God is definitely out of the closet. ~~Marianne Williamson
I’ve been carrying a secret for a very long time. It started as a curiosity when I was very young. I used to spend hours poring over books that danced around this taboo in my heart. I dreamed of a different life, a different world…one where I was allowed to… no, celebrated for…being who I am. I never told a soul. Not even my best and closest friends. I’d hang around others who seemed to be like me… whatever that meant. They were judged by others to be odd, misfit, creepy… I didn’t understand the judgments. They seemed okay to me. It was all very confusing. I experienced bullying by other children, and judgment by adults, because I was “different.” I gave up trying to fit in with normal people. They seemed to see right through my pretenses of being just like them.
I explored the ways that others thought, acted, and lived normal. I attended church with my Christian friends. When I heard about the message and persecution of Jesus, I thought for sure that I’d be safe in that world. Love & acceptance were taught there. But the practice I observed in his followers spelled out to me, in neon letters: DON’T TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT WHO YOU ARE. They often quoted their scripture, saying that what I am is a sin, an abomination, punishable by death. I tried like hell to hide my wickedness, to deny this longing, to kill my evil soul.
Adulthood didn’t make my secret any less a burden. Having children shined a spotlight on my secret and made me question my fitness to be a mother. I just knew, in the deepest corners of my heart, that I couldn’t be myself & be a good parent to them. For the greater part of their childhoods, I was dependent on the state to help me house, feed, and clothe them, so I was subject to the opinions of others: social workers, case workers, taxpayers… the unspoken law was this:
If we don’t approve of the way you live your life, you will lose everything.
I buried my secret deeper in the shadows of my consciousness. But I acted out when I thought no one would notice. I played with an alternate identity. At times, I would fully become this other person, so different from the face that I put on in polite company. I thought I could have my cake & eat it, too.
I opened up to one other person about my secret. We had been through many times together– good & bad. I was in my mid-thirties & felt confident that being myself was finally the right thing to do. Despite his belief that he was open-minded & even rebellious, he freaked out. I recognized the potential powder-keg of rejection & shut that door once more. Things would probably never get better if I persisted.
Now, in my graying years, I’ve made peace with my demons. It has nearly cost me everything– my relationships, my sanity, my life– trying to keep this secret. I acknowledge that, in former times, I might have been murdered for being who I am. I recognize that my fear of judgment & persecution has held me back from my own greatness.
I see others opening up to the world with their own deep secrets. My heart swells with admiration for their courage and self-respect. I’m envious of the beauty they reveal in their Coming Out… I want to bloom like them! I want to feel the fullness of being the self I was born to be. I listen to the music of their souls, hoping that some of that power will rub off on me. Surely, if they can Be True, then so can I!
So, here I am. As I write this, I feel a trembling in my solar plexus–the center of Personal Power. All the old fears taunt me: Am I giving you power to harm me by telling you my secret? What will you do with this when you know? Might I lose my job…my friends…my family… all for the sake of telling my Truth? I fear I must justify, explain, or excuse the passions that burn within me or risk losing what matters most.
But fear never serves us…it never, EVER serves the Greater Good. What I am is what I am…(to quote the New Bohemians). The opinions of others have run (and nearly ruined) my life for far too long. I’m ready to reclaim my Power & stand with those brave souls who step before me, out of the closet and into the sun.
I am, and always have been, a Witch. My spirituality revolves around Nature & the unseen, unexplainable Power that creates everything. I am a Wielder of Magick and a Weaver of Dreams. Even without benefit of coven & cauldron, rite & ritual, I have innate powers of influence and intention. My powers have served me & others in my work, in my family, and in my day-to-day dealings. I come by these powers through heredity, through multiple incarnations, and through the blessings of God/dess. I am not self-taught, have not had formal training, have not been initiated into a tradition. I am a Natural Witch.
I’ll conclude this confession with a few questions for you: What secret are you hiding in the darkest closet of your soul? What has it cost you to keep it hidden? What would the world be like if you were to come out of your closet? Let’s you & I begin a conversation that has been avoided for far too long. It’s easy enough to say “Be Yourself.” Let’s practice what we preach. You are who you are. What matters is YOU. In all your Twisted Glory. In all your Hide-ous Beauty. You’re welcome to Be here.