All Beliefs are Welcome Here!
Moving can be hectic on just about anyone. Besides all the physical stress it entails, there's also the emotional toll it takes from being uprooted from friends, family, and loved ones.
I've recently moved from Temecula, California, to a little town in Indiana. It was a little bit of a shock, less crammed with people and traffic yes, but also less opportunities, services and amenities. And I quickly found out, hardly a pagan in sight. I suppose this should not have come as a shock to me. I mean, rural country isn't exactly known for its large variety of religious flavors. I guess I thought I'd be able to seek them out, through the internet or people I meet or otherwise. But no.. In all this time out here, I've only run into one lady, spotted her pentacle, and in a moment of desperate happiness gave her my number with barely any kind of introduction (did I mention this was in a Panera bread drive thru?).
It's like I'm searching for Waldo, Wiccan style.
(And I suck at that game.)
The other Saturday, I got invited by a very kind lady to go to a Sunday service at a local Catholic church. Please understand, I was raised Catholic and didn't officially change my religious views until about 5 years ago, and when I did leave I did so with no bad feelings or animosity, so the thought of going to a Sunday service didn't immediately put me off. Actually I kinda pounced on the offer. I needed some sort of community; I'm a big people person, and the lack of others to celebrate my faith with is seriously depressing to me. I was missing my wonderful, active, beautiful and loving coven I left behind. I really felt like maybe going to the church could maybe help lessen that a little bit...and I'm not going to lie, for a little while that evening the thoughts running in my head were:
"Maybe I can go back to being with Catholics for a little bit, just until I find more pagans to join with."
"I can pretend."
"Maybe if I'm not doing so well with this on my own, its not the right thing to do."
"I can still get the sense of connection I need, they aren't bad people, and I was part of this once. It should be enough."
So come Sunday there I was back in a church, somewhere I hadn't been in 6 years. And you know what? It was awful. I felt like a fake. Don't get me wrong, the energy was positive in that place, and the people seemed generally warm and inviting. But I no longer followed or believed the words I was listening too, and it made me feel like I was being disrespectful to these people who were (hopefully) there because this was them, this was what they considered their spiritual path. The press of people became uncomfortable, and when the service ended, I basically fled, not wanting to run into that kind lady again in the state of mind I was in. And I haven't been back there since, even though my cravings for contact and community are even stronger, and in a way I feel like I am spiritually starving.
So I suppose my question is.. Did anyone out there ever go back to the religion they had before because you felt alone in yours? And if not.. How do you combat the effects of being solitary after you were involved in a coven for so long? And does it ever get better?