Thursday, December 29, 2016

Ah! The Watery Retrograde!

As the old Julian year comes to a close and breathes its final, dying breaths over the next 3 days, I thought I would post just one more time.  This time of year always seems to take it out of people.  It always seems that we are harder on ourselves than we should be.  This is, I think, even more pronounced this holiday season with Mercury being retrograde in Pisces.

Do I blame everything on Mercury when it's retrograde?  No.  However, I do blame certain uncharacteristic things (i.e outbursts, tantrums, and even apologies can go into this category) on Mercurial influence because that's what our fleet-footed friend governs.  I also apply this to specific people and situations, not just a blanket 'Oh! Mercury is being a scamp again!'

This retrograde, I'm noticing a lot more fear and anger than I normally see and it is in people who don't normally exhibit such exaggerated shadow emotions.  It seems that the deep swimming fishes have taken Mercury into the darkest recesses of our hearts and minds and have invited him rummage around.  What he brought back to the surface has not been pretty, for the most part.

That said, what he has brought into the light has been necessary.  Oh, you're soul tired?  Oh, you're worried that people are mad at you?  Oh, your life train has jumped the track and wrecked?  Oh, you're lonely? Scared? Unhappy? Lost?  Good!! Good?  What. The. Actual. Fuck. Muse.  Yes, these things are good. These things are good, if for no other reason, because you are acknowledging them.  You recognize that the status quo in your life isn't fulfilling you.  Your soul knows that what you are doing now isn't all you can or are supposed to be doing.

This is the beautiful thing about our retrograde times.  The things that we struggle with (or ignore!!) can't be ignored during these times of retrograde, so we have to face them.  We have to, at least, look at them for what they are and for how they effect us.  They are burdens that we may or may not even know that we carry.  Sometimes, our burdens are so great that we can not sort through them all.

What about our friends who seem to sail right through these retrogrades? (Don't you look at them and want to choke them out? HA!!)  Well, a few things just might be going on.  I have friends who are currently sailing through this one.  The theme for them seems to be two-fold.  First, when something comes up they step back (maybe not immediately) and look at it objectively.  Those I know who don't have much difficulty with retrogrades have, for the most part, unpacked all of their baggage and recognize it for what it is, even if they haven't actively worked through it.  Secondly, they recognize it as their own.  This one is important. They recognize that if people are pissing them off, then they need to look at the reason why.  The other side of that, though, is that if they piss people off constantly during retrograde (i.e people ask for advice or insight and get mad or they call people out on their out of character behavior), well, they own it.  They accept that their message wasn't wanted or needed, or that the person just wasn't in a space to accept it.  Most importantly, they do this without judgement. It's a 'well, they will either figure it out or they won't' mentality.

One other thing of note that I need to add here about our friends who seem to sail through these retrogrades is this: They may not actually be sailing through, but casting the illusion of doing so.  It is easy, especially on social media, to simply post memes during times personal upheaval and not actually post any thoughts, or to simply go ghost.

So, where am I going with all of this?  I don't know.  This is turning into a completely different blog than I intended.  I suppose here we should go back to the magical axiom that is written at Delphi, "Know Thyself."

For those I know who practice that particular axiom regularly, they have examined their own lives and personalities, their own actions, words, and reactions.  They acknowledge their short comings and their own failings and, importantly, don't dwell on on them as such, but work toward making those weaknesses into strengths.

Life is very much a struggle in every aspect of it.  Ones ability to make it bearable depends on perspective.  Do you look at life as a series of obstacles, shortcomings, or failings, or do you look at life as a series of lessons for your soul?  Do you constantly berate yourself for not being or doing more than *insert circumstance here*?  Do you constantly look at your circumstance and berate yourself because it is less than you expected at *insert age, location, etc*?  Why?  Why set yourself up to suffer?

Know Thyself.  Are you at a place where you can change your circumstance?  If not, work toward that place.  Don't think of setbacks as insurmountable obstacles.  They may just be little forks in the road to get you on the right track.  They might just be tiny little, personal retrogrades that hope you will pause and examine them.

We look at retrogrades as bad things, but they don't have to be.  As this year comes to a close, my hope for you is that the struggles become easier to overcome and the shadows begin to fade.  My hope for you is that you find a light in your personal darkness that guides you over the rocky terrain of life and into brighter, smoother roads.  May the sun be ever in front of you and the shadows cast behind you.

