They say you can‘t teach an old dog new tricks, but what about humans? I have been a High Priestess and the head of different organizations for years. Now, I’ve reached an age where I know I should be stepping down and allowing others to take the reins. I am trying, really I am.
What’s really sadly amusing about it all is that I never wanted to “lead” anything. The shy, little, introverted girl who endured her peers making fun of her buck teeth and her name just wanted to be part of something…maybe….but not in the forefront of anything, ever.
When I put my foot on the path of Wicca, I did so with a friend. When we talked about having our own group/Coven, I willing said she should be High Priestess and I would be Handmaiden. Well, that didn’t last long. (A story for another time, perhaps.) As a consequence of it, I remained High Priestess of our Temple for over 30 years. Several times, I tried to train a female Initiate to take my place. When it didn’t work, I resigned myself to the fact that obviously the Goddess wasn’t quite ready for me to step out of the center of the Circle. The good news here is that I at least now share that position with another High Priestess. But still…
Then there was Goddess Gathering and Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary. Once again, I pushed others to the front to take charge, preferring to stay in the background, taking care of the finances, etc. That, too, didn’t last long. I was coordinator of all that for some 13 years. Even after I retired, I would get phone calls from members, about situations that were happening, asking if there wasn’t something I could do about it. I would politely as possible explain that it wasn’t my job any more and they really needed to talk to the person now in charge.
I admit to having a dominant personality. After all, I have Mars in Leo in my 7th house of partnerships (which explains being married four times – I’m a little difficult to live with). I also have Jupiter in its own sign of Sagittarius in my 11th house of friends. What can I say? When you couple those with my Taurus Sun…I take charge. I see something that needs done, I make a plan, I enlist help and I get it done – somehow, some way.
And still, all I ever really wanted to do was stay in the background. That, however, was obviously not meant to be. The Goddess, my guides, my Higher Self…any or all of the above…decided I needed t step forward.
Now that I have been doing this in some form or fashion for over 40 years, it’s become an ingrained habit. Remembering to step back, keep my mouth shut, and let others do what I should stop doing is harder than one could believe. Perhaps it’s because I have been doing it for so long that I see what needs to be done and can easily come up with possible solutions (from experience) and therefore voice them. Perhaps because I have been taking charge for so long that when someone else doesn’t do it in a reasonable amount of time, I lose patience and jump in with both feet and start doing.
Whatever the case may be, I certainly mean no offense to anyone. I do feel I cause some offense though. I find others turning to me for answers that they should be getting from other people. I know this bothers those who should be being asked the questions and I have begun to consciously say to those asking me questions, “You really need to ask ______ about that.“
Have I become a lesson for those who are now supposed to be in charge to learn? Don’t hesitate. Step up. Speak up. Do what needs to be done. I hope this is the case. Is it a case, for them, of “If you want to be recognized, you have to make your presence known.”? I don’t know, but it bothers me more than the people who know me would ever believe.
I, of course, have also looked at the possibility that this bad habit of mine is coming from a lack of faith and/or trust in the person who has taken over the duties that once fully belonged to me. Let’s face it, no two people either see things the same way or do things the same way. This was a HUGE lesson for me all the years I was coordinator. If you ask someone to do something, you have to let them do it their own way. When I was coordinator, if there was something that I felt needed to be done in a very specific way, I learned to explain that to the person I asked to do it. I’m not “in charge” anymore, but I still find myself feeling like certain things should be done in a specific way. On one hand, this could be the overly efficient (and lazy) Taurus part of me wondering why anyone would want to waste valuable time and energy doing it another way. On the other hand, I have to look at the possibility that, having done these jobs for so long, I have control issues. I’m not afraid to open myself to any of these possibilities. I would just like to know why it’s so dang difficult to step back!
So here I stand, well, actually, sit…decades of experience from doing things I really never wanted to do, knowing that the time has come to step back and let others learn things that those years taught me. Well-ingrained habits are truly hard to break or, maybe I should say, new ones seem to be harder to learn than I had anticipated. As a dear friend used to say, “As long as you’re breathing, there’s hope.” Well, I’m still breathing quite well and I have a lot of hope that this old “dog” can learn this new trick easily and soon!
May your journey be as interesting and rewarding!