As I return to my practice and devote myself to this lifestyle, I am often confronted with the decision to disclose or not to disclose my spiritual beliefs and practices. In my 20s, my response to this issue was to loudly decry any opposition and flaunt my heathen ways. Now, a more tempered 30 something, I find myself much more reticent about sharing my spiritual beliefs with others. And there are many reasons why.
There are just some things that don’t go over so well around the water cooler and in order to maintain my neutrality and professional authority in my job, well, disclosure isn’t such a great idea.
However, that said, I can’t help but ask why. I have a colleague who proudly wears her cross around her neck, clearly identifying as Christian, and another who is Jewish, is absent for all the high Jewish holidays and is active in her community. I, on the other hand, play the neutral agnostic card in these discussions, shying away from any marker of religion.
I have come to the conclusion that there are 2 reasons that I don’t announce my beliefs:
Because I actually kind of hate having religion flaunted in my face (and I will freely admit that this stems from years of heated debate with Christians and a general sense of anger towards Christianity’s hypocrisy (which is different than saying all Christians are hypocrites) towards tolerating others’ religions). And because the fluffy bunny new age pagan identity that is so prevalent out in society makes me cringe at the thought of being taken in such a way. I want to be taken seriously in life and maintain the certain amount of professional credibility that I have been able to carve out for myself in my career.
My extended family and their community are very, very, very Christian. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t particularly care about their faith, other than to say that I respect their beliefs and love my partner enough to not want to cause undue/unneccessary family woes when there is no need to do so.