Brightest Blessings, Friends! Happy New Year!!

(Also, for those reading this who are more well versed in astrology than I am, please, feel free to add your wisdom.  I know just enough on the topic to know that I don't know. I tend to observe people during astrological events and glean information based on common actions/reactions during that time.)

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Wishing You a Blessed Season

It appears that 2016 was not a year of writing for this blogger.  It was a year of many things, mostly transitions, but it was not a year of writing.  For that, I must apologize.  I must apologize because there was a time (2015!) when I was much more prolific than I have been this year.  I suspect that 2017 will be different, but as yet, I don't know how.  So, if you care to read on, here are some (mostly) non-pagan musings on 2016 and the transition it offered.

So many I know had a tremendously difficult 2016.  Karmically speaking, time seems to have run out on them.  What does that mean?  Am I being a judgmental bitch again?  No, I'm not.  I'm being observant.  2016 was a supremely karmic year for a whole lot of people.  Suddenly, the excuses weren't cutting it any more.  Suddenly, the rug was snatched out from under people.  They lost (read: the Universe cut away) all of their reasons for not moving forward. They lost all of the dead weight in their lives.  I watched many of the people I care about the most lose nearly everything that mattered to them and some were left with nothing, not even their dignity.

It was a tremendously painful year for me to sit and watch so many seemingly bad things happen to so many people I care about.  I offered comfort to those whom I could.  Others would have lashed out or held on hoping I could fix it for them, so I simply sat back and mourned their losses with them. There was a third group, though, who I watched flail helplessly as 2016 dragged them under.  This third group pained my heart the most.  This third group was hit the hardest.  This third group was hit the most unaware.  It was this final group of people who simply refused to believe that their lot for this year could be tied into their actions.  They refused to believe that their actions and attitudes could have possibly created their circumstances.  They raged and railed.  They swam against the karmic current.  They refused to believe that by their own actions this year could be what they reaped.

My own year was much less traumatic.  My own transitions were moderately smooth, for the most part.  I set my intentions in December and began working toward them.  Some of the transitions, I didn't want to make, but I knew I had to.  Some of the transitions, I bounced happily through.  Other transitions, well, other transitions I'm still looking at the sky and shaking my head.  Interestingly, my biggest transitions have happened since June, when I moved (that being one of them).

Clarise and I moved into a small basement apartment in June.  We were quite happy to spend our evenings eating cheese and crackers and fresh produce while we read or watched television.  It took 3 weeks for all of that to change.  The gods laughed and laughed at me as they sent me an old friend. He helped me transition from living with someone to living alone.  He taught me the art of being alone without being lonely.  He reminded me that there are other people like me out there in the world.  Clarise fell head over all eight tits in love (and she, basically, hates everyone).  He was in transition, too.  We transitioned, together.

We spent a lot of time together, getting to know each other even better.  Now, in less than six months, we are married.  That's one transition that I did not see coming!! (Neither did he!)  Most importantly, we are happy.  Our ways of being are very complimentary of each other.  We think of each other first.  We both wonder what the hell happened, but refuse to question it!

So, as this year wanes, there is more transition.  However, it is good transition.  Remember, if you spent most of 2016 flailing and going from one traumatic thing to the next, then maybe some of your karmic debt has been paid and you are on the road to better than you could have begun to imagine!  Don't wallow in the bad.  Sometimes those things simply have to happen to get us on the path to where we need to be, to be happy.

Have a blessed Yuletide season, Friends.  I will be back in 2017 with more musings and more adventures.

May you always have a candle to light your way in the darkness.  Blessed Be.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Soft Pantheism and Hard Pantheism: What's the Difference? Does it Matter?

We often hear the phrase, “All gods are one god,” but what does that really mean?  Is it an acknowledgment of monotheism? Is it truly how we see our gods? What does that mean?  This is, in essence, soft pantheism.  It is the belief that the deific energies of our universe manifest themselves in the way we, as individual human beings, can best interpret them. Hard pantheism is, by its very nature, the opposite.  All gods live and exist in their own right. Does the difference really matter?  I tend to say probably not, in the grand scheme, but in my own practice, I do make the distinction.

