The Deconstruction of Your Beliefs: What to Expect

"Stages of Deconstruction" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward


If you don't know about the Kübler-Ross model of the stages of death and dying and grief, you should. I find it very helpful for all kinds of things, including the deconstruction of faith and beliefs. Here's my own personal interpretation as they apply to my deconstruction. Do you relate?
  1. Denial: We are certain that the answer we believed must work. Doubt may have entered in, but we're going to hold on faithfully to our beliefs. They've worked all these years and proven themselves true. Why should they fail us now?
  2. Anger: It dawns on us that, indeed, we have doubt, and that the answer we've faithfully believed for so long no longer works. We are angry at God, Satan, our spouses, our selves, the church, life, everything! We are very frustrated that confusion has moved in.
  3. Bargaining: Realizing that the answer we've held to has ultimately failed, we go for a second opinion, then a third, then a fourth, desperately looking for an answer that makes sense. We run around compromising and making deals with other ideas in an effort to stay alive spiritually.
  4. Depression: We finally sadly realize that there is no clear answer. What we are losing isn't being replaced by anything that makes sense to us. The temptation is to give up. This is a very dark and deeply confusing time. It feels like spiritual death.
  5. Acceptance: We finally understand that there is no trite and easy "answer" and we can live in the depth of this mystery. An indescribable peace comes over our minds that radiates throughout our whole being. Finally our minds are at rest. Ah... peace!
This may not be your story. But maybe it is. And remember: we may not progress neatly and linearly through these stages. We may cycle around them and jump from one to another or live in two at the same time. We are very complex and unique people. My journey is mine and yours is yours. If you are in the middle of this and are overwhelmed, I can help you.
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