Today has been an… interesting day. When I say this, I’m speaking entirely in context of today as a Pagan, and a Pagan blogger. Today, I had words, lots of words, with another person. I don’t want to talk specifically about that, because I don’t want to bring that drama here.
I do want to use it to say something else, though.
If you are coming to Paganism from another religion, especially a strict religion, one that attempts to limit one’s abilities to think and act for themselves, then it is important to learn how to leave all of that behind you. It won’t be immediate. It won’t happen quickly. But it is necessary to learn and grown in your new faith. We leave restrictive religions in order to seek for truth for ourselves, and find what speaks to our hearts, and that is not something we can do while listening to the dictates of others.
Which is not to say we must be alone! I’m not at all saying it’s necessary to be a hermit to be Pagan, or to never ask for advice, or take advice. I mean, what would be the purpose of anyone blogging, if that were the case, right? Community is there to help you learn and grow, but it’s not there to tell you what or how to think.
What I mean is… be.
Be free. Be kind. Be in tune with whatever it is that makes you feel whole, or do your best. Question yourself, question constantly, and learn to distinguish between the real and the fantasy, and ask for help from those you trust if you need to, but from those you trust. Don’t let someone else come in and tell you that you’re doing it wrong, because if you’re not hurting anyone, then until you decide you’re doing it wrong, or your gods tell you to do something differently, then you’re doing it right, at least you’re doing it right for yourself.
Remember that it’s okay, and good, to have people with whom you can share your experiences, but that sharing should never come with judgment, on your side or theirs.
Remember that in the U.S. and other places where this is relevant, there are certain concepts ingrained into the overculture by the dominant, mainstream religion of Christianity. Sometimes, I still have to remind myself that it’s okay to be proud of myself and my accomplishments. Remember this, and think about how this might be influencing you in ways of which you’re not aware. Think about your opinions, and how they have been formed, and if they might not change with new beliefs backing them instead of old ones.
And remember that the freedom to seek your own truth and wholeness is the same freedom that others want, and deserve to have as much as you. Let them have it, because so long as they’re not hurting anyone, what does it matter what they believe to be their truth? It has no bearing on you, your practices, or your beliefs.
Leave old baggage at the door, my friends. It’s a new day.
Lord Ganesha and Mother Yemaya, give me patience. I’m gonna need it.