For many of the soft pantheists I have known, any god form from any pantheon can be interchanged with a ‘corresponding’ god form.  I have heard soft pantheists (and I love this example!!) do their best to equate Isis with Hekate.  Is it doable?  With some stretching and pulling, yes.  With this same stretching and pulling, I have heard these same people try to convince other that Hekate came into being as a deity because the worship of Isis spread north from Egypt.  Is it possible?  Sure, but pigs could also fly out of my butt.  Sarcasm aside, archeology has made the tenuous suggestion that they may have occurred, based on a small amount of evidence.  As a reasonable and rational person, I do not ignore evidence, however, as a hard pantheist, I believe that Isis is Isis and Hekate is Hekate.  (I don’t even like the Latin spelling of Hekate, despite the fact that it literally makes zero difference in anything but the aesthetics of the name on paper.)  One may have evolved from the other, but just as Athena sprouted from the head of Zeus, once there was a separation they ended up taking on independent lives, therefore are not the same.

As a hard pantheist, I believe that all paths lead to god, but which god is up to the one walking the path.  I see the gods, all 5,000 plus worshiped on this planet today, as individuals.  Some may be similar in our understanding of them, but they are all different entities.  For several reasons, I am a hard pantheist.  First, I believe that no finite thing can fully comprehend the infinite.  The concept of ‘god’ is an infinite being or source.  The mind is a finite thing.  Therefore, we as finite beings can not even begin to fathom the infinite.  We can only fathom other finite things, which is why it is easy to rationalize ‘one god, many faces.’

However, we live in a reality where everything is also energy.  If that is the case, our thoughts are also energy and therefore real.  So, as each god came into the collective consciousness as a thought, how did they become real?  Well, how do we manifest a thought? Action.  Our actions: prayers, ritual, hymns, and all manner of worship brought them into being.  It sustained them and gave them form.  Our myths and tales gave them form, personality, and history.  Our cultures bred them in all of their forms.

I am a hard pantheist because I do not want to cheapen or water down my own worship or the worship of those around me by assuming or claiming specific gods are equivalent or the same.  Your Sun god, while similar to mine, isn’t the same.  Your War god, while having many of the same representations as mine, isn’t the same.  When we, as pagans, generalize our worship to a concept instead of a specific deity it can scatter the energy of our worship between the vast numbers of gods that the concept represents. (That said, there are times when this practice is absolutely appropriate, make no mistake.)  Scattered energy tends to have little focus so it doesn’t have much sustenance, much in the same way that building a weak or scattered cone of power in ritual just doesn’t pack the same punch as a focused one.

I am a hard pantheist, mostly, because my gods demand it.  There was a time when I was, absolutely, a soft pantheist, but my gods do not like it when I scatter my energies.  They do not like sharing the offerings I give to them with other gods of similar concepts.  They do not like sharing me.  I have many gods with whom I share myself, not just Hekate and Mars.  They come to me as they will, not as concepts but as individuals.

Praise be to the gods!  Blessings upon those who sustain them!

Brightest blessings, Friends.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Being Different: Acceptance and Embracing Our Different-ness

Today I sat a talked with a co-worker who has been having a difficult time.  She has two pre-teen girls and, honestly, a life full of chaos.  This has transferred into and negatively affected her work life over the past year.  So, she is suffering disciplinary action and she doesn't understand why.  In her heart, she believes that she is being picked on.  In reality, she isn't following the rules that everyone else has to follow, so she's being disciplined.

She and I talked today.  Simply put, she believes that, in being an integral part of our team at work, that we are all equal.  In a perfect world, she would be right.  However, we do not live in a perfect world and we do not work in a perfect world.  We work in the medical field.  We work in a place of structure, hierarchy, and often times, silly rules that make sense to no one.

Our former supervisor was a champion at making everyone feel equal... At least on the surface.  Our new supervisor is also very good at this (in a genuine and compassionate way).  However, my co-worker chooses not to see this because she isn't being afforded the same 'protections' that our former supervisor gave her.  My co-worker is being treated just like any of us and she doesn't understand why.

So, I sat down with my co-worker today and we had a chat about how we are different from our nursing co-workers.  I learned many years ago that, no matter what field you are in when you are 'low man on the totem pole', you are held to a different standard than those 'above' you.  She did not understand why, as a secretary, she is required to stay her full eight hours, even if there is nothing to do when the nurses can finish with their daily work and go home.

