While on here I talk openly, for the most part, about my own spiritual stuff, in my everyday life, almost no one knows anything about my spiritual side. Only one person in my personal life, my best friend, knows I’m a Goddess worshipper, and my Priestess training is something I’m slowly coming to terms with. I’m very much in the closet, so to speak.
Why is this? Well, partly because religion is such a personal thing, I don’t really want to be one of those people who makes everyone around them uncomfortable by talking about something so personal constantly. But if I’m being honest with myself, a lot of it is fear.
I’m afraid to tell people, even those closest to me, about worshipping the Goddess, or my Priestess training, or my psychic development, or anything within these boundaries, for fear of judgement, of being mocked and hated. I live in a rural area in Canada, where most around here are born and raised Baptist, with a few Catholic, Jehovah Witness, and Salvation Army folks to add a little variety. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But some people around here, especially in the very, VERY rural areas, can be a little intolerant of anything different. Scratch that – very intolerant. I don’t really hold it against them personally anymore, like I used to do when I was younger. They are a product of how they were raised, and the culture around them. I struggle with compassion towards these people, especially since many of my family are among them.
This doesn’t excuse intolerant behavior mind you. It doesn’t make it alright that my Great Grandmother refers to African Canadians as “Darkies”; it doesn’t make it alright that most of my father’s family dislikes immigrants, are disgusted by homosexuals and transsexuals, think abortion is evil, that women are absolutely equal – just also weaker, less intelligent, less capable of understanding complex issues than men. None of this behavior is excused by anything, and at times, when I’m confronted by it, it still fills me with anger and shame and hurt.
What I mean is, that I’ve learned as I get older that screaming angrily at somebody is usually the least effective way to get them to change their mind. And the best way to convince people to change is by setting a excellent example in my own life, and refusing to let anger or hurt draw me into an argument. My family is beginning to realize, or should be, that when they begin to speak or act in any of the ways mentioned above, I will say something along the lines of “This isn’t for me,” and get up and leave. Or, if I’m sitting across from my grandmother and feel unable to, will fall silent.
This is hard, and scary at times. Standing up to your own family, even just through silence or absence, over things that are so decisive is difficult, especially for me because I am just starting, at 27 years old, to do it. To have the courage to decide, “I love you, but I don’t love what you believe.”
…and I am ashamed to say that so far, I’ve lacked the courage to do this with my family with regards to Goddess worship. I have not told them. Despite the fact that they are my family, and my training and prayer now takes up a large part of my life. I feel bad hiding a huge part of what now brings a lot of happiness into my day from them. It also forces me to lie, or at least bend the truth a little; “Oh, hey Krissy, what were you up to this weekend?”
…I can’t say, “Well, Dad, I painted a new picture of the fetus I aborted two years ago for my altar to help me symbolically give any lingering guilt or shame in me to the Goddess. I feel a lot better, it was really emotional for me, but it really helped.
I did course work most of Saturday for my training, and one of the rituals in it helped me figure out an old silly fear that I was holding onto that I am now working to let go of. Positive affirmations with this make me feel a lot better, and I didn’t even realize I was holding onto that fear before.
Sunday was mostly laundry, cleaning and that sort of thing. But in the evening I did some reading, both with a excellent book on improving self love, and one on the art and history of the Goddess Kali in reference to, specifically, Shakti religious views. It was insightful.”
….I suppose I could give a toned down version of that, but I don’t, because it will most likely result in questions asked where I’ll have to lie to answer; if I say I just spent Sunday night reading, the next thing out of his mouth will likely be “what book? Anything good?”. If I say I spent most of Saturday painting, “oh what did you paint sweetie? How’d it turn out?”
…so I just avoid it all.
“Oh hey Krissy, what were you up to this weekend?”
With two words I not only can hide anything that might invite judgement on me from them, but I also hide how much I’m now healing inside, something beautiful.
I hate it. I hate that I have a huge part of me I have removed from my own family out of fear. It would be easy to blame, maybe even hate them. It would be even easier to blame and hate myself. But I’m not going to do either.
Most of my fear of telling them relates to the fear of being labeled as a feminazi who hates men, which is a label I see attached to a lot like me. I am a feminist in the traditional sense (someone who promotes/works towards equality for women and men in all areas), and I’m not ashamed of that. But I cannot fathom, no matter how hard I try, why being a Goddess worshipper would mean I hate men.
Is it because I refer to the Divine as female? Is that it? Because the vast majority of Christians, Muslims, and Jewish People everywhere, refer to God as male, yet I don’t assume they all hate women. That would be unfair, and honestly kind of dumb.
Is it because there are some Goddess worshippers who do hate men? Who write books excluding, or even degrading them? The vast majority of books on the Goddess on the market today try to be inclusive to men at every opportunity, and when they fail, it isn’t out of hatred, but simply falling victim to old habits. There are likewise, many, many, many books in the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faith that are excluding, or degrading to women (the main holy texts in all these faiths fit the bill in many places). Yet I don’t assume all Christians, Jewish People, and Muslims hate women. There are always a few people in any group, of any kind, who twist the message of that group to suit their own habits, hates, fears, and beliefs. I work hard to not hold it against the group as a whole when this happens.
Please don’t do the same to me. And it’s time I do my part to let go of this; this fear of being labeled something I’m not. As I’ve said before, removal of distrust, and fear, starts within.
I now release the need to be mocked, and judged for my beliefs. I know who and what I am, at least in the most basic sense – in this, I am a person who thinks everybody, in general, is dynamite.
Men are dynamite, women are dynamite, those who are a delightful mix of the two are dynamite; and any problems I have with anyone, I refuse to any longer attribute to some physical aspect of their person, like gender. My family will either accept this, or not. You, the reader, will either accept this, and me, or not. I now release the need to be mocked and judged for my beliefs. I accept only love, and let the rest fall away.
Whatever your beliefs are, whether they mirror my own or are something completely and entirely different, including those who are not religious at all, please do the same; make the choice, today, to release the need to be judged and mocked for your beliefs. By “need”, I mean free yourself from expecting the worse possible reaction from people.
Let it go, and allow only love to come in response.
****If you liked this post, please consider checking me out on Bayart.org, where you can read all kinds of cool stuff, including an article written by yours truly on what to do when you’re very very right, and very very wrong at the same time.****