Embracing Your Believing Past
"These Believers are Crazy!" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
I give weekly messages to my amazing online community, The Lasting Supper
. What an incredible collection of people. Why not join us HERE
One of the messages I gave them was about accepting, embracing, and integrating our former selves. I'm going to share it with you here:
I do not like it when people mock other religions.
I also do not like it when people mock the stages of faith that I have journeyed through.
I‚Äôm not sure how this happened, but somewhere along the way I learned that it was not only negligent and shortsighted to disdain and reject my earlier passages, but harmful to my spiritual health.
Whether or not this is objectively true I cannot tell, but it feels right.
In other words, I would not be who I am today if I wasn‚Äôt who I was yesterday.
I believe in growth. Incremental growth. Process. Progress.
It‚Äôs wise, I think, to respect and nourish our roots.
We never expected our children to be at Stage 6 in their stages of faith when they popped out of the womb. We acknowledge and honored their growth and development, and even delight in their topsy-turvy, winding, pot-holed path to their own version of spiritual maturity. We wouldn‚Äôt dare mock or reject them along the way.
So we don‚Äôt do it to ourselves. Sure, there are points in my life I‚Äôm embarrassed about now, but not ashamed. There are points in my life I‚Äôm sorry for, but I won‚Äôt drown in remorse. I laugh, pay my dues, ask for forgiveness, and move on.
When you guys share your journeys, to me they are lovely. So diverse, complex, multifaceted, and glorious. Brilliant!
I think this is how our inner child grows into an adult‚Ä¶ when he or she is affirmed, loved, embraced, accepted, and given space to mature.
So just love yourself from beginning to end. This is how integration and individuation happens!
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