I’m sharing this research because part of being a stable Christian is being aware of the pitfalls of religion. Frankly, any business, social or religious organization can become a cult. Just have the wrong people in leadership and there you go. As I talk to Christians, many are unaware of what makes up a cult. The word has such negative connotations, especially in the post-People’s Temple/Jim Jones age. The idea that cult members are these rabid, zombie-eyed deadheads who make no sense when they talk is a misconception. If one listens to , for example, Scientology interviewees, these people are sane, intelligent, educated people who simply thought they were joining an organization where they could make a difference. They didn’t think they’d give up hundreds of thousands of dollars, their freedom and the physical and mental well being of their loved ones. They got reeled in.
My husband and I were discussing what exactly defines spiritual abuse and why is it so bad? In my estimation, spiritual or religious abuse happens when religion is used, not for the spiritual benefit of the individual, but solely for the gain of the organization and its leaders. Scriptures and principles are turned on their head and used in a way to manipulate, coerce, force and extort actions out of the person being used. What is supposed to be holy, is used in a way that can result in financial, emotional, physical and sometimes psychological harm. What is so horrible about this is in the church realm is that people give a very special part of themselves (soul and spirit, not to mention time and effort they can never recover) to know more about God. The knowledge of God is tied to our eternal destiny, and many times people are willing to give up all, and open their hearts to obtain what they perceive as the ultimate prize, eternal paradise.
Call me crazy, but I was laying in bed and thinking about my recent therapy session and the progress I had made in this particular session. I was so happy, but it was hard work going backward and feeling certain things about incidents that caused shame in my upbringing. As I often do, I was playing Candy crush before I dozed off to sleep, and I noticed the connections between Candy Crush and recovery from dysfunction. Continue reading “Candy Crush and Recovery”
Let’s take God out of the box.
The idea of that one church, religious group, or denomination has a lock on God is ludicrous. The idea that God will only lead a person to one church organization is equally not supported by scripture. Frankly, when a person lets Christ into their heart and life, nothing else is needed, they are already a member of God’s church. God never says, “Now find a Pastor from _________church, and then you’ll be alright.”
As I’m sitting here eating the whole wheat tortilla that tastes like the lotion in my purse, I’m realizing some things. Success in life is about reaching personal, internal goals, and on our way up that hill, everything is not going to go as planned. Perfection is an illusion. For example, today my usual routine (my planned and perfect routine) had been filling my belly up with fruit in the morning. However, having to get my granddaughter to daycare (let’s blame her) and losing track of time (that’s grandma), I rushed out of the house and barely got to work on time. Hence, the lotion infused tortilla. It’s OK though, that I didn’t do my perfect plan because that’s life.
The more I learn about myself on my healing journey, the more I realize how insidious perfectionist tendencies can be.
By the way, I am down another 2 lbs. since the last post. Hooray for me! Suck on that 56 year old metabolism!
I was at a Toastmasters meeting last night and as I sat in the room, I realized how uncomfortable I felt. It was not them at all. It was me. I tend to feel uncomfortable in a room full of people but I wondered why? I’m a great one-on-one conversationalist, but small crowds scare me. Not large ones mind you, because I’ve preached to hundreds of people at a time (so weird how that works) and amazingly it’s easier than the small crowd for me. The problem is my internal insecurities. It’s all in my head. Call me crazy, but I keep feeling people are judging my every move in those situations. Even more so if it’s people I don’t know. The feeling overwhelms me that I’m going to say the wrong thing, that I won’t be witty enough or that I’ll be judged by something stupid I blurted out.
The worst part is that in a smaller group, I can actually see and feel their reaction. So, my tendency is just to stay quiet in those situations. I smile and nod so they won’t notice me too much. But I want to get better and conquer this part of my life. I’m adult! Enough of the high school/elementary school feelings that come flooding back to me.
There’s a portion of the meeting where someone throws out a topic and on the spot a volunteer has to give a 1-2 minute speech on the subject. So I decided to be brave tonight and get practice doing this. I did OK, but I felt so unsure of myself doing it. I wouldn’t say I failed, but I just didn’t do as well as I would have liked. I’m sure I was at least average.
So here’s a goal I need to work on: being a better off-the-cuff speaker. Fear has to go.
I am learning that perfectionism creates fear and fear stops me from growing.
If you don’t acknowledge the need to change, how can you grow and become better? Change takes daily acknowledgement, making intentional statements to yourself and making decisions to DO the actions that will make the change a part of your life.
This is my new quote this week:
The difference between failure and success is not much more than the changes we choose to embrace from one moment to another, one day to another. —therightmessages.com
Feel free to share your experiences below with public speaking or goals you’re trying to reach–or just maybe you can relate to all this craziness.