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Spirituality? (post-cult) - where does our strength come from?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by saraemerald, Jul 12, 2018 at 6:06 PM.

  1. saraemerald

    saraemerald Well-Known Member

    I hope this post doesn't sound too bold or whatever because it's referencing spirituality. But I want to address where the source of our strength comes from. The struggle between believers and non-believers. The struggle between whether that strength came from us alone or with the help of "God' holy spirit". If we have left a religious or bible based cult, this inner conflict of where this strength came from, can be absolutely overwhelming! and cause inner angst and distress. I know it has for me. It's caused me to become self-destructive, question my motives and caused a huge crisis of faith which has caused me to question and leave a known cult. That's the plus. The negative part is the self-destructive behaviors and self-doubt and trying to move forward and heal.
    Mach123, shimmerz and Ronin like this.
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  3. Taylormade73

    Taylormade73 New Member

    I wasn’t raised in a cult but I was placed in a foster home for about three years with foster parents who used the Bible, and God as an excuse to beat me, and commit other forms of abuse against me and my brother. My foster dad was a former pastor who had to step down after being exposed as a pedifile, my foster mom believed that God spoke directly to her and told her things. There were many times I was accused of things I didn’t do because God told her I did them. Instead of going to church we would have prayer meetings at our house. They would invite friends over, and sometimes strangers. My brother and I would be placed in the middle of the room where everyone would gather around and pray for us. The would annoint us with oil, lay there hands on us, talk in tongues, and rebuke the devil saying that all of our bad behaviors were from him. As a child, I questioned gods existance, and the fact that if he did exist, did he actually care about me? Why would he allow so many horrible things to happen? As I got older, I continued just walking the line, not sure if I believed, but not willing to completely say I didn’t. I never went to church, or taught my kids about god, And usually only prayed when I felt like my life was falling apart. About seven years ago I left an abusive relationship with my children, it was a very dark time in my life and I started to consider suicide again as a way to escape the pain. But I met this stranger one day who all the sudden just started talking to me out of the blue. He was talking about this recovery group he went to and how god had redeemed him from his past mistakes and all of the hurt. To be honest I thought he was a bit of a wacko but over the next few months I couldn’t stop thinking about it. My sister in-law was going to go with me but we couldn’t seem to coordinate a time so I ended up going by myself to check out this group. I’ve been in recovery for about seven yrs now. I guess for myself what I’ve discovered is that everything I was taught about God as a child was a lie. I still struggle, especially with forgiving myself for things I’ve done in the past, but I don’t blame him anymore for leaving me, or not being there for me. I can look back now and see that he was there for me in ways I never noticed. I still struggle with going to church, I don’t like people touching me or talking to me about god, I figure that there isn’t anything they can tell me that I don’t know or can’t figure out for myself. I think that out of all the abuse I was subjected to spiritual abuse was probably the most damaging because it gets to the core of who we are, and what our purpose in life is. But that’s just my opinion
    Eagle3, LuckiLee and saraemerald like this.
  4. saraemerald

    saraemerald Well-Known Member

    Spiritual abuse is terrible and yes, it does affect the core of who we are and our purpose in life. It affects what you believe about life around you and your belief system. What you went through was awful. Sorry you had to suffer through all that.
    I'm struggling with my own spirituality and a possible belief in a God. It hurts when you are born into a cult and you fall for it and think you have "the truth", and it gives you a sense of purpose and you feel spiritually connected but then discover it was a based on a bunch of lies. It's very confusing to go through.
    shimmerz and Ronin like this.
  5. Ronin

    Ronin Dark Wings Premium Member

    Something powerful and to be honored, what people say about that something (Someone) does not matter, it was strength when needed.

