Poplar Grove Muse