In week 2 of the “Releasing Religion, Inner Healing and Coming Home to Yourself” I talk about the doubt one feels when they start to think about walking away, the doubt they feel when they do walk away and the doubt they grapple with trying to find a secure footing after leaving their religion or origin.
If you are someone who grew up in a strict or fundamentalist religious experience, you know first hand that doubt is often traded as fears currency. People who exert doubt in a religious institutions are often bullied, become cautionary tales, and made to feel as if their doubt is just a reflection of their own internal disconnection to God. So it makes sense when you walk away from your religion of origin, doubt and guilt come with you too.
Brainwashing and repetitive idea sharing in religious institutions are standard practice to modify your mind and force you to conform to the rule of the church. A lot of people in religious experiences, are asked to “blindly believe” to have “blind faith.” A faith that is unquestioning or challenging in any capacity. For me, I had that very experience. I couldn’t question. My curiosity was never welcomed and most often, any questions raised were taken quite personally and shut down immediately.
So in this week of the summer series, I talk about how the hallmark of a safe ideology, philosophy, religion, or spiritual practice is one that says “Don’t believe what I say, just because I’m saying…inquire for yourself.” Many Eastern ideologies and practices welcome seekers with open arms and ears, there is no forceful language, community pressure or ultimatum for you should you decide that you want to learn more about a specific community. If there is, this is should send warning bells and red flags in your mind.
Twice along my journey I came across this open extension of self-exploration in regards to cultivating my own beliefs and relationship with The Divine. The first when I stepped inside a Yogic Ashram in Eastern Washington and Swami Radha Sivananda said in an audio teaching “Go and find out for yourself. Do not believe just because I am telling you so…” The second time was years later when my spiritual expedition found me at the foot of Buddhism, reading a teaching where the Buddha says;
“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”
Apart from the religious doubt, there’s the doubt that begins to build inside of us because we have decided to step away from the only life we have know. In most instances, all your support systems are intricately entangled in your religious experience, and quickly you find yourself outside of the safety of your once protective inner circle. This can be so painful and confusing. The family and friends who once promised to always love and support you are not disappointed and inching further and further away from you.
It is easy in this moment, to go back to what you have known. To not challenge the norm. To quiet your inner truth uncomfortably, for the comfort of others. I’ve been there. But one day, you find the strength and courage to walk out of all the doubt and pressures and into the light of your own truth. This eight week course is here to give you the tools, confidence and education you need to fully heal and thrive outside of your religious wounding and trauma.
You can complete the full eight week course by clicking the links below that will lead you all 8 weeks.
Week 3: Embracing Uncertainty