She didn't understand that in our positions, it is perceived that there is always something to do.  Today, we were completely finished with our work by a little over an hour before she had to leave.  She didn't understand that it is her job to sit and answer the phones until it is time for her to leave.  Her rationale was that she could roll the phones over to our call center.  That is a perfectly good rationale, but it still means that she isn't doing her job, and she doesn't understand that.

Many times over the last year, she has left early because she 'didn't have anything to do' and there were charts to be filed and new patient appointments to be made, on top of any phone calls that came through, typically from patients.  She left early because those things could wait, instead of doing them and getting them out of the way.

As people, we look at each other and we hold each other to standards that may or may not apply.  We do this in our relationships.  We do this at work.  We do this in the groups that we work with.  We often see people in regards to how we want them to be, not how they actually are.  As pagans, specifically those of the Wiccan path, this thinking and behavior, directly applies to the phrase "Perfect love and perfect trust."

We are all different, but at any point in the day, we can almost all guarantee that we are going to be working in a group of some kind, either face to face or via phone, Skype, or social media.  We can apply perfect love and trust to every situation and person in our life when we love that person for who they are and trust that they will act within their very nature.  Your nature may be different from mine.  I may be content to twiddle my thumbs for the last hour of my work day when everything is complete whereas, you may not be as content.  I may do my best to be all things to all people in my day whereas, you may need to focus on one task at a time.  Neither are inherently bad, yet if I expect you to do seven things at once when you are only capable of one thing at a time, then I am going to be irritated and disappointed.  I am not trusting your inherent nature.

It takes a lot of personal reflection to recognize that our different-ness isn't bad.  It takes even more reflection to recognize our inherent nature and the difference in the nature of another.  We can not compare ourselves with another and then wonder why they get more or we get less.  When working in a field with clear hierarchal boundaries, it is even more important to accept that one's status outside of work has no bearing on one's status while working.  Even more importantly, embracing that status (within reason and not allowing one's self to be abused) leads to a greater understanding of one's self and one's role within the bigger picture.

Being different isn't bad.  I like being different.  I don't want to be 'more' or different than I am by my very nature.  I see my Self and where it needs to change and improve.  I see myself in others and recognize their nature as being different from mine.  I do my best to work with it, not against it, even when I really want to stomp my foot and scream.  So, when you find yourself in a situation where you are being treated differently, or being accused of treating another differently, step back and examine that different-ness.  Are you acting according to your nature or are you reacting according to their nature?

Brightest Blessings, Friends!!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Left-Handed Path? Right-Handed Path? Walking the Middle Road.

For many months now, I have entertained the idea of writing a blog on this topic.  There seems to be an upsurge in the number of people who walk the Left-Handed Path (well, say they do, anyway) or are, at the very least, interested in it.  According to Wikipedia (because we know how trusted it is) the Left-Handed and Right-Handed paths are defined as:

In Western esotericism the terms Left-Hand Path and Right-Hand Path refer to a dichotomy between two opposing approaches to magic. This terminology is used in various groups involved in the occult and ceremonial magic. In some definitions, the Left-Hand Path is equated with malicious black magic and the Right-Hand Path with benevolent white magic. Other occultists have criticised this definition, believing that the Left-Right dichotomy refers merely to different kinds of working, and does not necessarily connote good or bad magical actions.

So, even Occultists can't decide the exact definitions of these paths.  I see these paths in slightly simpler terms than 'black' or 'white' magic.  My own views are as follows:   LHP leans toward a more destructive nature while RHP leans toward a more creative nature.  Either way, there is a cost to these paths.

Another thing with LHP practices that I have witnessed is an enthusiastic need to take any personal slight and immediately retaliate from one's deepest pit of anger.  There is a viciousness that the other person must pay more than for the cost of their actions.  Honestly, that is not something that I understand.  I've watched people who walk a destructive path for years (both muggle and magical) and most of them do not see the cost of their actions.  One person in particular tragically lost his mother and his home, along with everything he owned.  Within 6 hours, he lost his mother and his entire life (including the inventory of his entire business).  Think about that for a moment.  A karmic debt was created that took his mother and every earthly possession in a single day.  That's a huge debt to pay.  Those things said all magic has its price, whether it is creative or destructive.  As the practitioner, we have to decide if we are willing to pay that price and we have to decide if we are willing to let the gods decide what the price is.

