Wicca Vs. Family
Normally, I don’t get very personal on this blog. I try to remain professional and to me, that means leaving my personal opinions and struggles off the net. But, something’s been bugging me lately and I just need to get it out there.
For many reasons, this has been a hard year for me. I saw my dreams come true when my books went into print, but in a way, I’ve lost even more than I’ve gained. After some moping, I went on a soul-searching mission to discover the true Jasmine-away from writing, away from taking care of family, away from my neurosis. Who am I really? That’s what I’ve been trying to figure out.
So, I started practicing yoga and meditation, and through meditation I realized that my true fear is not knowing what’s beyond this life. What lies beyond what we perceive with our conditioned-to-be-practical-eyes? What happens after death? The way I see it, if I can demystify those things a little, then I can finally live a life that’s not consumed by fear.
Then I discovered Wicca, where death is never the end, where there’s no Satan plotting your eternal damnation, where the bad things that happen to you are luck or fate and not one of ‘God’s Tests’. I know religion is a touchy subject, so I try not to even go there, but I was raised in the bible belt. As a child, I sat in church where a preacher with a beet-red face yelled about how sinners will burn in hell for all eternity. I’m talking full on yelling, jumping up and down talking about how we don’t deserve God’s merciful love, or his wrath and about the dangers of hell and living in the ‘worldly ways’. Is it any wonder my life was consumed with fear?
But, I digress. Now, I haven’t gotten as deeply involved with Wicca as I was with Christianity. But it’s my choice-one I have the right to make-and I’ve been taking it slow, discovering at my own pace. And I feel free. I feel worthy. I feel like my life is in my own hands. I feel at one with the Earth, the Universe and the Divine. Wicca’s become very important to me, but because of the controversial nature of anything that’s not Christianity in my family, I kept it to myself and I didn’t mind that. I mean, who needs to know about my religious beliefs anyway? So, what’s the problem?
Awhile ago, I posted to twitter asking fellow Wiccans what phase of the moon we were in. It’s innocent enough, I wasn’t at the computer and I couldn’t see the moon and no one I know in real life (except for my sister, who already knew about my path) follows me on twitter. I’d forgotten that my twitter account is linked to my facebook author page and bam…suddenly my uncle is asking my mom what’s up with ‘Jasmine’s Wicca thing.’ My secret, outted when I wasn’t ready. Oops.
When my mom asked me about it, I tried to explain to her how important Wicca’s become to me, and she said we’d talk about it later. That was fine, I needed to prepare myself for the speech, anyway. Weeks go by and she says nothing, but I got the vibe she was disappointed in me. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore and just said, “Mom, I want to talk about Wicca.” And do you know what she said? That I’m going through a phase and I’ll grow out of it. I was so offended I was literally speechless. (I’m a writer, how often does that happen?)
Sure, I went through phases (orange nail polish my sophomore year, heavy-metal music my junior year, racoon eyes my senior year, Nora Roberts last year). Wicca is not a phase for me. It’s not a rebellion, or a statement. It’s been an awakening. After being so freed, after learning to love myself and the world around me, how can I possibly go back to a religion I felt so stifled by? And the fact that she equates this life-altering discovery I’ve made to my orange nail-polish phase hurts. I feel like, in a way, it undermines everything I’ve learned about myself and the great-beyond.
That probably doesn’t sound very awakened. But, I’m human and I’m new at this, and I accepted her unconditionally when she lived a life that was unconventional and ‘sinful’ by view of our lovely (note the sarcasm) church. I can’t make her understand that I still believe in God, just not the same way she does. I’m never going back to the religion I was raised in, for many reasons. It’s just not for me. I’ve found my path. And now, I risk not being accepted by my own mother. I know she’ll still love me, but I’m bothered that there might be parts of my life she can’t come to terms with and I don’t know what to do.
So, I figure I can’t be the only person in the world who’s gone through this. Have you ever had your religious beliefs come between you and your family? Have you ever felt repressed by your upbringing? Leave me a comment and let me know, because I could really use some support here.