I realize this post might be a bit controversial since religion is a beautiful and uplifting part of life for many, many people. And to be clear, I'm all for any belief system that promotes peace on earth and good will to men.
If this has been your experience with organized religion, then I'm happy for you. Unfortunately, the religion I grew up in was very conservative and not in the slightest inclusive. It was kinda like this.
Minus the tacky billboard and the fire, of course.
As a result of really believing and wanting to act out what I was taught, I made some rather foolish life decisions that were not in my best interest. Like choosing a college major I couldn't make much money from because I knew God wanted me to marry and stay home with my future kids.
Like getting hitched after a six-month courtship to a man I'd not once French kissed, because I was determined to hold onto my virginity until after the wedding ceremony.
Like staying with that man even when he treated me poorly in order to fulfill my life's purpose.
The religion of my youth fucked with my mind like you would not believe, which is why you'd think leaving it would be easy. But it was endlessly hard. After over thirty years of believing, I couldn't walk away without repercussions. I had a community that was gone over night. A meaning for my life that simply vanished. And then, about one year after I'd extricated myself... the dreams came: Sickness for me, pain for my children. Satan incarnate threatening death.
I still have the dreams, but they're getting less intense. My marriage was hard and traumatic. I had expected trauma dreams from that experience, but not from something so commonplace.
Doesn't everybody have one?
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