Does anyone find themselves... hiding??

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Re: Does anyone find themselves... hiding??

Post by Crazy Healer Lady » Wed Mar 11, 2009 4:16 pm

Awesome for you, Sile :)

Actually, this topic came up for me again this week. I went to my SO's church alone this Sunday (Hey, my Guides gave me a healing there last week! And I got some GREAT contacts!), and the woman who teaches the kids their bible study invited me over for lunch with the whole family. It was great, we had some amazing chats. I told her I was a hands-on healer (language a Christian would understand) and I didn't get a bad response, not great but definitely not bad. She's coming over this Friday for an Artistry party (SO much fun!) and then I realized, I have an exotic dance pole in my living room, witchcraft books on my bookshelf, and a "Blessed Be" tile art display with beautiful goddess pictures from Kitsune over my door. I was worried for about ten minutes (I won't hide who I am! but will she reject me?) until I realized that if she calls me satanic, who cares? And Chris will have to stand by me in that. And who knows: She might just learn something and be totally loving like they are supposed to be.

Another great thing that has happened is joining my business, working with a number of Christians. Es is a Christian pastor, teacher, and VERY inspirational and influential man, but also tough as nails. You do NOT make him angry. He also had a horrible experience in Alberta where a bunch of Pagans tried to burn him in his car. Saying to him (and everyone in our group) that I am a Pagan, and having them respect that and honour that, has been amazing. They make it known what their values are, Es especially, but never once do they try to change my beliefs, only to strengthen my values. For example, Es outright said to my friend (Christian) that she should wait to have sex with her boyfriend, and there are a lot of reasons in that which I agree with on some levels due to the history and the nature of the situation. When speaking to me about this issue, he never once asked me to do that, but to understand where Chris (my SO) comes from on that subject (he is in a faith that teaches it is to be saved for marriage) and how to approach it so that he is not feeling guilty and horrible, not because those are his values, but because there is what church teaches, and then what he believes, and how to consolidate the two. This whole thing makes me feel stronger as a Pagan and in my belief system.
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The purpose of a relationship is not to have another who might complete you, but to have another with whom you might share your completeness. -CWG

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Re: Does anyone find themselves... hiding??

Post by Kitsune » Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:07 pm

Crazy... You lose me sometimes, but I'm glad that you're reaffirming your beliefs.

And you are not allowed to take down that wall tile! I spent quite awhile figuring out which one would suit you best! (speaking of which... you never mentioned, what does the SO think of it?)

I'm lucky in that I don't seem to need to hide. Everybody knows I'm Pagan, but nobody cares except me. Everybody else just figures so long as I'm happy it's good.
Trying to create a world, even in words, is good occupational therapy for lunatics who think they're God, and an excellent argument for Polytheism. -S.M. Stirling

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Re: Does anyone find themselves... hiding??

Post by Crazy Healer Lady » Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:54 am

Oh no I wouldn't take it down.

Chris likes it :) He thinks it is very pretty! As do I :D
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The purpose of a relationship is not to have another who might complete you, but to have another with whom you might share your completeness. -CWG

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Re: Does anyone find themselves... hiding??

Post by lacielonestar » Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:05 am

At the moment I have found myself at a similar crossroads. I want to be able to keep my books on the bookshelf in the living room, to keep a more permanent altar, but what happens when my family comes over? It would be a hassle to put everything away or hide it. For now, everything is in a drawer and so it is a hassle to dig through to find exactly what I am looking for.

It is not so much that I am afraid of being disowned or anything, but I don't want to hurt my family. Some of them would be upset if they thought I wasn't going to meet them in heaven. So I guess I am stuck here trying to decide at what point "protecting" my family from their own discomfort hinders my own spiritual growth/path.

Another thing to consider is my boyfriend. While he knows about my beliefs, his family does not. We have been discussing moving in together in the next year or two, and the situation came up in conversation. He doesn't want his family to know or think any differently of the girl they've known for three years now. But I don't want to have to hide for the rest of my life. Especially if we move away from his family. It would be my home, too and I want to feel comfortable there.

