I posted on my personal journal the other day about feeling kind of disappointed because I know so few people who I am comfortable talking about religion with, out of fear of judgment; mostly I am referring to people I had been friends with as a child, or people in my family. Someone commented on my entry saying that they’d love to talk about religion with me, because they’re curious about religions in general and wanted to be supportive. I was a little intimidated. Believe it or not, for all that I have kept up this blog for a while, I have a really hard time talking about my spirituality. I love to write about it, and to put my thoughts about my spirituality into words, but I have a spectacularly hard time actually engaging in conversation.
I used to be really enthusiastic about it, too. After a while, though, people started to get uncomfortable – maybe I was overdoing it. Then one day someone accused me of trying to convert them, and truthfully I’m not sure if I was or I wasn’t. I was just doing what felt right by involving them (a boyfriend, at the time) in my spiritual activities. He didn’t want to be involved, but I couldn’t quite toe the line between talking about it (an okay thing) and getting him involved (a not so okay thing). There was some backlash, and we fought, and I walked away from that experience feeling pretty guarded about what I would and wouldn’t say about my spiritual experiences.
That’s not to say I have no one to talk to about it. I talk to my friends from my faith, and other pagan friends who are open-minded about alternative spirituality. I do talk to my boyfriend about it – I directed him to learn more on his own after he kept expressing his interest and he has since decided to follow the same path. Even that, however, makes me worry a little bit. I’m afraid that he has chosen this because I have, and it makes our life easier and gives him a way to relate to me. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy being able to relate to him spiritually – we are both divined children of the same god, Wepwawet, which also kind of means we have a lot of similar spiritual experiences – but it makes me uneasy. I worry.
What I don’t mind is answering questions about my spirituality – not my religion, Kemetic Orthodoxy, but my own personal practices and experiences. And hell, I don’t mind so much talking about those, either. It’s just that I don’t like feeling like a spokesperson. I know that by blogging I’m putting myself out there in that way, but it’s different if it’s a blog. I don’t have to keep repeating the disclaimer that these are just my personal experiences, because it already says that all over my blog, thanks to the magic of HTML.
Anyway, that’s why I might seem standoffish or uncomfortable if you approach me about my religion. It isn’t that I don’t want to talk about it, or that I really have a good reason not to – I’ve just been burned by being overly zealous in the past, and I’m really hesitant to put anyone in the same position again.