There is a shift going on with the relationship I have with my mother; perhaps a subconscious realization of all things that were seemingly “okay” but now have changed. I woke up in the middle of the night last week with much on my heart and my mind, knowing that I needed to write. I knew that what I needed to write about would be heavy, but that it would also be a way of releasing this heaviness. There wasn’t much hesitation during this moment and I got out of bed, turned on my lamp and proceeded to write. It really is amazing what comes to me in the early morning hours compared to what I am thinking about during the day. My intuitive side peaks during the early morning hours; it’s quiet, still and I’m able to flow with this energy as I write effortlessly. I remember a time when I was afraid to just be my true self, particularly with my mom; feeling the need to show her one side of me while holding in the other side out of fear and that is the gist of this piece.
Most everything that my mother believes in has been challenged by how I live my life and what I now embrace as my truth. In my early teens, I began attending church with my mother. She became fully immersed in Christianity and there was no question that I would follow suit by praying and believe in God on her terms. My religious beliefs were somewhat laid out for me in that respect. I honestly didn’t have too many issues with the church we attended, in fact I began relationships that would last for many years with young people my age and other young adults that I am still connected with to this day. I will say that I didn’t know enough to be objective about religion, I just felt that it was a part of my life. My early 20’s gave me the independence that I needed but again, I was still learning and growing. I felt a tinge of guilt if I didn’t go to church, even though my mother was not with me 24/7 anymore to ensure that I did. I remember picking a “faith” based college to attend in hopes that my mother would more or less embrace my decision to go away to college. She did indeed feel more at ease, and my year at the college was quite interesting to say the least.
To my surprise as I began reading more and learning about religion, I felt that it was a male oriented place where I could not truly know peace or God himself unless I had a relationship with him. I had never really heard much about the Divine Feminine, or Goddesses or Mother Earth. Those terms were somewhat foreign to me until I reached my 30’s. I would take a 365 degree turn from what I had been taught and how I should be living my life according to those teachings. I began feeling in my heart that I needed more, I desired to learn more and I could no longer pretend that I didn’t feel a shift within me. It was not easy to break away and follow my own path. I would be labeled “lost, a New Age thinker, and foolish” among other things when I started to embrace a more spiritual path; basically learning from within and acknowledging all that is around me.
How dare I say that religion was patriarchal dogma and choose to move from its grips? How dare I actually disagree with my mother; the woman who gave me life and therefore knew what was best for me, even now. But therein was the problem; I was still living my life as if she had the upper authority, the upper hand on what I should be believing as far as religion was concerned and it was time to stand up for myself. I knew I had to follow where my spirit was leading, I had been through too much in my life to continue in the direction that I was going. I didn’t mind being misunderstood anymore, I didn’t care about what others were thinking about my personal beliefs and I was willing to delve deeper into that part of myself that had been ignored for so long out of fear. I loved my mother and had always respected her beliefs but I was exhausted from trying to please her by following suit. It just wasn’t me anymore; I felt as if I was keeping myself in a proverbial box for years but I could finally climb out. My mother and I have had many conversations and dialogue about what I believe about God, religion and where I stand today. And even though it has been great to allow myself to honestly share that part of me with her, I couldn’t help but feel that she was holding on to what she remembers about me and wishing that things could be the way they were.
I have never hated any religion and still don’t; I have hated the ways in which it was used to control others. I have also felt uncomfortable with how the Divine Feminine aspect of the Creator has been etched out in many religions.
I’m comfortable in my truth, and I feel “at home” inside of my spirit because I finally made a conscious choice to stand up for what I believe in; regardless of rejection. What exactly am I now? I was asked this by my mother not so long ago and I responded with; a “spiritual woman.” I embrace the Divine Feminine and Masculine aspects of the world we live in, I believe that there is a Creator of all living things, and that we can see the ebb and flow of life in nature. I know that I can learn something from everyone whether they are Christian, Hindu, Jewish or any other faith. And I want that to be the case for me; I am not one to debate about such a personal aspect of someone’s life. Of course my journey has changed the dynamics in some of my relationships including with my mother, because not everyone accepts change as positively as the person going through it. It may not be so easy to grasp, it can be confusing to those looking on the outside. But I knew that this day had to come; I felt a pressing need to address my concerns and as much as I love my mother, I owed it to both of us to live my truth. These days, there isn’t an uneasiness when I talk with my mother, even though we don’t agree on everything all of the time. The best part about the shift in our relationship is that it is more genuine. While I don’t feel as embraced by her as much as I did in the past as far as religion goes, the peace that I can now claim in my heart surpasses the fear I had for so long.