A few years ago, I was shamed for my untraditional Christian beliefs by two traditional Christian friends. This shaming was profoundly disorienting initially, but later it became a major catalyst for my spiritual growth.
One of the things I was shamed for was my more expansive understanding of what it means to be a Christian, including seeing the Bible as a guide that evolves with us, rather than as a literal translation. I also shared my belief that God loves all His children, not just Christians, and that there is more than one way to the mountaintop.
When I shared my untraditional beliefs, I was preached at and Bible verses were quoted to denounce my point of view. I felt angry at my friends for triggering shame in me, and angry at myself for reacting and not being able to respond in a meaningful way. I felt disempowered and disconnected from my own source of truth.
I realized afterwards that the emotions being triggered were connected to the indoctrinated beliefs that I internalized as a child before I had the ability to reason. My upbringing included 12 years of Catholic education. Even though we were taught that we were created in God’s image and likeness with a soul and the Holy Spirit to guide us, these were mostly words we recited in religion class. The real message we received was that we were unworthy and separate from God. Failure to adhere to what we were taught was presented as a threat to our souls, which would cause God to separate even further from… [Read more…] about How I Found Compassion After Being Shamed for My Untraditional Christian Beliefs