A couple of days ago, I went to church for Ash Wednesday. While I was there, I realized thay it’s essentially the one day of the year where we stand out from the crowd, as we proudly show the ashes on our forehead.
At that point, I couldn’t help but wonder what type of judgement would be cast on me simply based on my religion. What type of stereotypes would I embody? How would people react to me? Would they shy away from telling me the truth about certain subjects? Would I loose out on learning about diversity?
The answers to these questions are not the ideal when you love honesty and openesss as much as I do. However, they are things we deal with on a day to day basis. Sometimes it feels as if we have to hide our true identity in order to get honesty, and it feels a little hypocritical.
I wish it wasn’t like that. I wish I could be openly Catholic and reserved without fearing people from tip-toeing around me in regards to certain subjects. I wish I could be open and say:
I’m a Catholic. I don’t understand homosexuality and I’m not going to condemn it. I don’t feel a need to support it or tear it apart. I simply want to know you as an individual. I want to know who you are. I don’t care about the sex or gender of your partner. I care about you. You as a person. So please don’t feel awkward telling me about your stories, be open towards me. If I feel a slight ounce of judgement, I will let you know and ask you to explain a bit more. I don’t want to cast you away because of my lack of understanding. I want you to know you can be yourself and not fear that I’m biased or seeing how “holy” you are. Darling, for all we know, you could be 10x more of a saint that I could ever be. So please, don’t judge me based on how many crosses I own, what religious practices I have, or any previous experiences you might have had. Please be yourself. Please allow me to mention God, if I feel the need. Please be open. Please don’t close the door on me because I’m Catholic.
But I can’t. Most people wouldn’t believe me or even take the time to tell me their story. People are afraid to be vulnerable and they tend to add or take away from stories to make the other person feel more comfortable.
Funny how that works, hu? You want to be open yet keep your identity. You need to validate who you are, yet you need to hide it in order to show it.
I really wish open/non-judgemental communication could really be a thing. Life would be so much simpler and beautiful.