Do we have religious roots? Of course we do. Sometimes, even when we don’t want to, we fall back into old patterns. Not everything in religion is bad, but let’s not repeat the parts we know are bad.
1. Creating inner circles
It’s probably human nature to form alliances. But, inner circles are an over reaction to the fear that our organization will be taken over or fail. It is an unusually strong alliance to the ones that got there first.
2. Fixating on the new person
Churches are postured toward prospective members. Wounded people hobble out the back of the church while staff and volunteers stand at the front door handing out welcome packets. Outside the church, we long for new followers, and ignore the ones we already have.
3. Comparing ourselves to the other
Some of my deepest hurts inside and outside the church are when other clergy resented my achievements and saw them as competition instead of a contribution. It’s easy to notice people being against larger groups, but it’s also disturbing to be otherized by your own tribe.
4. Developing new belief statements
When we author a creed or belief statement, we stop thinking and start defending. We must try to resist circling the wagons again like we did in organized religion. If we’re really evolving, new walls aren’t really conducive to new life.
5. Labeling / Branding ourselves
“What are you now?” Is one of the common questions I get. It’s an attempt to define me so they know how to treat me. We all do it, but I don’t think it accomplishes anything except common enemy intimacy.
If we are truly progressing, evolving and growing, we will resist the urge to repeat the mistakes of our past. I could have stopped my evolution a few years ago by acknowledging a system and committing to it. But that is not the way of the growth–it is preservation, not progress.
All this means that sometimes I journey alone for a spell until I find the new tribe that encourages and shares the adventure with me. Our roots can become a viable part of the composted soil that we grow out of, but we can’t allow them to become the vine that defines the future.
Be where you are,
Be who you are.
Be at peace!
Our new book!
Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-walking-under-green-tree-514465/