Last week I felt inclined to post ( Seek and You Shall Find ) in regards to a show I had watched entitled "Letting Go of God." A story about a devout Catholic who eventually through seeking for answers she became a devout atheist. Many of the comments made in regards to this post kept me thinking still about the question of what one believes.
What makes it right… what makes it wrong. Personally I do not believe that anything makes it wrong. If I wish for others to accept me and my beliefs, what right do I have to not accept them if their beliefs may be different than mine. In my opinion, I have no rights.
Floating around blog land is a so called movement entitled "Project Pagan Enough" The details can be found over at Inciting A Riot. It is one person’s pilgrimage to show other pagan’s the issue of accepting their own kind. I will be the first to admit that although I call myself Pagan, I have at many times not felt so. Why, you may ask? Well mainly because I do not do all the things that many other “Pagans” do. I choose the name of Pagan as I felt that my beliefs and the path that I felt my heart was taking me down was not necessarily in accordance with Christianity and the doctrine they follow.
I had come to a point in my journey where I could no longer claim one thing (or perhaps wear the mask) and yet feel so strongly contrary to it. I will admit that there are many of my beliefs that still intermingle with what many pagans would consider Christian. It is hard for me to completely take some of these traits from me as they have been with me over time and in many ways have proven themselves in my eyes to be truthful. The thin line that I feel I sometimes walk between the two is at times extremely narrow or so I thought.
Over the weekend my heart continued to ponder this issue. I came to the conclusion that I had misinterpreted the situation and what it truly is. Yes there are Christians who I am sure would have issues with my beliefs and the manner that I choose to practice. Yet there are also ones who understand that this is what works best for me. It is my road and my journey. They do not judge what I feel I have found in my quest and therefore there is no friction between us. Likewise there are Pagans who have issues with my deviance from what they may see as the true path and the intermingling of traits they see in my belief and practices. Yet also there are those who accept me freely as another who is striving like them to find the best answers they can in the questions that life seems to give us daily.
I have come to realize that the discord that I felt at times in the church is also apparent in the pagan society. Just like the church has those who sit and look down their noses at others whom they feel do not measure up to the qualities they see themselves with. There are also Pagans who feel that unless one speaks the perfect words and performs the rituals in a specific manner that they also do not deserve the right to call themselves as they do.
I worked once as a church secretary. For four years I sat in the office and watched, being the observer that I am, as members of the church came and went. I saw things that many of the regular members of the church never seen. In many ways I am so glad that they never will, as it would have only caused them to wavier in their walk. I was told things by elders and the elite that I would have never expected to come from one who supposedly held such a position. By the time I left the church these as well as other events made me greatly question myself and the intentions I may have before I performed any act in the name of whom I claimed to follow.
I think this is why I so cling to the role of solitary when one ask me what I consider myself. I have never felt comfortable in calling myself a witch. Yet in ways I feel many of us are just that even though we do not realize it. I believe in magic and many things that are unseen and unexplainable. I do so because I have seen it with my own eyes, I have witnessed it personally. Many things to the extent that to tell some of my experiences, I think would even make some pagans think me mad.
I believe that there are many out there who feel much like me. Who are only trying to search for what they feel fills that void that enters us all at some point in our lives. There are many who want to tell us what it is we should believe… what it is we should do… and exactly how we should do it. There are those that if we stray from such instructions, they consider us unworthy of the name they call themselves. For some time I have felt uncomfortable in calling myself Christian. I know in my heart that it is a title I will no longer use. Yet I also feel somewhat uncomfortable with the title of Pagan. I know that I do not do all the rites and rituals that many talk about. I know that I do not worship the gods and goddesses that many speak of. I had to ask myself then what am I?
In conclusion I can only say that I am a believer. I believe in what I what believe in. I trust its truth and know its validity. I do not try to explain that which I cannot explain. I leave that for the Gods who will in time show me if that be their will. I am content with that. I do not need to feel superior to the point that I define my walk as the only true way. The only true path there may be. There are many paths and there are many followers… how can we all walk on the same road at the same time. It is not possible. Our destination is the same, we just choose to follow different methods to eventually arrive.
I encourage you to stop by the Project Pagan Enough. I encourage Pagan and non-Pagan alike. As this is not an issue that pertains to Pagans alone. It is an issue of acceptance. Acceptance of one another for who and what they are. Of not needing to claim ourselves better than others simply because they do not believe or think as we. We are all made up of what comes and goes from our lives on a daily basis. Even for those in the same boat the experience will be viewed from differing perspectives. One will not see the experience the exact same way the other does. We all experience our spiritualism in much the same manner, or so we should be allowed to. Moments will come when we are all given an opportunity to aid others in their walk, just as others have aided us. Yet it is not our place to pass judgment if by chance they do not take the aid we offer or they choose to alter it to fit them. We truly all are Pagan Enough.