KRT: Take me seriously

Underground Kemeticism: How public are you about your beliefs and practices? How has it (or not) impacted your work life, your familial and friendly ties? What advice would you give to uncertain Kemetics about how to approach either telling or not telling others about their beliefs?

Two words: Privacy and Logic.

I tell very few people.

Only two people know about my religion who are outside of my pagan friend group; one is an ex, with whom I shared 6 years of my life; I didn’t share anything other than the fact that I was a “pagan”. That was all he knew. The other is a dear friend who is both kind, loving, and open minded. People in my “pagan” group know largely because I was very active and an administrator for a local group that worked to educate and network local pagans. So, time and place.

 

The main reason for this is that I am a private person, and I don’t feel its anyone’s business to know my religious beliefs and practices. Secondly, academia has had a profound effect on me. In that sphere, at least the circle which “trained” me, religion of any sort is less than desirable. I feel, sometimes, having a faith makes me more susceptible to irrational thinking (or at least being perceived that way). So, I keep my practices private because I am private, and because I fear not being taken very seriously.

Of course, I know this isn’t true. There are many people who have belief in something that are taken quite seriously, and are respected members of their society. I am not ashamed of what I do; but first impressions are hard to erase. And quite frankly, its my own business anyway. I feel no need to wave it around. If I met another Kemetic, I would share. I am not a recluse; just private.

I don’t mind sharing. I have, in the past. I’m unapologetic when it comes up, open to questioning, and usually do my best to differentiate my practices and beliefs from what others may do (and pointing out the lack of standardization that may or may not exist). But it just doesn’t really come up, 98% of the time.

 

I would ask: Why do you feel the need to share your beliefs? Are you looking for a sense of community? I was, at one point; more to have friends with similar views than anything. I tried to find like minds, and then I shared when it was appropriate. It did me well.

Do you want your family or friends to know “all” of you? The “real” you? This is a common reason people have cited to me when wondering whether or not to come out to their family in situations (sexual orientation, gender, faith, etc.). I would ask-would a situation come up that would warrant explanation, making their knowing easier? Is it that important to you that they know? How much would it complicate the relationship? Is it causing you distress that they don’t know? How would it improve the relationship if they did know?

I think the answers to these questions are good guidelines on how to proceed, but in the end you have to do what will make you the happiest! Many people feel that if someone truly loves you, they accept you no matter what. This is the case-in an unconditional love. Sadly, not everyone loves unconditionally. However, I will say that most people “get over it”. By “it”, I mean most things in general. But there’s a big difference between telling your mother, sister, or best friend and telling your BFF of three weeks or your drinking buddy for the night.

My general approach is to approach who you tell with care, and only share when applicable. Its a part of your identity, but so are lots of things! It depends on how important it is to *you*. I feel, for me personally, that there is a time and place to share details about my orientation, political affiliation, financial conundrums or successes, and religious affiliations. These things are all highly personal, and for *me* are guarded closely.  Of course, others are more open, and there’s no problem with that!! If we all guarded our lives so closely, we might have trouble raising awareness.

 

Which brings up another point: talking about it can be hard, but it does raise awareness and, in time, acceptance. If we wish to live in a tolerant world, sometimes we must give the opportunity for others to be tolerant. If we wish to be free to be ourselves, and we feel that part of that means being open in all respects, then we must be willing to be open if we are willing to make the sacrifices it may entail.

Its only that for me, being free to be me means privacy.

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  1. Trackback: Underground Kemeticism | Kemetic Round Table

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