My sanctuary is being invaded! The parental units will arrive within hours!!!
I adore my parents, but we are so very different! Imagine these 2 scenarios:
Scenario #1 - Be Proud, Be Yourself!
A 65 year-old, retired, very right-wing, Baptist minister & his submissive (but passive-aggressively bitchy) wife come into my home filled with books on witchcraft & multiple altars, dragons, bats, herbs, candles, opinions of love for all, etc. I have the candles lit & am proudly wearing my pentacle necklace. I am comfortable in my own skin & they better accept it & be happy for me.
Let the drama begin!! 1st it will be how/why I will be spending eternity in Hell. Mom will be in tears. Dad will start exorcising demons [uhm...never mind the fact that this practice is magic(k), we cannot go THERE!]. I will bring up prayer & how akin it is to magic(k). They will rant, rave, manipulate & pray. I will cry. My husband will get mad & demand they treat me with respect. We spend 7 days in uncomfortable exchanges. Oh dear goddess...maybe I'll move!
We hug upon their departure. Everyone is tense & upset. I pour myself a stiff drink & cry. My husband, at my request, opens all the windows in the house as I fall to pieces full of guilt & regret. Tears stream as I attempt to smudge our home, but a sense of sanctuary cannot be restored yet. My parents call weekly & send me emails attempting to save my soul. The life I have struggled to build has changed drastically.
But wait...there is another option!
Scenario #2 - Be at Peace with Yourself & Others:
With some reluctance, I gather all my witchy books & paraphernalia & slide these precious texts & icons under my bed. Out comes a statue of Joseph & Mary cradling baby Jesus - during this time, they will represent, for me, the God & Goddess cradling my Spirit in kind & gentle arms. I am comfortable with symbolism, this isn't too much of a stretch.
I will actively choose conversation topics that are not controversial. Directing peaceful & laughter-filled days of communion with these two who provided me shelter & provision as I grew. I will be accepting of myself & my views without having the need to impose them on others or defend them. I will be confident enough in myself to allow the differences in those I love. I will ignore & deflect inquiries about church. When we discuss God, I will be focused on my idea of divinity & not feel the need to argue against paternalistic & dis-empowering views to which I no longer prescribe.
We will spend 7 days together. There will be times when I bite my tongue so hard that blood drips down my face. I will be more tense than usual. Love will be shared. They will not know the true me, but they will feel safe enough that they need not meddle into my life.
We hug upon their departure. I pour a stiff, but celebratory drink, open all the windows of the house, smudge, & put my sanctuary back in order. We communicate sporadically about silly topics for another year. Life returns to normal.
Omissions v. Lies:
Yes, I know that a witch's word is her power. I have spent years learning to be compassionately honest & am sad that this enlightenment cannot apply to my interaction with my parents. But, maybe the most compassionate & loving action is to omit the truth.
There is a huge difference between an omission and a lie. This witch is comfortable with a few omissions. Will my word & power be effected by this large omission? I hope not, but it is a price I'm willing to pay for the peace of knowing my parents are happy in our relationship. Oh, and also, for my own sanity!
Setting the Ground Rules:
Having ranted about all of that, I do plan to set some ground rules for the parental units, who can be very confrontational & argumentative. I created this little rhyme to post on the front door, I hope it works!
A price is paid to enter here,
This house of love, mirth and cheer.
All hate and malice, discontent
Even thought of argument,
Breathe in and out, discharge these thoughts.
Your key to enter quickly bought!
A sanctuary, is this place.
Filled with love, peace and grace.
So welcome home, dear friend and kin!
Open arms await within.
Wild & Bright Blessings!!