Choose your tradition and community
Letting go of old ways of thinking
There's no sacred text in written form (like a Bible) in our religion. For many centuries, all information was passed from generation to generation in oral form. We consider the information sacred, even though it's not written, and we also believe that it is codified by repetition and practice. We learn how to do things by observing and participating. We learn by asking questions, but mainly, we learn by listening. We digest the information and internalize it; eventually it becomes a natural process for us and we simply "know" something because it's part of our reality and our worldview. No elder has time or interest in sitting down with you and telling you everything they know, like a machine that spews out information on demand. Elders have lives, too, and responsibilities and demands on their time. Unrealistic assumptions that you will quickly learn everything and your godparent will devote himself/ herself to you full time until you understand it all lead to a lot of frustration and disappointment. Learning happens in small bits, over time, from being present, observing, listening, doing. Some godparents are better than others at explaining things, and some are more interested in teaching than others. No one "owes" you anything, other than respect and courtesy and spiritual guidance. Take every opportunity you have to spend time with your godparent and your community and ask questions when people aren't busy or preoccupied with other things. Over time, you'll find that you've learned a lot, even if it's not in a formal, organized way.
It's all about finding the right balance in attitude
No one should be forced to accept things that they find morally or ethically wrong. If you strongly disagree with some of the fundamental principles of the religion, such as the need for animal sacrifice on some occasions, then the religion simply isn't for you. Find another way to meet your spiritual needs, because you can't start dismantling an entire system of beliefs to fit your individual opinions. If you think initiation isn't necessary in order to assume priestly functions, you aren't going to be welcome or accepted in any legitimate community. You'll be practicing in isolation a religion of your own invention. All people can be Orisha devotees, whether they're part of the religion or not. It's possible to love and honor the Orishas on your own, but if you want to be part of a community of Orisha worshippers and benefit from the knowledge and experience of that community, you have to be willing to respect the fundamental rules that must stay in place to preserve the tradition and integrity of the elders' teachings and of the wisdom that Olodumare passed down to us through the teachings of Ifa.