Over the years, I’ve met no small amount of people who have talked to me about their generic spiritual beliefs. I’ve even met people who have deconverted from Christianity who have adopted a new sort of spirituality. I don’t begrudge people these things, but when the conversation turns towards such topics, I get uncomfortable.
Part of the reason I think this happens is because it reminds me of how I can’t be open about my own perspective. Pick a group of strangers, and I could more likely get away talking about magic rocks than about how I don’t believe in a cosmic rabbi and his twelve stooges. I don’t know why this is, just that it is.
Whether it’s reincarnation or drinking the blood of the lamb, I get this urge to look for an escape route. People can bring up the oneness of the universe, and I feel like I have to leave the room – even when it’s online and I can just close my web browser. I have associated generic spiritual beliefs with traditional religion.
Another reason I think I get uncomfortable is that sometimes it feels like I’m being asked to provide validation for things I don’t think are true. This was something I felt frequently when I was a Christian. A person might talk about the evils of dancing or singing in church, and they’d look at the room for an amen or a head nod. I don’t like that oily feeling of having to passively support someone else’s beliefs.
I don’t know what I can do to fix the problem. Some of the solution might be found in changing how I respond to things. Not everyone shares their beliefs looking for validation or to evangelize. They just want to talk about what they believe in. I just want to get to a point where I can listen and feel nothing negative in the conversation.