Religious Trauma into Soul Healing, Part VI: Reading Good Fiction

  Lift Up & Away from Religious  Trauma Fiction (and memoir) reorganizes our internal narratives, and allows us to try on the emotional resources of others. It does this, not by selling us products or threatening us with what we MUST-do-or-be-damned, but by showing other worlds, inviting imagination. As we recover from spiritual abuse and … Continue reading Religious Trauma into Soul Healing, Part VI: Reading Good Fiction

Moving from Religious Trauma into Soul Healing, Part III: Beauty

Never lose an opportunity of seeing something beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting.      -Ralph Waldo Emerson   Beauty is the basis of my spiritual discovery process. I found the Anglican church on a trip to England, back in '07, a time of big transition. My then six-year-old and I visited St. Martin in … Continue reading Moving from Religious Trauma into Soul Healing, Part III: Beauty

Moving from Religious Trauma into Soul Healing, Part I

How do we turn religious trauma into deep emotional healing? Religious trauma happens most often in movements that are fundamentalist in nature - or, "Strong Religion." In my practice, I see adults who grew up scared of sinning and going to hell or disappointing God or being shunned for some infraction or bad thought. I … Continue reading Moving from Religious Trauma into Soul Healing, Part I

Still Recovering from Toxic Religion: Pass That Buick in Love

Here's a story about being inspired and suppressing it. This morning I got behind a slow-moving Buick on a major thoroughfare. I encountered the same dark green Buick, ten minutes before, when I was crossing a downtown street. On foot, I got up close and looked inside at three senior women - all probably in … Continue reading Still Recovering from Toxic Religion: Pass That Buick in Love

Affirmations for Healing Spiritual Abuse

  Spiritual abuse includes any kind of religious teaching or practice that diminishes your human rights, isolates you from the wider world, or systematically places you in positions of low power. I modeled these affirmations for healing spiritual abuse on those found in Jessica and Nick Ortner’s The Tapping Solution courses. Say them aloud or read … Continue reading Affirmations for Healing Spiritual Abuse

Abusive Religion or Political Party? Toxic Faith: Part II

  Toxic Faith & Political Abuse Spiritual practice should calm and ground you – so you feel hopeful, refreshed, more generous, and more compassionate. Religion and philosophy should promote ever-increasing access to your wise mind or Higher Self. But some movements block connection with your inner wisdom by hammering a terrified, guilty, censoring, or rejecting … Continue reading Abusive Religion or Political Party? Toxic Faith: Part II

15 Signs of Religious Abuse: Toxic Faith, Part I

How do I know if I’m in an abusive church? Religious abuse keeps us quiet because of the beliefs that support it. In fact, if you have difficulty with your faith tradition or your church, you probably think it’s YOU with the problem – not the spiritual guidance you're receiving. I felt invisible, stupid, and scared as … Continue reading 15 Signs of Religious Abuse: Toxic Faith, Part I

Dis-Fellowshipping: When People get Shunned

I have shunned and been shunned. What leads me to turn my back? Repeated bullying or toxic behavior that takes a mental or physical toll. Abuse toward me or others, without acknowledgement of impact. It makes me sad, but out of self-preservation, I've sometimes hit the eject button. On an individual level, we need to, … Continue reading Dis-Fellowshipping: When People get Shunned

What Does Freedom Look Like to You?

  We hear a lot about freedom from politicians and life coaches. But freedom seems a bit vapory to me. Freedom to, what, exactly? Last week, I started asking people, What does freedom look like to you? Here are some of the answers people gave me. Having the ability and right to make decisions for myself. … Continue reading What Does Freedom Look Like to You?

Book Review – Wife Material

Some in the 70s missed ERA and the end of Vietnam. Among them was Elizabeth Campbell, the heroine of Wife Material: A Novel of Misbehavior and Freedom. Cocooned from the larger world of feminism and anti-government rallies, Elizabeth was well-prepared for domestic rather than political action. Growing up in a small town and attending the … Continue reading Book Review – Wife Material