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.
Intimacy, I have to tell you, I have longed for it for so long! As a mental health professional and an Executive Director, it was hard to find, as a pastor intimacy is even harder to find. I know people will likely find that a shock, but it is the truth. It is something I have realized more over the last few years, and especially since starting the journal process with this book. One of the reasons it is hard is because of the ‘manlihood’ expected in our society, but when dealing with the abuse issues and the role in life I am supposed to play at times, it becomes even more difficult. I desire intimacy, have asked for it, sought out relationships to develop it, unfortunately, seldom I have experienced it.
Over the years I have seen the value in trying to talk to others; I have learned the hard lessons that sometimes sharing too much is not a good thing. Another lesson is there are people I can’t trust for a reason. Building close relationships, friendships to have a person I can be intiment with is one of the desires of my heart, but one of the burdens of my reality. I wish someone existed, maybe they do, I just know I have seldom felt like that person was there, and the few times I have, I was hurt. Often that hurt came from people of faith who claimed to have a relationship with God. It is harder for me to trust a religious person or person of faith than many can imagine. I wish it weren’t true, but it is. I realize if this is true for me, I have little reason to believe it isn’t true for others.
I ask God to give me a friend, one I can openly share with, both on the giving and receiving end. I know I need it, I also ask it for others who have struggled with this concept.
Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. ~ James 5:16
He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.
How blessed is the man who fears always,
But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity. ~ Proverbs 28: 13, 14
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