Well, nothing like getting into the nitty-gritty. On Sunday afternoon at 1:52 pm December 23rd, 1973, right smack in the middle of a new moon, this gal was born to Eileen and Tom, a newly married couple into their first year of marriage at Sacred Heart Hospital in Norristown, Pennsylvania. With Immaculate Heart of Mary Nuns about to take care of my mom, I was brought to her donning a halo and angel wings, due to my birth being so close to Christmas. I was supposed to be named one of three names: Holly, Noel, or Janelle. But for some reason, at the last minute, my Mom decided Brigid Ann was the way to go. Brigid, the patroness Saint of Irelend, as well as a Triple Goddess in Pagan cultures, was the final result. However, and you gotta hand it to the Nuns, God bless them, entered my name on the birth certificate as Bridget Ann, the Christian version of the name. I think about that now, and it probably was a symbol of my life to come. I was going to have roadblocks. And roadblocks I had. Most were of my own choosing; heck, I’m a Capricorn – not having things the way I want was sure going to irritate me! But, like my name, which mean, “Resolute and Strength”, I firmly made a pact with myself many years ago that those two characteristics were going to get me through some crappy times in my life. But back to my background:
I was raised Roman Catholic. Church every Sunday, Holy Days of Obligation, Catholic School. I had it all. Jesus was around me 24/7. Prayers in the morning, prayers at dinner, prayers at bedtime. I was brought up in the middle of the cusp of old school learning and the new ways of teaching. With Pope John Paul II sitting at the head of our Church, he was more progressive than some of the leaders before. Also, growing up in the 70’s and 80’s also had a more innocent quality to life. I was free to love Jesus and Mary, the Angels and Saints, and I was brought up in a neighborhood that allowed me not only the freedom, but the enjoyment to be a Catholic. And I loved being a Catholic.
Easter was and always has been my favorite holiday, next to the May Processions in my school. My relationship with Jesus and Mary up to present day is a strong and forever binding one. So, going into Lent through Easter was an important journey for me. Even today, no longer being a member of the Catholic Church, Eastertime is a very special time for me, because although Jesus was crucified in the Autumn; Springtime is when I think of his sacrifice. Even during Holy Week in the Church, I quietly reflect on that sacrifice, and that if it wasn’t for Jesus, would I be allowed the freedom to be who I am today? I still find myself on Holy Thursday and Good Friday to be very solemn days. See, just because I no longer follow the church doesn’t mean I still don’t love and keep the traditions close to me.
However, in my late teens, early 20’s, my journey started shifting. I was learning more about life and about the laws of the Church. I found the laws were no longer coinciding with my beliefs. And it scared me so much. I still went to Church, I still practiced being a Catholic, even though I wasn’t agreeing with things. I lived with this fear for 15-20 years. And I truly believe my biggest struggles came within that time. Money problems, relationships, both romantic and friends, went sour, weight gaining, you name it, I was having a problem with it. I quietly kept studying about life itself, educating myself on other cultures, other religions, and realized I could do something with myself. But how? I never made a move because my fear of being neglected by those I loved was more important than my own happiness. But when I realized I was no longer happy, that the majority of the life force within me was practically gone, I went on a year-long soul-searching journey that resulted in me coming to my family a week before Christmas and telling them my truths and that I was living a more spiritual life, someone devoted to more of an Earth Spirituality than organized religion. It was the hardest thing I EVER had to do. That was 5 years ago. Yes, only 5 years ago. I lived like that for so long, being someone I wasn’t to every person I loved. Looking back, I see that living a lie for almost 20 years caused so much damage to me physically, emotionally and psychologically which only caused repercussions in my own inner circle. But, I HAD to do it. And although my honesty resulted in a break in my family’s dynamic, I realized being truthful on everything in life was the only way to go, no matter how much it hurt them. But something changed: Since this happened, the most incredible events transpired in my own life. So many wonderful things have happened and are continuing to happen. From losing 143 pounds, getting a promotion at my job, getting married in a few weeks, becoming a leader in the community, to name a few. And that the only things that happen in my life that are negative are of my OWN doing, and nothing else. Walking this path out in the open now, after all the years that I had kept in the shadows, is a joy I will never be able to describe. And it is so sad that even certain peopel in my life and their friends continue to gossip monger about my life, is heartbreaking and tiresome to say the least. So many people in our world have no liberties. And I have so many, but I CHOSE to not be afraid of these liberties anymore. That’s it. Fear. Amazing how that little four letter word can muck up a life. I no longer live in fear. I no longer fear my path. I know Jesus is behind me every step of the way. I don’t need to be part of a religion to understand God’s love. I love God, I love Jesus, I love the Saints, I love the Angels, and I look to nature to be one with them. It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever done for my soul.
People can call me many things: you want to call me a Pagan? Gypsy? Whatever, the truth is, my Spiritulism is not like other people and I’m damn fine with that. I’m not some devil-worshiping, sacrifice burning, media-crazed idealist. I’m Bridget. And I love my relationship with God. WHY can’t it be that simple? Well, it is to me, and I’m sad for anyone who feels otherwise.