Intu wrote:I would like to say something because I feel it is important for us to understand something.... and maybe you can relate to what I am going through.
Unfortunately, many religions, or perhaps I should say religious leaders, reinforce negative feelings and beliefs that we have about ourselves. I am not saying all religions or religious leaders do this, but many of them do. Many religious people that I have encountered love to talk about Satan. They go on and on about his powers. In a ten-minute conversation, they will mention Satan fifteen to twenty times and God once, if He's lucky! To me, it's all such a contradiction! They say they've got Jesus in their heart, yet they love to dwell on Satan. I was told to pray for these people, to ask God to bless them. I have to admit, there have been many times when I have prayed for them and my heart wasn't in it!
I don't understand what gives people the right to judge others as evil or as sinners. Jesus did say "Judge them by their fruits," which I believe means that if you are going to judge people, judge them by their lives, by what they do with their gifts, their attitudes toward others, their whole essence. Get to know someone, then make your judgments based on what you have learned about them rather than on what you have heard or what you fear.
When a religion is condemnatory, harsh, shameful, and punishing, we and our bodies bear the results of that treatment. When we are continually reminded that we are sinners, that we are fallen, our bodies suffer. Religion is supposed to make you feel good. When it doesn't - when we inherit negative beliefs about ourselves from our religious practice or from the doctrine that is passed down from our parents - we suffer.
For so long, I felt there was something really wrong with me and I was always afraid that people would be able to see all that bad stuff. It made me too uncomfortable to hear a lot of positive things about myself or to be told that, as a child of God, I had all the capabilities to do or be anything that I wanted. Yet, I have to admit, as my friend said we know deep down at the core of our being that we are good. And that's probably why I kept digging for that goodness in my life! I had to shovel away the manure (negative beliefs about myself).
Religion has the potential to be a place where it is safe to get rid of the bad feelings you are still holding on to and discover your goodness. That's what religion should be doing for all of us. it should be encouraging us to shovel away our negative beliefs and feelings about ourselves, which we have acquired along the way. It should helping us to discover our goodness. Our holiness. Our divinity. If we are created in God's image, wouldn't that mean we have unlimited potential? That we are made out of the good in God? If you are the son or daughter of the highest Source in the Universe, you can't get much better!
Some people are going to jump on that last statement right away! What about all of the evil people? The people who kill and abuse others? They, too, are children of God, but it's probably been lifetimes since anyone told them so. Their goodness is in there. It's just that, with all of the manure inside (negative beliefs about themselves), they probably don't even dare to look for fear they will never find it! Their belief that they are bad is constantly reinforced by society, or by a religious system that reinforces these negative beliefs.
Look honestly at the religious system you follow. Does it reinforce your goodness or those negative beliefs that you have about yourself? Are you constantly reminded about your shortcomings? Are you told every week that you are a sinner? That you're bad? That you do not deserve happiness? What beliefs does your current religion reinforce? Can you be honest with yourself about this?
In your heart, you know if you're good or not. You know the truth about God. I remember hearing in a sermon that God told Moses, "My truth is written on your heart." If you have discovered that you religion does reinforce your negative beliefs about yourself, it's important to start thinking about finding one that will reinforce your goodness. The problem here is that you need to start believing it in yourself. So what comes first - the chicken or the egg? It doesn't matter.
What does matter is that this process of knowing your goodness begin now. Enough time has been wasted wallowing in negativity! Ask God to help direct you to a religion that will encourage you to know your goodness. I really believe in my heart that's what God wants for you. He wants you to do everything you can to heal your pain.
I also know that we may have this fear of what our intuition might tell us to do if we asked for guidance and we wanted to live fulfilled, spiritual lives, we worried about what course our lives might take if we really did follow the guidance of our intuition. We may looking at our intuition in a religious way, fearing what God might ask us to do. This common fear about life that would be saying like, "no more fun, just a lot more hard work". What became clear to me was that if someone wanted to live by his or her intuition, and if his/her relationship with God was based on religion, he or she would first need to heal that old image of God because it was getting in the way of trusting his/her inner voice. This old-time notion of God couldn't be further from the truth. Even though, it may be challenging and difficult, each of us needs to set aside the information we've received or learned through our religious training and find out for ourselves the truth about our creator.
Remember your goal in doing this is to have an open line of communication between you and your intuition, and in order to get that communication as clear as possible, you have to clear the doorway of old rubble so the door can open wide. I can assure you that once you can get rid of the garbage, or old rubble and find the voice inside and begin developing a real relationship with it, you will discover how completely loving and supportive it is. It will always bring you ease and lightness but first the old pain has to be healed.
If you are one of those people who has issues with God or religion, I would like you to take some time to write out everything that comes to your mind when you think of the word God or religion. Right now, if you can, get out a journal or notebook and just write all the thoughts, feelings, memories, resentments and so on that come to mind when you think of God or religion. Ask yourself if your present religion reinforces your essential goodness or negative beliefs you have about yourself. The reinforcement of the positive is important to your healing. If you are holding negative feelings about yourself inside your body, this cannot be a positive influence on your health. Write down the kinds of beliefs your place of worship reinforces and your feelings about these. Now I want you to visualize giving this list to God, and ask for the healing of all this pain. If you would feel better taking the list to a clergy person and sharing it with him or her, do that instead.
Sometimes the negative beliefs we find in our religious experiences reinforce or carry on negative beliefs that our parents taught us. Take the time to look at this possibility. If your parents were raised to believe in badness, the chances are they will raise you the same way. This cycle goes on and on until that tiny voice inside says, "Hey, I am in here and I am good because I was created by God!"
Your objective here is to forgive God, religion, for all the pain you believe this has caused you and to move forward with your relationship with the divine within you. Continue to pray for healing daily until you feel a shift internally. You will know when you've forgiven God, religion, and so on and can open that door. It may not happen over night but, believe me, it will happen. Whenever we pray for healing, our prayers are answered. The guidance available to us through our intuition can help in every area of our lives.