STONE ONE CONTINUED: Assert: I assert that I am responsible for my own spiritual path.
Instruction: Trust the process.
If everyone were to take charge of their own spiritual path, wouldn’t we have religious chaos? Wouldn’t religions fall and belief systems crumble? If everyone did their own spiritual thing and set up their own rules, wouldn’t it create a depraved society?
Religious Recovery is not opposed to religion. We believe that religion in its purest form has helped millions of people and will continue to do so. At its worst, however, it has been responsible for many evil things such as sexual abuse by religious leaders. It has also been the source of wars. Stone One encourages individuals to take responsibility for their spiritual path. When a religious institution or person does something that our heart tells us is wrong, then Stone One says to listen to our heart and refuse to follow the leadership of the religious institution or person. The way in which we refuse is an individual matter. Some will choose to voice strong opposition while others may decide on a simpler, quieter way of nonconformity. Rosa Parks refused to obey a law simply by remaining in her seat. Our refusal to follow the leader doesn’t have to be done with hatred or ill will. In fact, if we have lost our peace, then our actions will often have the opposite effect.
The members of a religious organization are likely to stand by their leaders even if the stand we take is a valid one. We might find that, although we did what we felt was right, the way in which we chose to disobey did more harm than good. This could be due to resistance from those who don’t want to acknowledge the problem, or it could be that we are wrong. The signs we saw may have misled us and caused us to draw the wrong conclusions. That’s why our actions are often tentative, our speech filled with grace, and our minds open in case we were not aware of all the facts. An open-minded approach can bring the best results with the fewest amount of unwanted consequences.
Today, let us consider what actions we might want to take when and if we see religious abuse happening to us or to others. Can we take a stand with a calm spirit that allows for the possibility that we could be wrong? Can we take a stand and still do so in an attitude of love and forgiveness? If we stand with grace and love, our actions will be more powerful and influential.
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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.