In my desire to grow in my relationship with God I was encouraged to get connected to a body of other believers. As I started developing my relationship with God through my church life I found myself driven by a familiar performance based acceptance. What I heard taught in church triggered my feelings or inadequacy and fear. Instead of helping me to heal emotionally and spiritually — through a relationship with God — I found myself hearing how I was not measuring up to have a relationship with God.
Instead of learning to rest and trust in my relationship with God I felt driven to do more to feel secure in my relationship with God. Because I rarely felt as though I was able to measure up to what I heard taught in church I felt alienated from both God, other people and myself. Instead of finding freedom from my sense of shame and my fear of abandonment I found myself controlled and driven to prove my worth and value to have a relationship with God.
The unconditional love that I heard talked about seemed to be predicated with stipulations. In the midst of my trying to resolve the double message I developed a love-hate relationship with God.
I continued to be driven — in my attempts to do enough to be enough — until I hit an emotional and spiritual bottom in my life. My emotional / spiritual turmoil helped me to realize that I had to make some changes. Consequently, I realized that I could no longer subject myself to that which was killing me. I realized that I needed to physically, emotionally and spiritually detach myself from churches and other institutions that motivated and controlled through the use of a shame based spirituality.
I realized that I had to physically detach myself from systems that sought to control through the use of a performance driven and shame based spirituality.
Once I made the decision to detach and stop subjecting myself to shame driven messages I began to heal. As I began to heal I slowly stopped fighting against myself. I slowly stopped “spiritualizing” everything that happened in my world. I slowly started to see life in grays instead of only black and whites. I slowly began to understand that I had placed God in a box. I slowly began to understand that I was created to be a human being, not a human doing. I slowly started to realize that I had discarded parts of myself.
I slowly started to understand that there was a difference between guilt and shame. I slowly started to be responsible to myself.
Please read Part 3 for context. Thank you.
Receive more articles like this one simply by clicking on Subscribe to Second Chance to Live by email.
Subscribe to Second Chance to Live, Bookmark and Share Second Chance to Live with your friends through a Feed Reader
All material presented on Second Chance to Live is copyright and cannot be copied, reproduced, or distributed in any way without the express, written consent of Craig J. Phillips, MRC, BA