The Importance of Embracing Your Roots

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The Importance of Embracing Your Roots

"Embrace Your Roots" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

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I talk about The Lasting Supper a lot because I think it is one of the best, if not THE best, online resource and community for people who are deconstructing their beliefs.

Why do I say that? I’m not saying it out of pride for something I created and have built. I’m saying it because of the membership that has grown there around a set of values that allow people to change, grow, and establish their own spiritual independence without judgment, correction, or even instruction. I thoroughly believe that when you give people space and time, they will heal themselves. Just providing that space and time for people empowers them to change their lives and become healed and happy people. But, and this is something that sets us apart, we encourage people to embrace their roots. Lots of teaching and many groups lead people to reject their religious roots and to subscribe to a new belief or non-belief system. In my opinion, this is leaping from one frying pan into another. Why not let people find their own way? Their past has brought them to this point. Embrace it! So, I give two pieces of advice: 1. Don’t Reject Your Roots: Embrace them. You wouldn’t be who you are today if you weren’t who you were yesterday, and you won’t be who you will be tomorrow unless you are who you are today. Reject nothing. Just like a tree, it never severs its own roots. But what dies falls away. No rejection necessary! This is what I’ve noticed in my own life and in the lives of others who want to grow in a healthy way. They reject nothing, but what is useless withers and falls away. Even that folds into the compost, the spiritual nutrition, that will continue to feed us into the future. I do not encourage people to feel ashamed or whatever for what they believed or for their past spiritual practices. That’s who we were then, and we did it sincerely and intentionally believing it was best for us. Trust that. Don’t cling to it, but don’t cut it off either. See every step of your journey as a step you made to get where you are today. It’s a chapter in the story of your life, and you’re the main character! Don’t reject your roots. This is wise spiritual practice for spiritually independent people. 2. Assume Agency: What I mean by this is that no matter how tough our life was, no matter how severe the abuse we suffered, we figure out a way to take agency in it. I experienced sexual abuse a couple of times. I experienced spiritual abuse many times. In every case I could completely forsake my agency. Or I could assume agency, even for when I was a child. I look back now and realize that even though I did not speak up and report right away, even though I did not challenge the abusers, even though I found myself in their orbits knowing it was risky, and even though I could have left the situations sooner, I now realize I did what I did in order to survive. This was how I coped! And I did a great job, considering the circumstances. I'm alive and well now. I did that! This is how I take agency. This is how I empower myself and empower my story. I encourage others in The Lasting Supper to do the same. I’m very proud of every one of the members who have been through extenuating circumstances. Here they are, taking care of themselves just like they did then by doing what they did to survive. That is empowerment. And it's inspiring. Assume agency! You’re on a journey. Even for climbing Mt. Everest, packing your backpack at home is a part of the journey. Don’t despise it. Don’t reject it. Assume it all, integrate it all, respect it all, because it made you who you are today, and that’s a good thing! (Join us at The Lasting Supper. Seriously, it’s a good thing. Yes, there's a membership fee. But there are excellent reasons why, plus it's totally worth it. Click here just to check it out.)

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