Today starts a new day; I realize that I have been abused by religion. It took me through Day 8, 9 before I realized this, but I am glad I did. You can go back to see my comments on Day 8 and 9 to see what I am speaking of. I am taking the time to do the exercises as outlined in the book; Recovering From Religious Abuse, 11 Steps to Spiritual Freedom written by: Jack Watts. While I know that hurt and abuse as described and presented in the book are two different things, I have come to the understanding that in regards to taking advantage of me I have in fact been abused. I will admit, one of my greatest concerns is I may have at times abused religion. I don’t think I have but this journey will help me understand where I am at and in the process help others as I journal each day with the steps outlined in the book.
Oh God! I really don’t want to become the thing that I have hated, despised and rejected. Yet, I realize that at times it is easy to find myself sinking back to that place. It is easy for whatever reason to become the abuser to others in my attitude and in my actions. As much as I have over the years worked at this, I realize it is still easy to fall into that place if I don’t keep working at it, I will quickly become the thing I hate.
The truth is, at times, bitterness and anger have dominated my attitude. While I realize why, it doesn’t change how others see me. I also realize that at times, it has been easy for pride to sink in. I honestly believe that over the last number of years, I have willingly worked at making improvements, but also realized, I have a ways to go. It is imperative that I continue to work on issues that may resemble pride, including not even giving the appearance of pride.
I also realize that many, who abuse has taken on this attitude, even when they in fact have gone through abuse, can stop their behavior. I realized that regarding the abuse in my life. I made the decision to put my foot down and stand for my Jesus and those he loved despite the situations that had existed in my past. The issues that made me who I was in part, would not be known by my children. While I would tell them and others of my past, I wouldn’t have them experiencing the things I did. I controlled my situation. I say this because to the abuser who is lonely because of the reality they are in as an abuser, you don’t have to give in to impact of the abuse, hatred, and dogma’s that often times comes out of your religious experience. You can, let go, stomp down, and move on in the direction where you can meet and know Jesus for who he is as opposed to who you have been told he is. There is freedom and liberation in that. Is the process easy? Heck no! It is possible though, and if working on it daily, you will see improvement.
Father, today I pray for you to continue to help me move forward and be more like you. I pray for others though, may they realize their own dogmas, their own abuses, may they represent you. I pray for their liberty, freedom, and ability to move forward, it isn’t easy, and that is why I know I continue to need you. Thank you for being there for me so please be there for others as well.
(19) People's desires make them give in to immoral ways, filthy thoughts, and shameful deeds. (20) They worship idols, practice witchcraft, hate others, and are hard to get along with. People become jealous, angry, and selfish. They not only argue and cause trouble, but they are (21) envious. They get drunk, carry on at wild parties, and do other evil things as well. I told you before, and I am telling you again: No one who does these things will share in the blessings of God's kingdom.
(22) God's Spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, (23) gentle, and self-controlled. There is no law against behaving in any of these ways. (24) And because we belong to Christ Jesus, we have killed our selfish feelings and desires. (25) God's Spirit has given us life, and so we should follow the Spirit. (26) But don't be conceited or make others jealous by claiming to be better than they are. ~ Galatians 5:19-26
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