Following is an excerpt in which my mom and I discuss one of my daughter’s personal struggles which are ALWAYS always based in a spiritual struggle. Mom (her grandmother) wants on some level to help her as do I and we are in so far as we can. The following is part of the discussion as to how much we should help and why we need to just let things unfold. Yes, I took out the names.
… (Daughter) does feel over responsibility much like any mother does. Learning to draw boundaries is the key. But before that is the whole self-esteem issue…
Since her self-worth is tied up if not completely hobbled by her religious beliefs, it’s hard to fix until you admit that the religion is flawed. And since much of what she believes depends on a great and loving Father figure… Well, she is her mother’s daughter. On a similar journey.
All I know is that I needed to have the rug ripped out from under me. I had to learn that Paul was a false apostle and that Jesus is not the god/man I believed he was. That destroyed me. My whole life depended on the Bible as God’s inspired (God-breathed) words and, as such, non-negotiable. My life depended on Jesus being my bridge to God much like Catholics believe Mary is the bridge to Jesus. That without the blood of Jesus to cover my sins, God couldn’t even look at me. (Don’t get me wrong, Jesus still figures hugely in my life. Just not as a blood sacrifice.)
But much thanks (ironically) to my husband’s maverick personality and curiosity, I was let in on a lot of his “explorations”. When he first introduced the possibility that Paul was a false apostle, a foundation stone was kicked loose. Very scary for me. Lots of angry tears. Lots of wandering in mind…
I told husband I hated knowing what I now knew. Scary, scary times. He told me that I didn’t have to believe what he told me. That I could continue on with my faith. (He ultimately wanted me to stay under the spell of the religion that “kept” me. To this day he hates that he told me.) I told him that un-knowing what he told me was not as simple as stuffing a brand-new sleeping bag back into its original shape. You can’t un-know truth, especially if it was meant to be told.
It was a matter of time that the rest would be exposed as a collection of books which the Jewish culture and later Pauline Christian culture use as their scripture. Too much evidence that it was tweaked over the years to suit the powers that be.
You can’t un-know truth, especially if it was meant to be told.
I was very angry with husband for taking away the security of him being my answer machine. I depended on him to tell me what God wanted me to do because I didn’t want to get it wrong and go to hell. I realize now that is was angry with God but husband was the agent He used to bring the message.
Thankfully by that time, my beliefs about hell had eroded (oddly due to a study [father in law] started me on years ago. The sad thing is that he still clung to the fiery hell till his last breath.) So, since there was no hell to suffer in for all eternity, I could begin to entertain ideas that the Bible was not God’s perfect will.
Where am I going with all this? I’m just outlining the progress of my own steps toward no religion which in truth means esteeming self.
I have an inquisitive husband. He had no idea that his wife was used to clinging to his every word. He had no idea that one day she’d lose confidence in him and transfer it to herself. He had no idea his rambling curiosity would crumble his safe world of control. He was not the “answer machine” anymore. She learned God – in her – is the answer machine.
The day I realized I could not depend on him to tell me what God wanted was both freeing and the most frightening day of my life. I can relate to daughter’s confused angry frightened mindset. But still, God was – is – there in the dark. He was stripped down to who or what he is. He would expose another aspect of himself in a book, a word, a song. It is that gentle breeze of his spirit that carried me along when I hated life.
Brene Brown calls it the Wilderness. and that in the wilderness is the spiritual enlightenment or what is more commonly called a nervous breakdown (!) Crying anger then silent anger. All the while aching for something to hold onto. The nervous breakdown is just the spirit of God in you that is trying to break out. The something in you that says stop listening to your stupid stories you keep telling yourself. It’s like realizing your whole life is built on lies and that the only truth is what we see in this moment.
I am still on the way. Still finding out who I am in all this mess. But I see now that I, the me that is watching my psyche mess around, is God in me. Not in the heavenly Father sense but in the universal sense.
It’s self-building to be able to reach that part of you for an answer. Realizing you don’t need a man or woman as your personal encyclopedia of knowledge and wisdom. It’s all there, written on our hearts. Discovering that God in you is all you need. Learning to trust that is what spirituality is all about.
Finding self-esteem means realizing you know just exactly everything you need to know.
I am immersing myself in Michael Singer’s work, primarily, The Untethered Soul. I listen to the audible book. I read the print and Kindle version. His teachings are simple but not easy. The spiritual journey is one of letting go of resistance – feelings – which are associated with any person or event. So, when I feel any kind of feeling it’s a sign I am still ridding myself of stories or lies I’ve clung to. The idea is to enjoy the moment. to not judge whether it is a good or bad moment but to just be with it.
But at the same time, I am reading Myss’ Sacred Contracts. Odd, yesterday, that I opened up at my bookmark to read this: “Many people fear their empowerment and unconsciously encourage their shadow to thrive… Change signals loss of control and entry into the unknown. But beyond the fear of change, empowerment represents isolation, which people will do anything to avoid… We don’t want to be whole if it means being alone…” Read the whole passage starting on page 131 or in the section called Confronting the Shadow in Chapter 4. The rest of Chapter 4 has a fascinating discussion on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, too.
This journey is one of following crumbs.
This journey is one of following crumbs. I am driven. I crave learning about and becoming more spiritual. But then something hits my Orphan Child’s shadow… that part of me who is afraid to be abandoned. More nervous breakdowns/spiritual enlightenment on the horizon…
But I want it. Daughter wants it. That is the fight that is in her. Her spirit is kicking at the door saying, “toss the crap you’re sitting in and just BE!!” But she (we each) clings to the crap; preferring the poopy diaper to the freedom of the toilet.
Jeez! where was I going with this?? I guess much of where I was going with it is that I will continue to be there for Daughter (like you always were/are for me) dropping bits and bobs of ideas and wisdom. Like breadcrumbs for her spirit. She will find the way. She is that hungry.
I will continue dropping bits and bobs of ideas and wisdom. Like breadcrumbs for her spirit. She will find the way. She is that hungry.
end of quoted “talk with mom”.