    I just had to come to terms with not being as powerful and guarded as youth me wanted to believe, and have to be careful whenever I am slipping into the old mindsets (oops, well, self, there ain't a magic of a prayer and herbs that would make you bulletproof. Its called bulletproof vest. There also is not invisibility. It is called well done camouflage. And praying over people losing all of their strength is not as good as handing them propaganda leaflets of why their own govt are pansies. And the like. The mundane messing worlds more making sense to me at times surprises me.)
  6. saraemerald

    saraemerald Well-Known Member

    "The mundane messing worlds more making sense to me at times surprises me." What do you mean by this?
    And the rest of your post, are you referring to the fact that a lot of that strength comes from our own efforts and not some extraordinary spirit? Cuz sometimes, there are people who supposedly believe in a God and tap into his strength but are complete hypocrites.
    Mach123 likes this.
  7. Eagle3

    Eagle3 Well-Known Member

    I was raised in a Bible-based cult. Got out after nearly 30 years of it. I'll admit, I used to think they were very correct and I was going to Hell if I renounced my faith, but after what I've been through and the things I'm learning in other spiritual traditions, I'm finally at a place were I can say I don't care. I was manipulated into "believing" at the ripe age of 11, but now I know I was right all along. I don't believe in what I was taught!! I no longer follow any religion at all, but I have been studying shamanism, nature-based spirituality, and energy-based science/spirituality to get a better sense of what I pick up on intuitively. These studies are all academic, but I still recognize a Force behind the energies at play in the Universe, and I believe that all religions are just humankind's attempt to explain the Unexplainable. I'm no longer trying to do so. The Unexplainable is unexplainable, and is perceived differently by every human being on this planet. I follow what I perceive. Others are free to do the same; but I follow no religion.
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  8. Sideways

    Sideways I'm a VIP Premium Member

    There’s a great big middle ground between believing what a cult has taught you, and not believing in anything. The heart of pretty much every version of christianity seems to be the same: God loves you. Seems to me that anything beyond that is interpretation. But they all have that fundamental message in common. God loves you. If you want to keep believing? You don’t need to go any deeper than that right now. God loves me. Awesome. If that gives you a feeling of strength? Bonus.

    But Gor or no God, your strength doesn’t evaporate just because you’ve left a particular church group. Too many people outside of that group have strength, so obviously that particular group doesn’t have a monopoly on inner strength.

    One of the biggest struggles I’ve had recovering from what I was indoctrinated with? Is that vacuum left by the purpose it gave my life. I was explicitly taught: this is what God’s purpose for your life is, and this is what you need to do to fill that purpose.

    That purpose? Didn’t work out for me. I ended up in a complete mess and racked with self-loathing. But abandoning what I was taught, means I’m left with the prospect that I now seem to have no purpose. I don’t know what my life is for, or qhat I’m supposed to do with it.

    There are times when I still get drawn back towards what I was taught, regardless of how heinous it was, simply because it gives my life purpose. The deal with my recovery? And one of the reasons it will take so long? Is that I need to figure out a new purpose for my life from scratch.

    Most people start that search for purpose in their toddler years. I’m a few decades late and that makes me panic a bit. But there’s no time limit. It takes as long as it takes.

    And when I’m being honest with myself? I did NOT feel strong, or closer to God, when I was dutifully obeying the dogma I was taught. I just plain old hated myself. Telling myself “it was better/easier back then...” simply isn’t true.

    When you really desperately want to be a good person? Cults are attractive. They hand you the rule book and all you have to do is obey, right? Only problem is that the rules are completely bogus, serving the cult rather than you, and are ultimately soul-destroying. There is no rule book. That’s scary. Makes life much harder. Much, much harder. But it puts us back in the same scary mysterious “what is it all about” boat that the rest of humanity lives in. And being allowed to create your own rules? Your own purpose? Freedom like that could give you the strength you’re looking for if you’re willing to embrace it and risk messing things up sometimes:)
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018 at 2:45 AM
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  9. Mach123

    Mach123 I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

    This is beautiful. It's really hard to approach any kind of faith. I was raised in the west and so culturally have a Judeo-Christian world view. When I understood that I brought a mentally ill person into the church, things made sense to me finally. That's a little simplistic, but sums it up I think. Good thread, thank you.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018 at 11:59 AM
    Sideways likes this.
  10. saraemerald

    saraemerald Well-Known Member

    Thanx for this. I get what you are saying
  11. saraemerald

    saraemerald Well-Known Member

    OMG. Thank you for this. I've feel so lost without a purpose since I've left that cult, as well as feel so lonely because that cult practices shunning so noone talks to me anymore. I am in soooo much pain because of this and struggling to function every day. One of the biggest things for me though right now is lack of purpose and feeling like I mean something. How do cults do this to us?
    Sideways likes this.
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