Has anyone here ever felt they were hiding their beliefs/practices to protect someone they love?

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Re: Does anyone find themselves... hiding??

Post by Kystar » Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:56 am

A minor suggestion, but a suggestion none-the-less...two actually.

The first suggestion is towards having things where you want them, but not hiding. A cabinet, like a TV cabinet, with a large central area, could be a solution. That way, your things are arranged how you want them, placed where you want them, and are accessible, but when you have company, the doors get closed. Or a roll-top desk, or one of those bookshelves with a shelf that flips down into a writing table. Anything where you can put your stuff away in a manner that you like, but you can easily close it up to keep it from prying eyes.

The second suggestion is to discuss things with your boyfriend...seriously. How healthy is it for you to be in a relationship where you have to conceal or deny part of your mental and spiritual makeup to make his family happy? I can understand not wanting to cause friction, but in essence, he's telling you that your peace of mind and sense of self aren't as important as his family's opinions and comfort. From an outside POV, that's incredibly selfish.

However, the cabinet would solve the immediate situation of being able to have your altar without questions.

The long-term issue about not being able to be yourself is the more worrying.

Good luck in however you decide to resolve things.
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Re: Does anyone find themselves... hiding??

Post by Mahala » Mon Jun 08, 2009 1:09 pm

This is what I've done for a temporary altar: A shelf with candles. On this shelf, I keep a few nic-nacs, mainly thing like the tiny pine cones I've picked up, river pebbles I've collected, and jars of herbs and oils. I know my mother's seen it a few times, but the great thing is that this shelf looks like 'just another shelf with decorations'. Mom wouldn't know the difference unless I explained what it is I do with it when I lock my door. (I burn the candles to ask the divine to bless me each day or to ask for blessings on others.)

Now, I have a question. Is it a good thing to hide? (For someone new to the Pagan pathway.)

I mean, I know there's a very good reason I hide, even if it is fear, fear is the way our body and mind both agree that something might not have a good outcome if we allow it to happen. That, for me, is being found out. I hate to disappoint my parents and sneak around under their noses, but if they ask and I can't water it down without them catching on, how do I handle it? My fear is that if my fledgling beliefs are shaken and questioned when I'm learning how to respond to those questions, I'll end up breaking my promises to myself and allowing myself to be forced back into the mold, back into the church.

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Re: Does anyone find themselves... hiding??

Post by SageAndSalt » Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:43 pm

I often find myself in the same boat as you, so let me grab an oar, and help you row if I can.

I was raised as an American Christian, but found it rather lacking, and confusing. In my early 20s, through a wonderful blessed circumstance, I discovered the Pagan world, and immediately began researching, and training myself through the teachings of Scott Cunningham's books. I called myself Wiccan for many years, and practiced the arts somewhat secretly in my home, and in the woods by the lake whenever possible. It was the most interesting and fulfilling thing I could have ever done. Throughout the years (I am now 40), I have dabbled in Taoism, Buddhism, and back to Christianity, and found some wonderful affirmations. But through it all, I have never quite been able to let go of my pagan roots (my ancestry is Scottish/Irish/English), and I never will! I find joy, love, and validity in the ancient ways. My private bookshelf is also filled with Pagan works, and books by several psychics, and other spiritual teachers. I display my gemstones, crystals, oils and such. I have even built a web blog to discuss such things ( http://www.sageandsalt.com ). But yes, I too hide from the public. I am surrounded by Christians, and have been criticized, and shunned. My family is aware of my practices, and although some are open minded and accepting, some grit their teeth and fear for my eternal soul for being involved in what they call "the occult". I often feel confused about what I'm supposed to do in this situation. And I often feel ashamed for trying to put a blanket over my beautiful spiritual light. But I have come to believe that a person's "religious" choice should be personal and private. That's what makes it so sacred. And it never matters at all what face I show to others, it's the true face that I reveal to my God and Goddess that always counts. And thank them both for forums and groups like this where we can connect with others who deeply understand and share our passions. Besides, isn't it just a little fun to keep such secrets?!

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