A Friend Wrote This

My “best friend that is not my wife” wrote this. She is a parent. I’ll never have that perspective. This is her’s. The author is Aj Fowler.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Seriously……… WHAT IF??

I began this blog to have a place to vent. To have a place to share bits of my life. To be able to give others a view into what goes on in the mind and the world of your average, everyday, good hearted pagan. I do not consider myself to be anyone special. I mean, I KNOW what my value is and I know my self worth. That is enough. What I mean by no one special is that I am not famous. I am not a movie star or a music icon. I am not a pro sports athlete. I am just me. I am just a woman that lives her life the best way she knows how to live. I raised my children and made mistakes. I love my grandchildren more than I ever thought I could love anyone; including my children. I am married and live in middle class America. I stay at home to raise my 3 year old daughter and teach her the things that I hold important and dear. Until very recently, I was a full time working woman and had been for more than 28 years. I have held 2 and 3 jobs at a time in order to do what was needed to provide for my family. I have been a single mother and was for many years. I have been a step parent. I have been a bonus mom and I have had children that came along with a relationship, that when that relationship ended, the child and I continued and developed our loving and nurturing relationship. To this day and every day beyond, I still call her my daughter and she still calls me her mom.No matter how many hats I have worn in my life, from mother to wife  to sister to daughter to step parent to ex wife to Nana to pagan to witch, the one thing I have never been able to wrap my head around is how anyone could preach unconditional love and yet NOT love unconditionally. This happens all the time. At least more often than most of us are even aware.I have loved my own children no matter what choices they have made. Whether I agree with them or not, my love and acceptance of my children has never wavered and they KNOW that. I have loved the children of my spouse and his previous partner as they were my own. We have had the same struggles that any blended family does, but I have loved each and every one of those children as if I had given birth to them myself. After divorcing my previous husband, his daughter and I remained extremely close and to this day she is MY daughter and I challenge anyone to tell me differently. Including him! I love the children of my current husband as if I had given birth to them also. His son is very warm and welcoming of the relationship and his daughter has chosen to push me aside and resent me. Those are their choices as individuals and they are entitled to them. This has not changed my love for them or the parental instinct to help them if they needed help. With all of this being said, I can not imagine turning them away if they needed love or support. Most of you say you feel the same way. But do you?My children do not all have the same religious beliefs or the same spiritual path that I do or that their siblings do. I can not imagine condemning my child or disowning my child for being an individual. People do.

Here is the real point of this blog. What would you do if your child were to come and tell you that they are gay? You have spent your whole life preaching your version of faith and religion and you have taught them that following your religion is the only way that is right. What kind of turmoil do you think you have caused in the mind of a child that wants to do what is right, but can not help how they feel? Are you so hung up on your belief and your religion that you will turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the needs of your child? Or are you a parent first and do you listen to your child and try to understand and support them? Are you so stringent in your belief that your child is too afraid to speak to you? You say they can come to you with anything, but can they really?

When your child over hears your gossip with the other church folk about how bad it is that someone left their spouse for a member of the SAME sex and they listen to you condemn that person to hell, do you think they are going to want to come to you with their own sexuality? When you openly throw bible verses to prove the wrongness or the sinfulness of an act is that comfort to your child? What happens when your child is so worried about pleasing you and doing the right thing that they suppress all of their emotion so that they don’t have to think about being gay or about your disapproval? Do you have any idea the damage you are causing psychologically? Do you even care? Or are you one of those people that no matter WHO is gay, you believe it is a choice they make and that you can convince them to change their mind?

I tell you right now, my sons are not perfect in ANYONE’s eyes. They have done things that are very morally wrong. Things that I disagree with and things that I will NEVER condone or approve of. I am well aware of the things they have done. This does not mean that I do not love them. I love each and every one of my children. I love them UNCONDITIONALLY! I don’t tell them, “I love you but only if you don’t go to jail” I say, “I’m not proud of your choices at times, but I love you and I am proud of YOU”. I don’t say, “I love you but only if you don’t beat your girlfriend.” I say, “You know I do not agree with what you are doing, but I do love you.” I may encourage them stop the behavior that I do not like but I do not disown them or stop loving them. If my child came home to me and told me they were gay, I would be supportive of that in a world that is so condemning. If my white skinned, blond haired boys brought home a black girl, an Asian girl, a Mexican girl, a Korean girl OR any other kind of girl I would welcome her into my family and love her as I love my own children. If my white skinned blond hair boys brought home a black man, a Mexican man, a Korean man, or any other man, I would welcome him into my family and love him as I love my own as well. The same thing goes for my daughter. Although she is in a very loving and happy relationship with a wonderful man, if she were to bring home a woman and say to me, “Mom, this is so and so and she is my girlfriend.” I would open my home and my hear to my daughters mate no matter who it was.

