As often happens in negative addictive behavior, the decision to stay is often weighed against the greater pain, and as is so often the case, individuals don’t leave a bad situation until the pain to stay is judged to be greater than the pain involved with leaving. However, when the decision to leave is made, often the initial pain is far worse than what was anticipated, and individuals sometimes return and stick it out — sometimes temporarily, and sometimes permanently.
When it comes to leaving a particular religion that we feel is hurtful or abusive, the same pattern often emerges. Staying is painful, yes, but the thought of leaving can be terrifying. We don’t seriously consider leaving until we believe the pain and consequences to our spiritual well-being will be greater if we stay. Once we reach that conclusion we seriously consider making the decision to abandon our former religion and seek at least a new church if not a new denomination or even a new religion.
Sometimes, however, the decision is made for us because circumstances drive us away from our religious beliefs. While we are going through painfully dark time we might question and doubt all religious and spiritual experiences. It might help to remember that we are deciding whether to leave a particular religious institution, and then we can mentally separate the institution and what it believes from The Divine. After a while we will be able to see with spiritual vision and understanding, because The Divine has no religion and He can heal us from our hurts.
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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.