If you don’t know about the Kübler-Ross model of the stages of death and dying and grief, you should. I have it very helpful for all kinds of things. Including the deconstruction of faith and beliefs. Here’s my own personal interpretation as they apply to my deconstruction:
- Denial: We are certain that the answer we have believed must work. Doubt may have entered in, but we’re going to hold on faithfully to our beliefs. They’ve worked all these years and proven themselves true. Why fail us now?
- Anger: It dawns on us that, indeed, we have doubt, and that the answer we’ve faithfully believed for so long no longer suffices. We are angry at God, Satan, our spouses, our selves, life, etc. We are very frustrated that confusion has moved in.
- Bargaining: Realizing that the answer we’ve held to has failed, we go for a second opinion, or a third… desperately looking for an answer that makes sense. We run around compromising and making deals with other ideas in an effort to stay alive spiritually.
- Depression: We sadly realize that there is no clear answer forthcoming. What we are losing isn’t being replaced by anything satisfactory. The temptation is to give up. This is a very dark and deeply confusing time. It feels like spiritual death.
- Acceptance: We finally understand that there is no answer and we can live in the depth of the mystery. An indescribable peace comes over our minds that radiates throughout our whole being. Finally our souls are at rest.
This may not be your story. But maybe it is. And remember: we may not progress neatly and linearly through these stages. We may cycle around them and jump from one to another or live in two at the same time. We are very complex and unique people. My journey is mine and yours is yours.
I invite you to join The Lasting Supper, an online community mostly of people who are supporting one another through their own personal deconstruction.