"Literal Hell" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
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Your Deconstruction and the Fear of Hell
I'm a coach
One of the areas I love helping people with is spiritual transition. Deconstruction. I empower people to do that, and to do it well.
My observation is that one of the most terrifying aspects of changing beliefs or losing faith is the fear of Hell.
If you've been raised your whole life to believe in a literal Hell after death, it is so enmeshed in your brain that the belief itself is cellular. If your brain has been soaked in the belief that if you don't believe in Hell then you'll spend eternity there, how do you recover from that?
It's very real. Not Hell, but the fear of it.
But, I've worked with enough people now to know that given a listening ear, a gracious and spacious space to question and vent, as well as time, people recover and achieve peace of mind where they are no longer anxious about Hell. It becomes a non-issue of no concern.
We can grow to understand that the idea of Hell was useful for a while to keep us in line and to keep us perpetually afraid of punishment for our disobedience and faithlessness.
You see, time is a mental construct, and concepts like eternity and death are a part of this construct. This is where fear and suffering thrive.
All there is is now. Always.
And this is where there is peace.