So, if LHP is the destructive path and it leads to more destruction, what about the RHP?  Surely the consequences for the creative path aren't more creation?  No.  Unfortunately, the consequences for the RHP are also destructive, at least in a way.  But, why?  It's the circle of life, the wheel of the year.  If something is created, something must be destroyed or killed so the new thing can take its place.  Imagine if nothing ever died or withered.  The world would be jam packed with creation.  The ocean would be packed with life.  Both places would be crowded to the point of everything and everyone wishing for death.  That. Would. Be. Bad.

If too much negativity and too much positivity are too much, what is just enough?  Maybe more importantly, how do we know?  Do we know?  I don't think we can know for sure since we all have our own paths to walk.  In my mind, that is the essence of the middle road path.  Sometimes, I have to knowingly and willingly be the destroyer.  (I eat meat that isn't always organic.  Do you know what factory farming does?  It's not nice.  I expect to have to pay that price one day.)  Sometimes I get to be the creatrix and I get to grow my own food.  I get to be kinder to the things living around me and I get to eat the free range organic insert-animal-here.  This is a practical example of Middle Road thinking.

Rarely do I go out of my way to 'make someone pay'.  Honestly, I have to care more than I usually do.  Have I gone out of my way to 'make someone pay'?  You're damn skippy I have!  Oh, you want to threaten to rape me?  If you'll threaten to rape me, then I'm certain you'll go after another woman who is much more accessible than I am.  Sorry, you piece of shit, but you don't get to ever use your dick again... except, maybe, to pee.  Yes, I've magically castrated a man before.  More importantly, I'd do it again.  How do I know it worked?  I paid the price.  Gladly.

In this particular instance, I didn't worry about the price of the magic.  And, there's always a price, remember?  I looked ahead and decided that no woman should have to worry about this particular man again and his need to control women. I also made sure that the only way he would be able to get an erection was through the use of shots. Directly into his penis.  Turns out, needles always made him nauseous. (Gentlemen, are you holding yourselves and whimpering yet?) This is a very personal example of stepping onto the LHP, recognizing and accepting that I am taking the free will of another away, and doing it anyway, regardless of the price.

So, I've written about the price of magic above a couple of times, but I haven't really defined it.  While I don't know that there is a standard definition of the price of magic, for me, the price of magic is defined as 'the price one must pay to bring the universe back into balance after manifestation of the will.'  In practical terms, what does this mean?  Well, it really depends on what the gods or the universe need it to mean.  For some people, it means losing their good looks or reputation.  For others, it means no longer being trustworthy (even if they are, at their core, a trustworthy person).  Occasionally, it means losing a very personal thing or special person.  The price is different for everyone and, sometimes, the price a person has to pay is so great that even years later, the magical act has been forgotten, and the person is still paying the price.

The price of magic is not something we, as practitioners, can bargain.  As such, we have to weigh the decision to use our magic wisely and accept the consequences thereof.  Whether we are manifesting something for the greater good or something quite selfish, it doesn't matter.  There will always be a price and there will always be a price attached to how we manifest these things.

For those who label themselves as walking a Left-handed path, are you walking a path that is more destructive than creative or are you bullshitting yourself into believing that you don't have to pay the same price for your magic that others do?  For those who label themselves as walking a Right-handed path, do you walk a more constructive path that utilizes the cycle of life, death, and rebirth or do you bullshit yourself into believing that because you are doing only good that no bad can come out of it? Do you walk the middle road with the understanding that both the light and the darkness are needed to be whole?

Of course, none of this may actually mean anything to anyone.  I may be full of shit.  I mean, no matter how much good or bad we do while we are here, we all end up worm food, right?

Blessings, Friends!!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Building Up and Tearing Down: Finding Our Part in Daily Creation and Destruction

This new year has been a tough one for the Muse.  It has been fraught with changes and with people being people.  It has found me fighting to keep a positive attitude, specifically in the work place.  This fight has not been because where I work is bad, hostile, or otherwise not productive, but because with the changes we have had, others attitudes have changed.

