STEP FIVE CONTINUED: Share our struggles with others of like-mindedness trusting that our anonymity will be guarded by all.
Instruction: Start anywhere.
You might ask: Where do I begin the healing process? The simple and best answer is to start anywhere. Our program has been modeled after the 12-step platform of Alcoholics Anonymous and other similar 12-step recovery groups, and we see similarities in that there is no specific place to begin except to make the decision that we want to make changes in our lives. For some, that means reading literature. For others, it means attending meetings. Some choose both. Healing begins when we make the decision that we no longer want to be broken. As for the specifics of how we move from one healing place to another, we don’t have to follow a certain set of guidelines, but we should listen to the voice of our intellect, the voice of our emotions, and our intuition.
This book was designed for those who respond to a step-by-step program, but the Steps and Stones don’t have to be worked in order or even at all. Ours is not the only voice speaking for healing and recovery; we are merely one among many. To say that recovery has to be followed in a rigid, line-by-line format only opens Religious Recovery up to what it is trying to help people heal from—dogma, rigid rules, and regulations. Grace is given to all who find it difficult to follow a daily program, and we are reminded that many people don’t work well from strict programming. Set the books aside, get on the phone and call someone, or get out of the house and go see someone—someone trustworthy—and begin your healing process. The aim of Religious Recovery is to help heal. If our words aid in any way, then we are grateful, but we know that the ultimate means of healing is not in a program, but in a relationship that is personal and not organizational. That is part of the difference between being religious and being spiritual. We trust our own inner map to help us find our way Home.
If you are reading this book, it is generally an indication that you have made the decision to heal from the past. We congratulate you on what, for many, is a difficult decision. Today, celebrate your decision by doing something that pleases you and brings a smile to your face.
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Our purpose is to help individuals to heal who have been injured by religion or the religious. We welcome your comments and questions.