This my friends is what unconditional love truly is.It is the ability to love without condition, without judgment and without hesitation. This is unfortunately NOT the way some people love. Some people are so hung up on what is right or wrong that they never consider any other way. By having a preconceived notion of what is supposed to be, you are putting conditions on your love. By preaching to the world that being gay is a sin, you are telling your child that if you are gay, I will not love you. By preaching to the world that being a pagan is a sin, you are telling your child that if you do not believe what I believe I will not love you. By worrying about what everyone else is doing, you are damaging your own.

People PLEASE! Stop and understand the damage you are causing by having such a closed mind! If it is not right for you, no one will make you do it. That does NOT mean that it is not right for someone else. Somehow we have come to worry more about others than what it is our own home and our own hearts. We have callused ourselves to anything that is other than what we want, choose or believe. What happened to love and be loved? What happened to live and let live? Why are we all out to prove everyone else wrong or to hate anything we do not understand?

I am telling you now that until you have a relative that is gay, you have no idea HOW you would react. Until you have a loved one that is something different than you are, and could not help that or choose to be different than that, you have no idea WHAT you would do.

Would you stop loving a child or disown a child that was disfigured or had a disability from birth? Would you reject or deny a child that was born with a physical or mental difference than yourself? If you can answer no to either of those questions, then why would you not love someone who is different in other ways? Why is it alright to pick and choose your prejudices? Why is it right to be prejudiced at all?

By having a closed mind and a vocal hatred for things, you are causing more harm in the long run. Your children hear what you say. They know in their hearts and their souls who they are from a very young age. Listening to your discriminatory and derogatory comments affect them in ways you can not even imagine. They learn to hide things and suppress things. They learn to lie to others and to themselves. They learn to pretend that what is — isn’t. The problem with this is that years down the road, and often times MANY years down the road, the lies have worn at them. It has affected their self esteem. It has affected their relationships. It has affected their lives in so many ways that you can not begin to count. Eventually the lies, as with any infection, will seep to the top and begin to ooze out. Eventually they can no longer suppress the secrets and the horror of mixed emotions is unbelievable!

You can not imagine the hours of therapy that it takes to get your head right when you have spent your whole life living a lie. When you know in your soul that you are one way but you have pretended to be another in order to make your parents happy. So that you wouldn’t be judged. So that they wouldn’t stop loving you.
I am glad for this reason that although I do NOT approve of some of the choices my children make, I have never given them a mold to try to fit into.

This may actually make sense to some of you and you may stop and look at what you are doing, but I am sure the one’s that really need this are the one’s that will probably judge me also.

I don’t care who you are. I don’t care who you do. I only care that you are a decent and respectable person toward me. When I say I try to be the best person I can be, I mean that.

What happened to “God created man in his likeness”? What happened to, “Judge not lest ye be judged”? What happened to, “Love thy neighbor”?

No where did it say God created all man in his likeness except gays. No where did it say you can judge others as long as you use the bible to hide behind. No where does it say to love thy neighbor unless they are gay, or black, or pagan or different from you in any other way.

Most importantly, stop lying to yourselves. Stop telling yourself that it is okay to pass these judgements. Stop teaching your children double standards. Stop teaching prejudice and hatred.

If you have to resent gays or blacks or pagans, then do it peacefully. You are most definitely entitled to your own opinion, but that doesn’t mean you need to be so freely sharing it. If it does not affect you directly, meaning it is not your spouse or your house, then mind your own damn business and keep your damn mouth shut.

In the meantime, as a spiritual counselor, I would like to say that my job and my life would have been a whole lot easier if it were not for the parents that teach their children nothing but conformity. If you were a little more in tune with LIFE and a little less worried about control, you might have seen some of the signs. Instead, you have spent a lifetime in denial and given your child a lifetime of misery and self loathing.

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