Why I Am Spiritual and not Religious
Many people, including myself, were not raised in homes in which we were taught about how much God cherishes us. We were told how we are going to go to hell if we do not do what we are told, which is all summed up in the phrases, “now be a good little girl,” or “stop being a bad little girl.”
I still choke on the phrase “good little girl.” My granddaughter is not a good little girl or a bad little girl. She is a wonderful work in progress. (Actually, she is a sweet little princess sent to me by a loving God.)
The Catholic religion is famous for this point of view, as is pointed out in a book called “Recovering Catholics.” I have heard stories of children being shamed by nuns and even abused by corporal punishment. I hope this is just in the past and not currently going on. This did not happen to me but God knows I was terrified of the going to hell if I did not do what I was told or if I had sex before I was married.
Some religions also teach us to hate other groups and shun them. I had to leave a church because they were homophobic. I thought Christ loved us but apparently not if I we are gay. My pastor put the words bad, gay and toxic all in the same sentence sometimes.
My conclusion is that religion can bring love, joy and peace, or it can be dysfunctional. For instance, because of what my mother and the church taught me, I was ashamed of my body for years.
This is why I have chosen spirituality over religion. In my little world there is no toxicity. Shame doesn’t exist. We are all just a work in progress. God loves all of us. We are all perfectly imperfect. We know only love and not fear of punishment or failure. We are happy just to be who we are.
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