Coming Out of the Psychic Closet
Coming out of the spiritual or psychic closet is one of the most vulnerable moments of a person’s life. There comes a certain feeling of isolation and loneliness with owning one’s spirituality that is hard to comprehend if you’ve never experienced it yourself.
In some cases it’s self-imposed, because you choose not to talk about it to anyone or only with the select few people you trust and finding like-minded people isn’t easy. The sting of rejection from your first naive attempts to be open about your beliefs and experiences are sometimes all it takes to bind yourself with silence going forward because you don’t want to risk continued humiliation for the things that you know to be true.
Because, you see, that’s what your vulnerability, your openness about your truth, does to them. It threatens their ego by shaking the very foundation upon which it is built. Tell me, what kind of strength does one have to have to be able to effect a person in such a way? It is my experience that most people will respond by attempting to diminish your thoughts and your belief–to make you feel inferior, to reinstate that sense of normalcy and control that they just lost in the face of your admission. Do you see the power you wield in your vulnerability?
I’ve always been careful to whom I share my experiences with, because I know that it flies in the face of everything that most people think they know. Some people just aren’t ready for it, and I’ve made the mistake of opening up to them. Some were steeped in fearful religion and cautioned me that the devil was deceiving me. Some stopped me dead in my tracks and began telling me that Jesus loved me and wanted to save my soul. Others simply laughed it off or questioned my sanity and after the conversation was over; they never brought it up again.
I understood why- it made them uncomfortable. They didn’t understand it, and rather than risk more discomfort, they pretended that it never happened.
For a while, I would try to present it to them hypothetically, just to gauge their reaction. ‘Delusional,’ was one of the responses I received. I’m sure that person would have tried to be somewhat more kind if I’d actually presented it to him as my own experience rather than a hypothetical one, but the hypothetical response was a lot more honest- and brutal.
I felt as if walls of rejection on all sides were pinning me in. Meanwhile, the need to talk to someone who understood what I was experiencing was eating me up inside. There’s a strange sort of helplessness one feels when they are going through something, which, by all appearances, no one else understands. It’s those moments that really and truly force you to go within and work through it on your own. Those are moments of great growth.
When you reach the point of understanding with yourself where you can quietly be who you are without feeling the need for validation from others around you, or trying to change the opinions or viewpoints of other people in your life for the explicit purpose of making the world safer for yourself- that’s when you know you’ve made a great leap in spiritual growth.
After all, how does trying to convince the people in your life that your beliefs are equally as valid or perhaps more valid than theirs differ from their staunch refusal to acknowledge your truth? It’s a battle of egos where no one wins. You’re simply participating in a cycle of reflecting negative energy back toward one another, and what’s worse- you’re telling yourself that you’re doing it in the name of spirituality and enlightenment. Suddenly, you’ve become an evangelical.
The ‘battles’ we find ourselves in with others over our beliefs are reflections of the battle we fight within ourselves. As above: so below.
What I’ve realized about being open about my spirituality is that I don’t really NEED to be open about it. I can be, if and when I feel a person is asking for my help, but I don’t need to force them to understand what I do and how I think for the sake of making myself feel better about what I believe. All I need to do is LIVE it and BE it without fear of rejection OR the need to shout it from the rooftops. That’s how I change the world around me.
Spirituality is a very personal journey–it can’t get much more personal than looking inside yourself. Always remember–your journey is not about others. It’s about you, and that is enough.