Just pause for a moment and let that sink in. If you’re triggered by the word God, change it to whatever you call it instead.
When I was young, we went to church every Sunday morning with Mom, attended the catholic school and I was an altar girl. One of the first in our community actually. My Mom LOVED the church and I know now that what she wanted was for us to love it too. Also, it got us out of the house on Sunday morning while my Dad had some quiet time without 6 kids running around.
At some point, I began to get very uncomfortable with the dogma. How it showed up back then, when I didn’t have language for it, was a powerful resistance to learning or understanding the processes and teachings required for things like First Communion. Of course, I went through with it anyway. I mean seriously, I got a new dress and shoes for the occasion. No way I was missing out on that!
I also would get very emotional with the beauty of the building and the singing. A part of me knew that even if I didn’t believe in at least 80% of what we were being taught, that somehow God was still here, anyway.
At the age of 18, my then bf and I had moved in together and decided to get married. As we were both raised catholic with the guilt that comes along with it for many, we decided it was best to get married in the church. It would keep the peace with both our Moms. When we went to the priest he said we were sinners as we lived together, and would have to repent, live apart again and take classes on how to be married catholics. That was the end for me.
I was O.U.T.
In the years that followed, I abandoned my faith completely, to the degree that not long before I left the car bus and started on this path, I called myself an atheist. I had no idea that I could have God without all the bullshit. I didn’t know I could have my own relationship with this being of Love that I would come to refer to as the Creator.
Religion had stolen God from me.
I took God back, on my own terms in my own time with my own truth. And we’re still working on our relationship. It’s been a long road, one that has often left me bereft with grief and then, in the next moment, at the peak of ecstasy.
During the last years, I’ve also healed the wounds, real and imagined, inflicted upon me in the church. I get how powerful it was for me to be introduced to ceremony and devotion in this way. I know and am deeply grateful for, what my Mother gained there, even if many deserted her in her time of greatest need. Ok, I may not be over that part just yet. Still human over here.
You, beloved one, also get to create your own relationship with God (or Creator, Source, The Universe, The Great Being in the Sky…whatever your heart desires.) You can leave behind guilt, shame, and blame and simply feel into what is right and good for you. You get to do this even while maintaining a relationship with the religion you connect with.
I’d suggest you begin by believing in Love.