Reclaiming Your Spirituality– Chances Are You Didn't Even Know You Had Lost It
Trust the journey.
It’s one of the first things I say to someone who has just left church and is feeling confused about what happens next.
I’ve written blogs and courses (with more to come!) about the need to deconstruct from indoctrinated beliefs that may be limiting your spiritual growth. I’ve also written about the spiritual wilderness and the healing work you can do while navigating it (and yes—more to come!).
The reason for trusting the journey is profoundly important. Because this is where you not only release those indoctrinated beliefs and discover a vast expansiveness available to you to enrich your spiritual life…
This is also where you reclaim your spirituality.
Many people are perplexed when I speak about reclaiming your spirituality. They’ve never considered that they’ve lost it, so they don’t quite understand why it needs to be reclaimed. Some people are offended and respond with trite comments like “thanks but God has my spirituality.”
Reclaim your spirituality belongs in the category of a disruptive statement—a statement that is intended to incite conversation and make you think differently about a problem or an issue.
There are many examples of disruptive language. People are often offended or confused by these statements because they assume they are limiting in their scope or confrontational in their tone.
They are neither—they are, well, disruptive, to encourage people to move out of normative or linear thinking where we assume there is only one way to solve a problem.
Black Lives Matter – It isn’t saying that other lives don’t matter. People who are offended by this statement may respond with “all lives matter.” BLM isn’t saying they don’t. It’s saying that there is something wrong with a system that incarcerates Black people at a higher rate than white people for the same crimes, redlines districts where Black people live and banks will not fund for development or job opportunities, and ignores the pain of Black women who are 3 times more likely to die in childbirth than white women. Black Lives Matter is a disruptive statement so that these issues can be brought to the forefront, discussed and solved.
Defund the police – Another controversial statement that immediately puts people on the defensive because they assume that all police services should be defunded. For people who are willing to lean in and listen to those saying “defund the police” you learn that they are saying that each year, police departments’ budgets increase to buy tactical weaponry, yet little is done to increase funding for staffing of mental health professionals trained in de-escalation tactics or for funding services to deal with an emergency situation that stems from a mental health crisis. Instead, when police are only trained to see all suspects as villains, they begin to view the solution as disarming through violence.
Neither of those disruptive statements deny the humanity of others or that there aren’t good police officers, but it holds people accountable to look at unresolved issues within the systems that continue to oppress and quite honestly, kill others.
One of the most controversial disruptive statements was made by Jesus when He said, “Love your neighbor.”
He had been asked what was the greatest commandment, and after saying “Love your God,” He said, “then love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus, the turner of tables, the speaker of the beatitudes, the one who sat with the least of these, schooled the religious on what it meant to live the commandments versus using those same commandments to separate yourself from your neighbor.
Again, disruptive. “Love your neighbor” is a complete sentence. Those who put conditions on it are doing so because of their indoctrinated beliefs that compel them to believe that they have the right to gatekeep how this is interpreted.
Black lives matter.
Defund the police.
Love is love.
Love your neighbor.
Disruptive language to incite conversation that will lead to change.
Reclaim your spirituality – disruptive language that invites you to consider how you may have lost control over your spirituality and not even be aware of it.
Yet, it offends, because the churched people assume that this statement is implying there is something wrong with organized religion having an element of control over a person’s spirituality.
In other words, they read into the statement an offense directed at them instead of allowing the statement to speak to those who want to lean in and discover the wisdom in it.
No one is saying that you can’t have a healthy and vibrant spirituality inside church. Yet no one can deny that this is not the experience for everyone. Our spirituality was not thriving inside church. In fact, it was harmed, and it suffered greatly under a patriarchal structure that demanded silent submission—and called that Holy.
It wasn’t for us; it was life-draining.
After leaving church, we often don’t even recognize what parts of our spirituality need mending and what parts are missing. “Reclaim your spirituality” can be the first steps of the journey that says, “I may not know where I’m going, but at least I’m not where I was.”
It’s an affirmation, a place marker to remind us of where we begin to trust the journey that will help us:
→ Heal from any religious trauma or spiritual abuse we may be carrying.
→ Untangle from indoctrinated beliefs that no longer serve our highest good.
→ Release biases and prejudices that may be held over from patriarchal experiences.
→ Discover and learn contemplative spiritual practices that enrich our spirituality.
→ Ultimately reclaim our spirituality.
It’s that simple, yet can be challenging work, leaving us vulnerable as we leave behind what no longer serves us and step into a new spiritual journey that ensures we will be returning to our lives a better version of ourselves.
Beautiful Soul, I don’t know all of what this spiritual journey holds for you, but I know this. Trust the journey in and of itself is disruptive, expansive, undefinable and timeless.
That too is intentional.
Each person’s spiritual journey is unique, sacred and Holy.
You’re deserving of the healing and what awaits you when you
live a life that honors all of humanity by loving your neighbor
believe that you will find what you need by trusting the journey
understand that you can live a spiritually-empowered life by reclaiming your spirituality.