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Saturday, 12 July 2014

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Pagan Art Journaling Week 14
prompt for this week: the broom closet

are you in or out? and why? would you want it to change or are you happy the way things are?

I went home for one of my little brothers' wedding last week and returned Monday. What does this have to do with this page? Everything? Nothing?

I'm a wee bit jetlagged, really emotional right now (watching my brother get married = me crying like a baby) and returning home means that I am now homesick again. And all of these elements combine to make me think a lot about what family knows and doesn't know about my path. I've written about this before in relation to my inlaws but I've never really talked about what this means in terms of my own family.

My brother's wedding actually made me think about this a lot because as I watched all the wedding shenanigans, I spent a lot of time thinking about what I actually know about my brother and what he knows about me.

I come from an open family and I'm super grateful for that. But I also come from a family that is terrible about keeping in touch and as such, don't tend to know a lot about the ins and outs of my relatives daily lives. However, given that I am 7, 12, and 14 years older than my brothers (first marriage child), I probably wouldn't necessarily be any closer to them even if they lived next door. But this creates a weird dynamic of knowing and not knowing one another. I know their past, but they don't really know mine. I tend to be the story keeper (combo of being the eldest, the girl, and the one who is a busybody and asks questions) and I'm the one who can tell you the whys and wheres of the family history. I can tell them about how they got that scar, or what their baptism was like. Hell, I can even tell them about their parents marriage. I know their likes and dislikes from childhood but as adults, I am completely clueless.

But more significantly, being so much older than them, it means that while I know their past, they don't know mine. Their ability to explain there wheres and whys of my life is substantially less than mine.

They don't know what my spiritual path is, other than their big sister is a bit hippy dippy and once upon a time talked about something called about worshipping nature. Given that we come from the west coast, this isn't really that unusual. But they don't know why I'm a vegetarian or how that ties into my spiritual choices. And it's not because they would judge, it's just because I'm older and these are narratives that I've not shared with them. Which got me thinking about the things I do and don't share with others.

When I was younger I wore my spirituality like a banner. I boldly proclaimed my beliefs to anyone who expressed even the remotest of interest in the subject. As time has gone by, I've tempered my outspoken nature. Partly because of circumstance but mostly because of maturity. Now I don't feel the need to proclaim my self and project a persona in the way my insecure younger self did. And that has come with a realization of its own: my spirituality is mine, and mine alone.

I want to talk to like minded individuals but I don't feel the need to prove anything to anyone in the ways I did when I was younger. And this has influenced how I feel about the broom closet. I'm neither in nor out of the proverbial closet. If you ask, I'll tell. Depending on who you are and what your beliefs are, I may temper the bluntness of my disclosure but I don't hide in the broom closet when questioned. On the other hand, I don't volunteer the information either. My closest people know, but the rest are oblivious. And because I work in education and feel that my job as a teacher is to be a neutral transmitter of information (inasmuch as anyone can be neutral), I like it this way.

Back when I was serving you Starbucks coffee, it didn't matter that I was a Wiccan and you knew it. But as the college teacher to your child, you might now want me to be so open about this side of me. And I respect that and would even demand that to some extent of my own child's teachers (one day, when I have a kid). So my feelings about the broom closet have changed over time.

I guess that as I get older, not only has my need to be share changed, but also my motives for sharing. If you see me for who I am and how I live my life, I don't particularly care if you know the ins and outs of why I live my life the way I do. Not knowing the ins and outs of my little brother's life didn't change the fact that I was an emotional mess over watching him get married, nor did it change the sheer amount of love I have for him and how proud I am of him for being the great person he is. He is funny and caring. He is a good person. Beyond that, what else is there to know (ok, I know there's more, but I'm making a point here...). And the point is this: he lives his life with integrity and respect others, and that is all I really need to know about his spirituality. Likewise, I want to be seen for my actions, not my beliefs because I think that they speak louder than anything else. I've known too many people who have proclaimed their faith loudly, only to turn out to be very hypocritical in their actions. For me, as long as I live in accordance to my principles, I don't know that it's that important to be out there for all to see.

If my 21 year old self could see me now....

Source: just-wicca.blogspot.com