After a rather personal share about my relationship with Jesus on Facebook last night, a sweet lady contacted me with the following question:
I’m sorry to bother you but I was really touched by your post about Jesus & I just wanted to ask if you perhaps have any tips on healing wounds from dealing with Christianity?
As I received this question rather late in the evening (and my brain usually shuts down around 5 PM), I realised that this wasn’t something I could just quickly scribble down in a text message, though I did have some answers in mind already. As it turns out, the subject matter is a rather timely one to blog about since many of us have had our own religious wounds re-opened in the wake of Doreengate. This includes countless people I have spoken to, including myself and the lady who asked this question.
I am attempting to answer this question, not as an expert but as someone who is also seeking healing. Many of my blog posts are born this way, as you will know if you have followed my work for a while. I’m just a fellow Seeker, offering my hand… and I’m not offended if you won’t take it. We all have different paths to walk.
I would like to start this exploration by talking a bit about the image above. It is a painting of the wound that pierced Christ’s heart and as you can see it is clearly in the shape of a vagina. Even in the Middle Ages, people intuitively knew that there has to be a balance between the Divine Masculine and th Divine Feminine in order for us to heal. With this image, I found the following quote:
Gothic manuscripts such as the Bonne of Luxembourg Psalter are not examples of aggressive fragmentation or unmerited fetishization. Instead the appropriated vagina is activated in its isolation. This demonstrates a performative use of the female anatomy to constitute a signifier in the location where women have been denied one. The gesture effectively links the creative powers of women and Christ—a hypothesis appealing to many female Gothic mystics.
~ Liz Lorenz
I don’t know about you, but personally, I found that just reading these words and contemplating the ancient image had an instantly healing and uplifting effect on my psyche. You see, the problem with the abuse perpetrated by religious leaders in the name of Christ is that it has nothing to do with Christ’s teachings and everything to do with the fact that those teachings were torn out of context and appropriated by Patriarchy.
I’m going to outline five healing steps below and I’m not doing this as a one size fits all linear process for others to walk through. Rather this is what I find helpful and maybe one or a couple of the steps are helpful to you too.
Step 1 – You’re not going to hell
First of all, take a deep breath if your religious wounding relates to a fear of hell… Ahhhhhh…. Relax and understand that the threat of hell and eternal damnation is something that has served patriarchy very well. Preaching about hell is how the Church and State worked together to keep sufficiently scared (like a flock of sheep) to be easily managed and manipulated.
My grandmother was raised in a Salvation Army orphanage where the children were starved, abused and used for child labour – all in the name of Jesus Christ. She was one of the most wonderful people I have ever come across but she would – for obvious reasons – have nothing to do with the church or any Christian teachings after that experience, which included watching many of her friends die from the abuse.
Just like the Kingdom of Heaven is within and can be within you right NOW if you so choose, so is hell. It’s not a literal place – It is choosing to subject others to abuse and torture. It is choosing fear over love and refusing to face your own shadow.
The Kingdom of Heaven is not bound to dogma or any religious doctrine. During my years on Earth, I have seen Heaven in the face of people on many Paths and I have seen the hatred of hell in religious fanatics as well as those who simply use religion as a power tool to manipulate people for monetary gain.
Step 2 – Pray to heal from religious wounding
Religion is about reconnecting with the Divine. The word comes from the Latin ‘re-‘ and ‘ligare’ which literally means ‘to reconnect.’ Everything about this word is so right and yet seems to have so little to do with what religion actually looks like out in the world, where it seems politics have taken over in pretty much every religious institution and denomination. Then we have the religious organisations that are clearly just motivated by money… It’s a sad state of affairs.
The good news is that you don’t need ‘religion’ to reconnect.
If you were to reconnect with the Divine today through prayer, you would instantly be in Heaven. You don’t need a middle man to tell you how or to let you know if you are doing it right. It’s your birthright to talk to Mother-Father God… or the Universe… or whatever name you feel comfortable with.
You have every right to pray, using your own words… and right now, if those words are words of pain because of how you have been treated in the name of Christ, those words are also OK. The Divine wants our hearts, our authentic selves. The Divine couldn’t care less about liturgy, correct Bible translations or priestly vestment.
Also, don’t forget to ask directly for help with healing your religious wounding.
Step 3 – Study
One of the things that really helped me free myself from the clutches of organised, judgmental religion was to study the canonization of Scripture. Once you do, you realise that the process was extremely political and very much geared to serve patriarchy in general and those with a lot of power and money in particular.
Or you could study the world religions to find the common thread which is the Golden Rule and the perennial truth that the Heaven is not a place but the love we hold in our hearts.
Or maybe study one of the mystical Paths more in-depth to keep diving deeper into the domain of true faith rather than trying to squeeze yourself into the dogma drawer.
Step 4 – Discernment
Once we leave the Church and religious dogma behind, it becomes even more important to focus on discernment because there is so much out there claiming to be spiritual truth that is just distraction and a money trap. Spirituality is big biz and you have some of the most unscrupulous publishing houses cashing in big on it as we learned recently.
Then there are the outright crazy people who claim that royalty are actually lizard people or that they have photographed their ‘crystalline lightbody’ when it’s a macro photo of skin with small droplets of sweat… And just when you think you have seen it all something else that makes you do a double face palm shows up in your social media feed. The scary part of that is the comments from all the countless people who instantly buy these claims as gospel truth.
Think, study and pray for the spiritual gift of discernment so that you can use your other gifts for the Highest Good rather than have your energy drained away by the prominent energy vampires in the modern spiritual community.
Be very aware that sometimes things ‘resonate’ because your mind is hooked into group think. This is why it is so important to schedule regular quiet time for prayer and contemplation.
Step 5 – Keep it simple
The final step is the most simple and therefore it is the one that the ego struggles the most with. The ego (bless its little cotton socks) adores complexity. Please understand that I’m not bashing the ego here. We totally need one to express our own unique individuality but the shadow of the ego is strong and often confuses ‘peace’ with boredom so it goes stirring. Meditation is – as always – the cure.
Everything you come across has one of two sources, love or fear. What you need to learn to do is to recognise the vibration of each so that you are not taken in by words. Many supposedly spiritual people abuse people in the name of love and light, in the way my grandmother was abused by the Swedish salvation army people, only more subtly and in the form of gaslighting.
You will recognise this in cults where nobody is allowed to disagree with the teacher, questions are deleted and people who use discernment are accused of being ‘negative.’ These people will claim that they are keeping their page clear of ‘negativity’ when really they are keeping it clear of discernment. They do this out of fear.
Love does not fear the darkness. It enters into the darkest corners of our psyche in the process of soul alchemy. Love is not always upbeat. Sometimes tough love is needed and sometimes we need to really face our own fear in order to fight for the oppressed on the side of love. Love is not about sticking your head in the sand and pretending everything is OK.
Love looks like that wound. That is why, after my own religious wounding, I still have this deep and abiding love for Christ who loved enough to lay down his own life. He is wounded with us. His religious wounding was dealt by the Pharisees of the time. Those Pharisees are still with us, just by a different name and they often carry Bibles…