6 Ways To Heal From Religious Indoctrination
You’re probably living with some trauma
When I decided that Christianity (in all its forms) was based on legends and emotions, I had a lot of healing to do. Even now I don’t think I’ve fully processed or recovered from decades of training my mind to think a certain way. Accepting certain doctrines as true — ‘I am a sinner’, ‘people are either good or evil’, ‘I have the truth and all else is false teaching’, ‘God favors me’, and ‘true love waits’ — have left their marks on me.
Whichever religion you have come from, there will be agreements you made that have narrowed and distorted the way you’re able to view the world. I’m right there with you. Unfortunately, realizing you’re in a cage is not the same as being able to get out of it. First comes the realization, then comes the process of feeling safe enough to get out, and learning how to do it.
Many ex-religious people have a level of religiously-fueled trauma that they’re dealing with, be it mental, emotional, physical, or sexual. Depending on the level of this trauma, you may be able to heal yourself or you may need to be proactive in getting help. There’s no shame in seeing a therapist, for example. Believing otherwise will only hold you back from your healing.
Without further ado — here are six ways to start healing from religious indoctrination.
1. Get Educated About Hell
One of the hardest things for someone leaving a faith like Christianity is getting over the fear of hell. What if we’re wrong? Maybe we should follow the faith just in case? By this alone we can finally recognize how our former faith was about fear, not freedom. It controlled us. Getting over the fear of hell is often a monumental task for the ex-believer. It’s at the epicenter of their bid for freedom.
As Dan Barker has said, if you’re going to be a believer based on hell fear, you should probably follow the religion with the worst-sounding hell, not just the one you were brought up to believe in. Because what if you’re wrong about that? In a tweet, Ricky Gervais once quipped:
‘“Why don’t you pray just in case there is a God?” For the same reason you don’t cover your doorway in garlic in case there are…