Coming out of the Spiritual Closet
Most of us have been conditioned from an early age to never discuss religion or politics in polite company (i.e. social gatherings, the dinner table). And while the politics portion seems to have gone out the proverbial window, and it would be a great relief to many these days to have it reinstated, there is is still a stigma about faith based conversations even if it is not organized religion per say.
Lately I seem to connect with an increasing number of people, most notably Get X’ers and Millenials, who are identifying with spirituality over organized religion. Fill out a profile for any dating site these days and “spiritual rather than religious” is a common option from the drop down menu when stating not only your own beliefs, but also identifying partner preferences.
Perhaps it’s the inevitable backlash from years of enforced attendance at numerous services as children. Or resistance to rigid opinions like banning same sex marriage. Whatever the cause, there seems to be a growing majority of people taking a more open hearted, loving, and all inclusive view of not only their higher power of choice, but the world as a whole.
I was at a party last weekend talking with a close friend. Without even realizing it we were speaking in hushed tones about our Reiki training. Another guest seemed to materialize out of nowhere, honing in on our conversation and asking questions. I felt us both hesitate ever so slightly, unable to anticipate her potential reaction, before I began share. Her face lit up and she enthusiastically joined in exclaiming “This is so great! I can’t really talk about this stuff with most people I know.”
We all relaxed and had an in depth conversation about various healing modalities.
I found myself thinking about this the following morning as I sipped my tea. How many times recently had I had some variation of the same conversation? If everyone that said to me “I can only talk to you about this” or “you know there are only certain people I can share this with” talked about it openly, then just about everyone would be talking about it. It makes me wonder why there is still such a stigma about coming out of the spiritual closet.
Of course we know our “vibe determines our tribe” and as you participate in areas of interest like yoga classes or retreats, you tend to encounter like minded souls. You’re certainly not holding back at your Spirit Junkie retreat, Waderlust, or Burning Man. But what about day to day life? Work? Social gatherings? We hesitate. Afraid that we may be judged as “weird”, “flighty”, or “woo-woo”.
I felt this shifting from a corporate culture to spiritually based work. I spent so many years toggling back and forth between my true self and my “corporate persona” that I would often hesitate out of sheer habit. “What would my peers think?” was in the back of my mind for so long that it had become a reflex. But why do the two have to be mutually exclusive?
The ironic part is that despite the buttoned up expectation in the office, the company I worked for celebrated it’s founders superstitions, belief in astrology and reliance on tarot cards as cornerstones of their history and heritage. It was actually a belief in superstitions that validated his decision to start his own business. These are the stories that people are drawn to and connect with on an emotional level because of their authenticity. Because of their relate-ability. With out the magic there would be no practical business to manage.
And while hesitation of sharing at work may for many seem status quo, one of the more difficult steps to take is often opening up to family. The thought that the people closest to you might not understand you can be pretty intimidating. This is especially true if your current view has evolved via your own life experience and differs from what you were taught to believe growing up.
I had a family member recently refer to my belief in the law of attraction as “hocus-pocus” (yes, definitely hard to take). Please remember that although it may feel like judgement at the time, it’s really not about you personally. It speaks to who they are and their level of openness to new ideas.
Here’s the big secret: most people are set in their ways and not only dislike but fear change. When you change, it forces them to think differently. They have you pegged a certain way, and when you shifted their perceived image of you, you also messed with the stability of what they thought they knew. Now they may have to change they way they think (gasp!), understand, or see things, to adjust and they don’t like it one bit. It’s most likely not even conscious on their part, but you just rocked their world.
On the other hand some may surprise you with the immense relief of having another person to talk to about “this stuff”. Stranger things have happened! Either way the end goal is being true to who you are. Let your spiritual flag fly! Wear your crystals, talk openly about angels and manifestation. About energy work or Marconics, and whatever it is that you believe in.
There will always be some people who don’t get it but guess what? THOSE AREN’T YOUR PEOPLE. If you chat someone up and your topic goes over like a lead balloon, then change topics. Exactly what you would do if you brought up a TV show they never saw or a book they didn’t enjoy. We don’t have to hide who we are. Chances are you are missing out on some amazing conversations and connections. You are passing up the opportunity to get to know others on a different level who may actually be in alignment with you.
The movement is in full swing. Ancient wisdom that seemed long since forgotten has been brought into the light once again. It’s intrinsic value rediscovered. We have been so separated from who we are for so long but the pendulum has finally started swinging back in the other direction. We are remembering what we used to know at a soul level. And you know what? It’s okay to talk about it.