Before I begin this article, I would just like to state that all views expressed here are entirely my own, are not intended to criticise any one way of thinking, believing or worship, and are simply my own interpretation of my own truths.
1. ‘Just pray to God’.
Whilst I truly do believe in the positive power of prayer, and intension/ channeling, (talking to and receiving messages from the divine), for the longest time, I grew absolutely sick of being told this, as a solution to everything – including depression! At one point, one really needs to stand up and take responsibility for their own lives, and understand how everything inside of them, reflects everything outside of them. It is no sense using prayer as an escape goat from actually working through your issues, and striving to make a change. In other words, you cannot simply sit at home from day, to day, yet pray to feel rain fall on your skin. Sure, you could always go and take a hot shower, but the actual novelty of rain will escape you, lest you go outside. This is my belief with prayer, much like my belief with positive thinking, it only works when conjoined with positive action, and opportunity. And it is not a solution in itself. A belief of this kind can prove misleading, even shattering to the one who interprets it conclusively. And telling somebody with a mental illness simply to pray their sadness away, is boarder line insensitive, not to mention rooted in out dated cultural stigma.
2. ‘The institution baddies’
Now, this next one goes for any spiritual, or religious institution, as I am sure that it does not only extend to the Christian church, although this is where my experiences took place. Have you ever gathered with a congregation, only to feel the intense burning of sideways glances, or over competitively dressed church goers? Well, it does not stop there. From as long as I could remember, some of the most arrogant, ill mannered, and obnoxious people always seemed to fly the God flag the highest, and be the most dedicated of church goers. I did not understand this. If church was supposed to be a holy place of worship, and the belief in God was supposed to grant you some type of moral superiority, then why ever were these people so, pardon me – but ghastly! It seemed to me that God was just not enough, not enough to change who they were, or simply, that God did not exist. If he did, surely these people would be saved by his glory, no?
Well, whilst I still do not feel like sharing the same ‘God’, with these types of individuals, spirituality has given me the freedom to see that these people are actually souls who are in pain, and their ‘connection’ with God, is merely a substitute for their connection with themselves. Ancient doctrine itself dictates, the Kingdom of God dwells within. The key to truly finding this essence, is truly finding, and understanding ones self. And attendance to a religious institution does not grant you this knowing, or ensure a jar tight guarantee of ‘righteous behaviour’.
3. The paradox of original sin, polarity, and the concept of damnation.
Undoubtably, on the journey to finding myself, and finding the God within, the hardest aspect was the belief that although we were all sinners, our sins were constantly being tallied up, and one day, dependent on our luck, we may be sent to eternal damnation for our sins, (that were original, that we couldn’t help). Exactly – dumb founded.
On my road to finding myself, I had found that most of my depression was a result of not forgiving myself for my shadow aspects, and the mistakes that I had made upon my path. The threat of being punished, abandoned, or cast out for my sins had already been deeply embedded by religious doctrine.
Honestly, the threat of being cast out of the ‘Kingdom of heaven’, is not only boarder line abusive, but can also stir up some pretty intense abandonment issues.
You absolutely cannot deny your darkness, nor can you suppress parts of yourself that are deemed traditionally, ‘unholy’. This only causes greater frustration, and deterrence from your true nature, which is good – not riddled with some sort of automatic sin! Yes, human kind is imperfect by nature, we grow, and learn through our mistajes, and none of this warrants eternal damnation, particularly not from an all forgiving, omniscient force.
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