There are things in my life that I am afraid of. I’m not talking about the small things–spiders, too-tight spandex or falling on my nose in bakasana. I mean the bigger things, like starting a family, dropping my caffeine addiction and being open about my relationship with the God of my Heart.
Where I grew up, it was unusual not to have a testimony to the god of the predominant religion. My family and I were in the minority in our area as we chose to ski or boat on Sundays, rather than attend church. I didn’t even know what types of spiritual beliefs my parents had, but they encouraged me to find what it was we needed spiritually. I tried out several different types of worship, never feeling completely right, and then I left home for college–my spiritual path a bit scarred from the hostility of a large group of church-goers.
I’ve spoken to several friends who’ve had similar experiences–feeling scarred by an upbringing in or near an exuberant religious power-house. During the next several years, while I finally had a “coming home” of sorts about my spiritual beliefs, I was still surrounded by people who, spirits broken, found power in uniting together as agnostics or atheists and putting faith in science or logic. While this type of belief wasn’t my own, and although I felt comfortable and inspired by my own beliefs, I never felt comfortable expressing them around my friends or family. It was as if any mention of spirituality would drudge up un-favorable memories of the past.
I understood this–I am still scarred too, in may ways. While I am very comfortable with people talking about a God-power as the Universe, Supreme Being, or God of your Heart, I start to feel uncomfortable when anyone speaks of God as “God,” or “Lord,” or any of the more traditional Western religious titles. Although my very own beliefs tell me that this universal power is the same given any time, I still shudder uncomfortable memories I associate them with. I think that my fear in openly discussing or casually mentioning my spiritual beliefs come from how I felt as an outsider as a child–no one in my home town ever worried about offending me with their believes, but I am still afraid to do that to someone else. My peers growing up never found the want or need to have an open discussion about religion in general, so my voice was never heard. So it has been lost ever since.
Two things have happened this week that make me believe that it is time to come out of the spiritual closet. First, I received a job that was the manifestation of almost 10 years of dreaming–not necessarily working towards, just dreaming and praying. And second, Gates said, “If we are to seriously consider enacting all of the yamas and niyamas in our lives, we must begin to examine the idea of spiritual force, spiritual momentum.” While I believe in this force, I haven’t been honest or vocal in my home and in my daily life about how much I believe in the power of prayer, manifestation, and the abundance of the Universe to provide.
I am starting now to face this fear. To come out of hiding my beliefs and allow them to be enacted through me for the world to see. And perhaps, when I find the courage, I’ll mention Goddess directly.