Last night I read a post by my friend on Facebook. She had shared a link to an article about a metaphysical topic of an advanced nature. The comment thread was interesting, but I didn't want to respond because an old friend of mine had commented some ridiculous stuff that I would have a hard time not pointing out. Instead, I private messaged my friend in order to talk about it, but also let her know what I know to be true about what our friend was saying. I did send the message, even knowing that sometimes when I do that, I can come off as a know-it-all, or at least come off negatively in some way. I'm not sure why I do it, other than that for me it's a matter of pride, both in my path, and in being honest. In any case, I'm happy to say that what started as a way of letting my friend know something wasn't exactly right, became a much bigger question when I revealed it more obscurely in my own Facebook post on my public page:
Okay, this is a silly thing, but as someone who's been practicing and studying my path of Paganism/Wicca seriously for over a decade now, and put a lot of my life and energy and heart into it... I have to admit that I get miffed or just straight up have to laugh when I hear people make outrageous claims about their powers/abilities that I know not to be true. I'm not saying people can't develop abilities, or change their ways over time. This isn't about that. But you know how sometimes someone will claim something crazy about their family, and you know their family, and you KNOW it's not true? ("I love New York. I grew up in the city." "You grew up on a farm in Ohio...") Or they'll say they've always done something, but you know they haven't? ("I've always been a great bicyclist. I was practically born on a bike." "Really? Because I'm pretty sure you were 14 that summer you got the nerve up to try, and you fell into a fence. But after that, you were a natural!")
(Okay, I don't know how old I was, but I definitely learned to ride a bike WAY LATER than most people do. It was my brother that fell into the fence. Yay, fictional examples based on real events!)
Those are meant to be humorous examples, but you get my drift. I mean, what's so wrong with saying "I learned this later in life" or "I didn't believe this then, but I do now"? Are we ashamed of growth and change so much that we have to pretend we've always been this way? Or is it just some aura of mysticism surrounding Paganism and other Occult topics that makes people want to say "It's been in my family for generations," "I found out my great-great-great-great-grandmother on my married-in uncle's side was Wiccan, so I have great power" (Though not verbatim, I've had someone claim something like that to me before), or "I never even had to try, I've just always been able to do that advanced technique you can't figure out how to do"?
I mean, maybe they can do it. Maybe their family members all became Wiccan/Pagan at some point. All that aside, why claim things that are untrue? Especially on something like Facebook... Where your friends and family are... Who knew you back then... And kind of know you're padding the truth. Silly.
(For what it's worth, I would LOVE to learn more about my ancestry and trace back to those who would have practiced a form of Paganism. That would be so cool to know! But it wouldn't change the truth.
My grandmother is Roman Catholic, born in Italy. My mother is a Universal Life Church minister and Spiritualist Christian. And I'm a Witch [Check all other labels that apply].)
See, it's really not just about what I told my friend. It's not just about one person claiming something that isn't true, but more about why we, as people, do this over and over, in many different areas of our lives. I didn't express that very well in my message to my friend, because that was specific to the truths I knew about the specific situation. I missed the forest for the trees, as it were. In any case, it's sparked a few great comments so far on the Facebook thread, and those have, in turn, made me think of a few more things. If you'd like to check it out, you may do so here: https://www.facebook.com/cutewitch772/posts/775060265900623