STONE NINE CONTINUED
Transform: By changing my thoughts, I transform my life. I choose to change my thoughts concerning past experiences that hold me in pain. I choose to see them from a higher perspective.
Instruction: Change our thoughts about religion.
Religion comes from the Latin word re-ligos, which means “to tie together again.” In a sense, pure religion has nothing to do with rules and regulations, but it has everything to do with coming together again in harmony, in oneness, and (if you don’t mind a little personal interpretation here), in love. It seems to me that religion that brings us together, no matter what brand we choose, is a positive endeavor — at least in its purest form. Religions that are elitist and claim to have the only right answers only bring together those who agree with the teachings of that particular religion and alienate all others. One of the things I personally had to learn, and am still learning, is that not all religion is wrong or evil, and at the heart of most religions, there is kindness and love. For my personal experience, I had to change my thoughts about religion in order to help me heal from the abuses I experienced in one particular religion and recognized in other religions, too.
This has been a slow process that has taken years, and I am still working through things as they present themselves, but one thing I believe is that religion, “the tying together again” of hearts and souls is a good thing, and we should not criticize or attack religious beliefs that have that as their goal as long as it is inclusive of all people. I share this personal illustration to show how Stone Nine can transform our thoughts. Certainly I didn’t come to this Stone without first feeling the emotions (Stone Seven) and then deciding which ones I wanted to release (Stone Eight). I didn’t want to feel hurt or angry at the religion that, in my opinion, offended me. Part of my personal recovery is to change my thoughts concerning past experiences and to see them from a higher perspective. I choose to see the experiences of that period of my life differently. I now believe that those who caused me pain where doing what they thought was in my best interest, and in their own way, they were trying to love me back into what they believed was the right way. When someone does something to me in the spirit of love, even though it might be misguided, I choose to forgive them—and myself in case I am wrong and they are right.
For today’s assignment, consider the following questions. Have we placed too much faith in a particular religion to the degree that we are unable or unwilling to recognize any faults or wrong-doings they might be guilty of? Have we become closed-minded to all religious beliefs except our own particular brand and personal flavor? If we have moved past that point, where are we now? Can we see some good in what we once believed in so strongly but can no longer adhere to? Can we see some commonality among some, or even most religions? Perhaps the best questions might be to ask if our religion helps to tie together hearts and souls of all people, or does it divide and alienate? Finally, what can we do to help religion to return to its original definition? What can we do “to tie together again?”
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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.