Opening comments

Welcome to PaganFM! here on WSCA-LP, 106.1 FM, Portsmouth Community Radio.

Intros.

It's been a bit of an interesting week. As I'm writing, I'm listening Darkly Fey's newest installment of her podcast. I was thinking about how PaganFM! got started. I actually forgot when I started on the air here at Portsmouth Community Radio, so I looked into it a bit. After talking to Rick, I realized that I started here in January of 2007. Later on in 2007, I found a few Pagan Podcasts. The first was Deo's Shadow that I sort of miss. I also found the Pagan Radio Network, which is an Internet radio station.

I really couldn't get into the erotic music genre, and I was actually thinking about leaving the air, but thought I might give a pagan program a shot. So, I started collecting a bit of Pagan music and added that to the library, and eventually approached the station and asked if I could change the theme of the program, along with the name. So, we've been doing PaganFM! for about a year.

A few months ago, I had Greywolf from A Pagan Heart in Maine on the show. He actually drove all the way down from Saco to be on the program with me, and I've been listening to his program regularly. He's got a really well-produced program and I'm hoping that we can catch up at some point. It's a little tough when you're doing a completely live program and you're producing and engineering at the same time you're broadcasting. I guess that's what makes live radio interesting.

In any case, if you like the show and are worried you might miss an episode, you can now find it on Itunes. Just go to the Itunes store and search for PaganFM. You can also find us on podcast alley in the Religion and Spirituality category. We're in about the top 10 and we'd be glad if you chose to vote for the show there. You can always find the shows at paganfm.com. You can always look up our playlists, find the text of the writings and listen to the podcasts there. You'll also find links to other shows and musicians, as well as a list of local events.

So, PaganFM! has been on the air for about a year. Heather just joined the crew as co-host. Julia has signed on to do a segment, and we all appreciate that. It's really rounding out the show.

So, this has been an interesting week. We finished up our fall fund raiser for the station, and it was really successful. I want to thank everyone who sent in a pledge and supported Portsmouth Community Radio. This is really an amazing place. We've got over 60 different locally produced programs that air every week. We've got something like 140 volunteer DJs, and our station is entirely run by volunteers. Doing what we do here, supported only by grants, members, donors and underwriters is a major task. We still have to do everything that any other radio station does, from writing and engineering programs, taking care of our transmiter, links, antenna, studios and all of the business of a radio station ... there is tons to do. We have volunteers that screen and shelve music, cataloging, mail handling, maintaining our computer network, cleaning the lunch area, the floors, paying for telephone, Internet, electricity ... there is just tons to do. Without the support from our listeners and underwriters, it simply couldn't happen. So, if you are interested in underwriting or becoming a member of Portsmouth Community Radio, you can visit at Portsmouth Community Radio dot org.

Other than work here at the station, I've been becoming aware more and more about my own fears. I still have these, and I suppose that most people do. As much as I speak about trusting the universe, and recognizing that whatever happens, I will be taken care of, I still have my own fears. That might be because I know that while I will be taken care of, that only goes so far as I'm willing to take care of myself, of taking advantage of what the universe offers. I'll get into that a little in the Ask PaganFM! segment. So, I suppose that as far as I have fear, it's not a fear of what will happen to me, but more a fear of whether or not I'm able to fulfill my own obligations and challenges. I know that if I do face them, things will work out. The question is whether or not I'm up to the task ... of thinking less of myself than I'm worth, of thinking that I'm not up to the challenge.

I also worry at times that I'm not really the person I want to be. I worry about how other people perceive me; not as to whether I'm a good person or not, because I do strive to be hard-working and honest. As a transgendered person though, my view of myself has been molded by what others think, and this has been troublesome at times.

So, what I've been doing is to counter these negative thoughts when I encounter them. When I become fearful, I try to remind myself that when I've faced dire circumstances, I've made it through. My very existence is testimony to that fact. Sometimes the going gets rough, but it has NEVER been so rough that I didn't make it. The times that things got really bad only happened when I let myself down. Even then though, it wasn't so bad that I didn't survive. I suppose that we're made to survive.

As to other's perceptions of me, I've come to realize that others will tend to see me as I see myself. I also remembered a song by Libby Roderick called "How could anyone". This is one of the simplest,  yet most beautiful pieces of music that I've ever heard, and it's one of those songs that the first time I heard it, I cried. It repeats a few simple lines about four or five times. The words are:

HOW COULD ANYONE EVER TELL YOU
YOU WERE ANYTHING LESS THAN BEAUTIFUL?
HOW COULD ANYONE EVER TELL YOU
YOU WERE LESS THAN WHOLE?
HOW COULD ANYONE FAIL TO NOTICE
THAT YOUR LOVING IS A MIRACLE?
HOW DEEPLY YOU'RE CONNECTED TO MY SOUL.

I think, looking back on my life, is that the only time that anyone could ever think less of me was when I thought less of myself. I don't mean that it's important to have an inflated ego, but rather true humility.

That's a word that gets a bad rap ... humility. Rune Wolf on Withvox once described humility as "Knowing your strengths and your weaknesses, and working to nurture the former and to transform the latter." Or something similar to that. Really, it means having an honest appraisal of yourself. If you do that, then the thoughts of others really can't be as hurtful. Whether they are positive or negative, you know the truth. You can discount what doesn't apply or is falsely hurtful. Likewise, you can recognize if you have room for improvement without having that destroy you. You can also look at other's good comments without allowing them to overly inflate your ego.

So, tonight, Darkly Fey, on her show began part of a 13-part series discussing the 13 goals of a witch. These came originally from Scott Cunningham's book "Wicca: A guide for the Solitary Practitioner". The one she was discussing tonight was "Know yourself". I suppose that this is part of what I've been working with this week. It's part of what I've been working on with my teacher for many years. In my case though, I think I know myself fairly well, but the difficulty is what comes later ... and that is trusting yourself. Trusting, that after messing up every now and again, that you'll be able to make the right decisions, that you'll be able to take the right action when the time comes.

What I learned with working with others though is that if I'm consistent, that they'll be able to trust me. So, the question to me is whether or not I should be able to trust the people that the people I know, love and trust, trust. Basically, If I trust the people I love, if I trust their judgment, and if they trust me, then just maybe, I should be able to trust myself.

What it comes down to is simply this: While I acknowledge my fears, they are really, for the most part, unfounded. The only thing I really am afraid of is myself; of letting myself down. If I can work without letting others down, then I can work without letting myself down.

2008, Deirdre A. Hebert