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.
Over the years it has been difficult to find people I can trust. My book was a part of the process of bearing my soul and one of my main concerns while writing it was how people would respond not so much regarding the things done to me, but to the things I had done to others. I felt dirty, unworthy of love and I knew from experience I had been misunderstood. The journey to find one I could trust was a legitimate concern and a concern I still face.
In searching for people I can trust; honesty has been an important criterion for me. I have learned to appreciate people who are honest from the start. While I don’t like disagreement, or conflict, honesty has been important to me. I have someone now that I can have a measure of trust with. I meet with them once a week and he has been a friend, allowing me to be honest while at the same time giving caring advice. It has taken time and I think he knew it would. That level of friendship is important but I desire more. I desire someone I can do things with, even if just watching a movie.
My wife has been a friend and I appreciate that, but there is the need for friendship outside of marital relationships. I think others need that not just me. I realize it isn’t easy to obtain, it is quite difficult. It at times still has me feeling less than worthy or less than whole. I strive to see who is real, not just in an easy going way, but in the honest caring way.
Father help me, you know I desire to have friends. I recall being able to talk about anything to certain friends while growing up, most of them were friends who weren’t Christian, but they were more real than most friends I have had. Help me see value in those friendships, help me see the need, and go after the things regarding relationship with others that you would have for me.
Though good advice lies deep within the heart,
A person with understanding will draw it out.
Many will say they are loyal friends,
But who can find one who is truly reliable?
The godly walk with integrity;
Blessed are their children who follow them. ~ Proverbs 20: 5-7
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