Spiritual abuse does not get the last word. Because we have experienced it, we can help change the world.
As we heal, we use our humor, guts, discernment, prophetic voice[i], intellect, courage, persistence and willingness to keep pushing through our pain, to lead the way. We start using our voices to educate our family, friends, colleagues, our local and global community. We become activists and advocates, who call for justice and lead the way for others to become free.
We pull society forward by saying “Not on our watch.” We will no longer tolerate systems that shut others out. We join the long line of others who have said no to things like slavery, patriarchy, racism, homophobia, strict gender roles, fundamentalism, and radicalization. We stop going to places of indoctrination. We stop attending.[ii] We follow up by saying, “We will no longer reward you by contributing financially” to your group that abuses children, shuts LGBT people out, or gets wealthy while ignoring the needs of the poor and disenfranchised.
We become activists by helping others escape. We educate ourselves. Many of us spend years learning all aspects of the spiritual abuse that we endured. We create visions about what healthy belief could be like. We start setting healthy boundaries for ourselves. We change the world because we no longer keep quiet or tolerate the abuse of others. We develop discernment and use it to keep from falling into new traps.
We change the world because we use our pain to birth something new. We become bridge builders because we know the pain of walls. We use our privileges to advocate for others. As we heal, we bring our best selves to whatever we do. We are no longer satisfied with waiting. Too much time has been wasted; we work to bring about change. We become healers and liberators. We work to dismantle bastions of privilege, wealth and discrimination.
We create new communities that have room for openness and curiosity. We no longer hold to black and white beliefs, because at one time we were certain we had the Truth (with a capital T). We realize that we were fooled, and we use discernment to keep from getting trapped again. We change the world when we say, “I don’t know.” We allow space for new information and we examine ideas diligently. We change the world by creating places of safety that are truly inclusive.
We change the world by giving our children what we did not have. We mold them tentatively, allowing them to explore their gifts and talents. We become guides, not indoctrinators. We pass on the best that we have and leave the worst behind. We adore our children for the wonderful little beings they are instead of teaching them they are inherently wicked. We parent more gently.
We change the world because we have changed. We turn the abuse on its head, and we create beauty from the ashes. We have changed, and through our healing, we bring hope and joy to our world.
[i] “Prophetic” in the sense of saying what needs to be said, even when others may not want to hear it.
[ii] We #EmptyThePews to show our disagreement with injustices of all sorts.
My blogs take on all topics related to recovery, including commentary on the intersection of spiritual abuse and current events.
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