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Being Spiritual Without Religion

Once you have experienced spiritual abuse, religion can be both triggering and overwhelming. You may wonder where you belong and search for answers to life's big questions.

I have been here, and I know how scary and lonely it can feel. You wonder if you are doomed in life, and death. You wonder what to believe. If someone can believe that this religion is the true religion, and then act in such a manner, then why would you believe this to be true? Is being a good person enough in life? I'm not here to answer any of those questions for you because you are the only one who can. Despite what others have told you, you are the only one who can decide your spiritual journey and beliefs. There's no hurry, do your own soul searching and figure out what is best for you.

I began my own spiritual journey before ending my toxic relationships. It was something I had to do in secrecy because I had to pretend that I was following the same religion as my family in order to keep the peace. Any time I had swayed in the past, I had to face ridicule, screaming and being told that I was going to Hell. I did not grow up going to church or learning about any particular religion. I can remember pretending that I knew what my friends were talking about when they spoke about God and religion. I went to various churches with friends when I stayed the night at their house, but I never felt like I belonged to any of them. Some of my family began to go to church when I became an adult, and they expected that I would go to. They expected me to follow their newfound beliefs. When I didn't, I would face emotional and spiritual abuse. I began pretending that I believed what they did in order to keep the peace, but I was still confused and didn't know what I believed.

Once I had my daughter, and she was around my family I saw how much they were pushing her to follow their religion. She became obsessed with crosses, and she was being told that she needed to pray before she did anything. She would have nightmares and wake up screaming in the middle of the night. My daughter also began having digestive issues and became nervous and scared of things she hadn't previously. I knew that their abuse was changing who my daughter and I were. We could never do enough to please them, and I couldn't live that way any longer. I couldn't let her live that way and think that it was normal and acceptable.

I read various books about Buddhism, empaths, the moon and native beliefs. I was searching for a place to belong, a place that I felt like I was enough. I found that I was at peace in nature, and I began seeking out beliefs that focused on nature. Through my reading and searching I found out that I could pray without praying to anyone in particular and I could be at peace without reading a religious text. I found out that spirituality has nothing to do with religion. Spirituality lives inside of you. You get to decide what speaks to your soul and you get to follow the life that you want to live. You don't have to feel ashamed and wrong for finding your own spirituality. Being family doesn't mean that you have to have all of the same belief systems, you just have to respect each other's.

When you are ready, begin your own journey. Find out what makes your soul whole. Find out what speaks to you and go for it. Don't let other's opinions or beliefs influence who you are.



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