Monday, April 22, 2013

52 weeks of pagan art journaling: week 12

This week's prompt: Mixed Spiritual Families

Do you live in a mixed spiritual family? Do you think they can work? How do you make yours work?

As my due date approaches and my husband and I deal with the reality of navigating our different belief systems with openness and trust, I am increasingly aware of how much work, tolerance, and communication is going to be needed when raising a son within 2 different world views. I know that we can do it because ultimately our values are aligned and we both believe, beyond the paths we've personally chosen for ourselves, that all paths are equally valid expressions of individual spirituality. I think for us, this is what ensures the success of our mixed spiritual family.

I do wonder though, how others navigate this often tricky landscape, especially when extended families factor in with their own expectations.

As many of my long time readers know, I am openly pagan within my own circle of friends and immediate family, but very much in the closest with my husband's family. This is something that I am am working on, slowly but surely, to rectify in my life because it leaves me feeling at odds with my personal integrity and belief in living a life based on openness. That said, I will likely never come out to my parents-in-law or the older generation of aunts and uncles because it will cause more chaos than it's worth. I will however, find a middle ground that clearly identifies me as non-Christian (mostly already established, despite familial blind eye/denial), new agey (pretty clearly established), more attuned with Eastern philosophies such as Buddhism/Yoga sutras (working on), and intent on passing on said legacy to my child (getting ready for the fights that will follow....)

I see this work as being very important in terms of giving our son a safe environment to grow up in. He's bound to see things I'm doing and comment on them. Having grown up with 3 little brothers, foster children, and daycare children, I know very well that children have big mouths and that the more you want something to remain secret, the more likely they are to blurt it out unknowingly.

How do those of you living in mixed spiritual families attempt to create a safe, open, and tolerant space?


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