The Reality of #churchhurt
If you have been anywhere on social media in the last few weeks, you may have seen the trending hashtag; #churchhurt. This trend has produced some laughable examples of #churchhurt and made a spectacle of what some people experience in their congregations. While on the one-hand I am glad to see this topic in the mainstream, I am disappointed in the way it has emerged.
This current trend minimizes both the historical and contemporary significance of the church and the severe effects that actual #churchhurt can have on a person’s relationship to themselves, to the Sacred, and to the community. It is a real, deep, and lasting problem when the place that should be concerned with healing and functioning as an active agent of the love of the Sacred insteads wounds, hates, hurts, shuns, and ostracizes. The very place that many people go to find solace has instead turned a cold shoulder and a closed door to their pain. Not only that, but in many cases has also directly caused wounds and inflicted pain instead.
Unfortunately, this has created psychological and emotional wounds for many people. It has caused rifts in communities; even broken families. And has complicated, or in some cases eradicated, the connection that some individuals feel to the Sacred.
My work with those wounded by religion tackles these deep hurts and provides a roadmap to healing.
What do you do when the community you grew up in shuns you for your life choices?
How do you handle a betrayal of leadership in a longstanding congregation?
How do we navigate our different perspectives and interpretations of religious doctrine in a way that demonstrates that we are all divinely created and loved unconditionally?
While some of the conversation on social media has been rather comedic around #churchhurt, it is no laughing matter for those who have actually suffered the wounds of religion. In fact, some have chimed in to express their concerns and share their stories of #churchhurt.
If this resonates with you, working out some of these wounds in your life can be a restorative journey and lead you back to deeper relationships in your life and particularly with the Sacred.
In my work as a pastologist (licensed psychologist and ordained minister), I know that the journey to healing can be quite difficult and a long process. I recognize that fear, anger, shame, frustration and even sadness can lead to hesitation in facing the wounds.
Healing is possible and I invite you to begin your journey.
Face your religious wounds and #churchhurt ~ really take a serious look at the ways that you have been hurt, rather than bury these hurts or make them a laughing matter.
Examine the impact of these wounds on your life ~ ask yourself how have the wounds influenced your life decisions and goals and how might these wounds impact your view of yourself and those around you, particularly in a way that does not manifest your greatness.
Evaluate what you really believe ~ spend some time on your belief system and determine whether your behavior supports what you say you believe versus what you actually believe.
Determine whether you are repeating the cycle of hurt ~ spend some time thinking about whether your behaviors and beliefs about yourself and others are perpetuating a cycle of abuse.
Connect with the Sacred in a new way ~ release the well of negative emotions and beliefs that prevent you from connecting with the Sacred. Embrace the knowledge that you are divinely created and loved unconditionally, and there is absolutely nothing that can separate you from this love. Saturate yourself in this knowledge as you connect with the Sacred.
Seek council to help you navigate the journey ~ find a trusted, knowledge, and objective guide to help you uncover, process, and heal the wounds of religion.
The wounds of religion are no laughing matter. Begin your healing journey today.