In the last handful of days I’ve been feeling an urge to get back into my spiritual practices. There’s a part of me that has wanted to share things about that with you, and a part of me that’s been terrified at the idea of it.
It’s actually funny in a way, because I used to have no shame in letting the world know that I was Pagan. Everybody knew, and I used to have quite a lot of friends in the Pagan community. I got some hard times from non-Pagans, but for the most part I was able to deal with it, and did so without feeling bad. Then something changed.
What changed is that I decided that I didn’t want to label myself as Pagan anymore. I didn’t feel that it was totally accurate. Even though it is basically an umbrella term for any alternate faith, particularly polytheistic ones, I just didn’t like the label anymore. This put me at odds with the Pagan community, and sort of left me out in the cold spiritually. Even though I used (and still use) practices from Native American Spirituality, various types of Paganism, Buddhism and other faiths, I couldn’t call myself a member of any of those groups.
Since then I’ve been fairly quiet about my faith and spiritual practices. I talked about it a bit on my blog, but there was no traffic and very few people ever read it. I’ve only mentioned it in the vaguest terms here on Bubblews. Even though I’m working to become a spiritual and self-help writer, I’ve held a certain amount of shame and discomfort about my spiritual practices.
Well, I got the feeling that I needed to start drawing daily tarot cards again, and when I did, I drew Strength. The card represents inner strength and beauty and overcoming fears. My greatest fears lately have lain in revealing the things about myself that I worry will cause people to take me less seriously or set me further apart from my readers.
What I realize is that like anything else I’ve written, people will take it or leave it. They will accept that I am who I am, and that who I am is greater than the sum of my parts, or they’ll judge me and walk away. In the end, I have to love myself and do what is right, even if it’s not the easy thing to do. I believe that just as I found the courage to be open about my Body Dysmorphic Disorder, I need to be open about this. All of my parts make me the wonderful whole that I am. If I deny any part of myself, it will only lead to my own misery, and my work will suffer for it.
So, I’m going to start opening up. I hope that you’ll remember the Briana you’ve come to know and just accept this as another facet of who I am. If you have trouble, feel free to ask questions so that you can understand. Please don’t make any assumptions. And if you can’t accept me for all that I am and choose to walk away, I wish you all the best in wherever your road leads you.