We are blessed with a son who talks…a lot. I probably know more than most moms what is going on in teenager-land, simply from this one young man’s inability to keep his mouth shut. And I am greatfull. I knew when he had his first kiss, his first everything and, although some of it is uncomfortable in the moment, I am greatfull that he feels safe and open enough to share his life with me and his dad.
Yesterday, he received a call from an ex-girlfriend, whom he cared about very much, asking if they could try again. The reason for the breakup came up and she admitted that it was a friend who didn’t like my son encouraging her to break up with him and that this young woman’s parents didn’t like that I was Pagan. Well….that is interesting…I looked at my son and said ‘So you’ve had your first real taste of discrimination.’
Instead of stepping into feeling offended or appalled or worried that my spiritual path had damaged my son,my initial reaction was curiousity, how intriguing! How I choose to experience my spirituality was a problem for these parents! This was a first for me! How sheltered I have been, how I have protected myself from outside negativity and possible rejection. I did a good job of it if this is the first time I’ve encountered this!
So now, as my personal practice compels me, I dive deep. Have I been hiding this aspect of myself? Do I need to live in fear of others rejecting my children because of what I practice? Do I need to make a stand and shout it from the rooftops that I practice differently than the mainstream religions, although that is not my personality? What is so fearfull about my practice that it should cause discomfort for another family? Haven’t we as a society moved past religion dividing its people? Would they feel differently if we were Mormon? Or Hindu? We treated their daughter with respect and kindness, shouldn’t that be the gauge to which we are judged? And how dare I judge them for judging me? They have every right to protect their child from ideas that they are uncomfortable with or disagree with, as I protect my children. What about my other children, will our spiritual expression cause conflict in their relationships with others? Do I need to ‘tone it down’ for them?
I have a tendency to spiral quickly, and taking a moment or a day to really think about these questions serves me well. This is where I went on my journey…
I am not responsible for another person’s opinion or ignorance.
I will not lie about nor hide away my spiritual expression when asked.
I am not an in-your-face sort of person, so I will not shout obnoxiously nor ask others to conform to my spiritual path.
I will be respectful and kind to all people who enter my home and share time with my children.
I will not allow fear of rejection to dictate how I interact with people who have a different spiritual expression than mine.
I will have Courage and Be Kind.
Bringing curiosity into the forefront instead of fear, anger and annoyance gave me a chance to delve further into myself, reaffirming my spiritual path and reminding me to remember what my Highest Self asks of me in each situation:
WWLD…What Will Love Do?
P.S. You may have noticed some unconventional spelling...it is on purpose~ GreatFull: full of great feelings; Fearfull: full of fear; Thankfull: full of gratitude 🙂