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.
Today starts Step 9 of the 11 Step journey of the journal process. The focus of this section is on forgiving the abusers.
Over the years I have had to come to the realization in my own life, the issues of pain and abuse in my life had to stop with me. In some ways, that has been a very difficult thing to do, but in others, it has been liberating. That isn’t to say everything is positive in my experiences. A part of my recovery was getting to the place of being brutally honest and speaking my mind. This still isn’t easy, but I am doing a better job at it. This isn’t always received in a positive way. Folks say they would rather someone be honest as opposed to beating around the bush and never getting to the point, but when it is practiced, you learn quickly, not everyone wants honesty. In my recovery and the future of my family, it implied being honest about everything. I have also learned the importance of forgiving others; it is in part the theme of my book, The Keystone Kid and certainly the short movie, The Long Walk.
This mornings readings talk about accepting, even encouraging adversity, I don’t know if I want that, or can encourage that. It seems as if adversity comes whether I encourage it or not. I know God builds character, endurance and strength through adversity, but I don’t want to give credit for the good that abuse can do. I know this, God can use that intended for evil and encouraged by the enemy and turn it to good, but that is an entirely different scenario. I would rather say this, ‘God I don’t want adversity or struggle, but I ask that when it does occur that you use it and turn it to good as you have in the past.’ I also realize that a part of forgiving others is a way I can maintain a loving relationship, and move forward. This isn’t to deny the pain, but I know, God never has his children run.
Unfortunately the choice of running away is a path many take, it is the easy way, but it isn’t the way that leads to growth or maturity. I have experienced that from learning to forgive those who have done me wrong, both spiritually and sexually. I still have work to do, progress to make, and struggles endure but I know God has been there to build character and joy through the bad in the past, he will do so again today, and tomorrow.
We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. ~ Romans 8:28
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