Being Young and Pagan; How to Live Pagan with Non-Pagans
If there is anything I get asked more often than where to find information, it the question of how to deal with people who are not pagan. Now I know the wording of deal with may not come across explicitly nice, but it is the vocabulary that has been used when referring to me and my spiritual decisions by those who are outside of understanding. I know that at some point all of us have had to deal with the prejudice opinions of ignorant people, be it someone we know personally or a stranger who notices that we are less than conventional in the ways of religion in our world. Be it close relationship or not, the terms with which to approach their choice of words and questioning, or their less than kind actions, is the same--you do it with a smile.
Saying No the Right Way
When dealing with family, there is always the issue of the old religious events that you were once involved in. Christmas, Easter, going to church, Sunday dinners, any sort of events that you might be asked to attend once more. The first issue you might run into is the guilt tripping.
- First you have to learn to say no, even when they pull some of the harshest excuses and reasons out of their hats.
- Next, you need to be respectful about telling them no. Getting angry, shouting or raising your voice does not leave you on the higher ground.
- Hold your ground. You cannot wane on your decision even for a moment. This does not make you cruel, or mean, or anything of that nature, it means that you are unwilling to allow someone to force you into something you are uncomfortable with.
It is not just guilt that draws some serious attention, it is the feeling of alienation that comes with being different. If you are the black sheep in the family, you begin to wonder if they will ever look at you the same way again. And it will be hard, there are days where I wish I could share my joy with my family, but I know what their response will be. Remain strong and just remember, be true to yourself. That is all you can do and all that any family or person should ever ask of you.