My work place used to be like a well-oiled machine.  We all knew our jobs and we did them.  Sure, there were a couple of people who just had to stick their spoon in the pot and stir, but everyone knew who they were and no one paid them any attention.  Now, we have new people in management, multiple new employees, and people who have rolled over from part time to full time.  With the 'help' of some outside influences (I suspect), this particular combination has created a great deal of chaos and many are feeling the stress.  Because of this stress, people are shorter tempered (obviously), and those who would tear people down are taking advantage.

Just this week, I have been the subject of (at least) one person complaining about my work and my work ethic.  If I were a lesser person, I'd be very upset about this.  I'm not.  This particular person is 'low man' on the professional totem pole, with only my position and our secretaries 'below' them (we aren't below said person, nor is this person anyone's supervisor).  This particular person is also a control freak.  So, said person always has something to say about the people 'under' her and how they are 'lazy' and 'don't do anything'.

Then, our other resident control freak and pot stirrer likes to make a big deal out of the smallest thing.  Someone acted unprofessional, well, they must be racist.  No, they were frustrated and *gasp* human.  They had to blow a little bit of steam off and did it at the wrong time.  You, dearest pot stirrer, are looking for a reason to be offended.  You always do.  It's what you live for.

So, I got to thinking about all of this.  People have, over the past 3 months decided that it was okay to start tearing people down.  Now, if I had fucks to give about these people, I might be able to see where they are coming from, but I don't.  They aren't being helpful.  They aren't being constructive and, quite frankly, if they have time to observe and comment on the work and behaviors of others, then they don't have enough to do. I, on the other hand, have more than I can possibly accomplish in a day, so I don't have time to debate the job quality someone is or isn't doing.  And, frankly, I don't care.  I don't have the energy to give a shit if someone is doing their job right because I am, very likely, putting out fires that affect our unit due to screw ups in other departments.

This chain of events really started the hamster in my brain running.  I'm one person.  I'm one nobody of a person in my workplace.  What can I do when I hear people tearing each other down instead of helping?  What can I do?  I can build them up.  How?  Well, aside from positive affirmations and physically helping them if they are struggling, I have decided to invest in some cards, just generic 'be happy' kind of cards.

I figure that I can give them to both the person tearing down people and those who are being torn.  Will anyone do this for me? HA!! But, I don't expect them to, either.  I thought about taking sage oil and just sprinkling that shit everywhere and clearing the whole unit. (How fucking funny would that be?!?!)  Then, I decided that I didn't want to watch people lose their shit when they came upon the oil and it knocked the fuck out of their aura.  So, cards.  I'm going to put things like, "I see you are having a tough time. Hope this makes you smile" and "Yesterday looked like a struggle.  I hope today is better and if it isn't, I will find you some chocolate".

What I want to do is be passive-aggressive, though.  I mean, I am human.  I want to put things like, "I hope you aren't as grumpy today as you were yesterday.  No, really, smile!!" Or "We all have grumpy days.  I hope today is better than yesterday."  And then add glitter so when they pull it out they get glitter bombed.  I mean, bitches need glitter, right?

I told a co-worker what I was going to do and she laughed and told me that I was the nicest bitch she knew.  She didn't realize that she's going to be getting one of those cards, too, because her attitude has been crap of late.

I digress (and I'm losing the sarcasm).  I have come to the conclusion that I can not be part of the solution if I participate in the problem.  I know that people always tell you what they need, their insecurities and pet peeves, and often project those things onto other people.  So, when I hear people saying "X person is lazy because *insert reason here*", what I really hear is "This person is constantly doing *the opposite of given reason* and it makes me uncomfortable."  When I hear "X person doesn't do anything", what I hear is "This person is so busy they aren't reading my mind/doing what I think they should be doing and it makes me uncomfortable."

My work day often flies by.  I stay busy and can always find things to get into.  Others don't.  I think it's time to be more observant and, maybe even conspire with my supervisor, to start trying to build people up.  I often forget how much it takes for me to become truly intimidated by another person, so when these supposed insults about work ethic happen, I have to wonder what the person making them thinks of themselves.  I have to wonder what this person is saying about their own mindset.  Then, I wonder if they are having a moment of weakness or if they are just a small, scared child stuck in a body too big for them.  (Don't we all get that way sometimes?)

Well, Friends, there's this weeks food for thought.  When someone is trying to insult you, ask yourself, are they really talking about you or are they flailing about and looking for purchase because they are simply insecure?

Brightest Blessings!