Healing from religious trauma involves internal healing and safety. Reconnecting to ourselves. Reclaiming what we’ve lost.
And it involves deconstructing our beliefs about god. For me, deconstructing beliefs has come after substantial healing and self-trust work was done. I didn’t have enough safety to even consider it before. Now that I am securely attached to myself I can.
Previously in my healing journey, I moved from an anxious relationship with god, to an avoidant one. I had some relative autonomy and safety there. But my conception of god did not change a whole lot.
Now that I’ve reclaimed trust in myself to decide what is good for me, what I believe, and what I will allow in my life, there is more space to explore what my connection to the divine looks like.
I am letting go of what was oppressive and harmful to me, and getting to know the mystery of what is.
What it looks like for me now is letting go of…
- A hierarchical god (no more God the King)
- A patriarchal god (no more Male only God)
- A white supremacy god (no more benevolent/judgmental Master/Lord)
- A parental figure god (no more authoritarian Father God)
This may feel freeing to see me write this,
…it may have just made you bristle with suspicion and worry,
…or you may have been here a long time and glad I’m here with you.
It’s okay no matter how you feel. You don’t need to agree with me. You don’t need to be where I’m at or ever be where I’m at. You need to be where you’re at. A place where you can find first safety and then possibly safety and spirituality together.
We were trained so early to defend god and the conception of god. What if you didn’t have to do that anymore? What if you were free to know god through all the intuitiveness and natural connection you had as a young child (but as an adult)?
I’ve been excited to discover that research is showing that it’s actually part of our human development to go through a process of spiritual exploration and growth. It is good for us to have permission and space to ask questions and explore our spiritual beliefs and practices. We get to decide what’s true and good for us. Any spirituality that is severe, rather than life-giving cannot be good for us. We have the opportunity to explore human nature, the world, the divine, the cosmos, and anything in between.
I need a conception of god that includes the earth and the cosmos, and also is relational. But my worth does not have to come from god noticing me or loving me. My worth is inherent. Your worth is inherent.
I know that I am connected with god. I can feel that wellness, wholeness, and connection. And I'm learning to embrace that it's okay to have mystery around that. To not have lots of labels for god. Even in the Bible, when god is pressed for a label they say "I AM."
Yes, I am connected to the I AM that allows me to also say I am. And I am connected in all my wholeness to the wholeness of the Divine I AM.
If you’re looking for some additional community spaces to explore what you believe, deconstruct and reconstruct your beliefs, check out these options:
- Free Evolving Faith community for Christian-connected or Christian-adjacent exploration
- Free Former Fundies support group for women
- Center for Non-Religious Spirituality for a humanist space
If you're looking for a place to reconnect to yourself and heal before, after, or during the exploration of your beliefs, please join me in my Trust Yourself Again group.
Kaitlin Curtice’s book Native was life-changing for me in exploring connection to Mother Earth, which my body and soul were craving. She weaves her Indigenous faith in with her Christian faith. You can have space and permission to explore what is good for you.
Richard Rohr also has an interesting exploration of a Christian perspective in his book The Universal Christ. He shares a theology where god is both universal and personal through the universal Christ. It feels like a place where the divine connection I naturally have in my body can meet and maybe make peace with some form of Christianity.
I’d love to hear where you’re at and where you’re hoping to be.