I haven’t posted here like I wanted to, but I finally got around to giving an update.
Around March or April I started seeng a grief therapist in order to intentionally grieve the loss of my faith. I did some important and good work at the beginning and then things stalled a little bit. I had quite a bit going on in my immediate life that took the front seat. I was in a stressful environment at home, I was apartment hunting and then eventually moved, I was traveling, etc. I also started some anxiety medication in that time, which has been beneficial.
After feeling like things were stalled a bit on my process, my last session I stated that I wanted to get back to some of that intentional work I had been doing. My therapist asked me where I thought I was in my process/journey of grieving and, as I thought about the answer, I realized for the first time that it no longer felt like grief.
When I thought about all that I had lost, it no longer felt like this heavy weight. It no longer felt like I was missing something. I didn’t feel a longing for all of it back.
When I shared this with my therapist, she asked me what word I would use in place of grief, what does it feel like now? I couldn’t give an answer, so she told me to think about it until next time.
I’ve been giving it some thought. Peace came to mind, but felt too strong. I don’t know if I’m quite at peace yet. I feel like peace is the end where all is right and I’ve reclaimed my story, as Sands Hall did after her time in Scientology. (I just bought her book and am so excited to read it!)
I struggled to find a word that fit, but I think it’s simply, “I’m O.K.” I can’t quite say I’m at peace, but I can say I’m okay. I’m even almost grateful for the loss. That’s probably not typical of a grief journey of losing a family member or friend, but in this grief journey, I’m thankful that I lost what was never real anyway. As time has passed, I’ve distanced myself quite a bit from those thought patterns and lifestyle of evangelicalism and no longer see it as a part of me. It was a part of my story, but it is not a part of who I am anymore.
Reading my last post from February makes me realize how far I’ve come and how good grief therapy was for me and I’m excited for the continued work I can do going forward. I remember the anger and sense of being lost from my last post, but I mostly am not there anymore. Yes, I still have moments and yes I still get angry about evangelicalism, but it is more of an objective anger than a personal one. (Maybe I’m just numb and apathetic, but let’s go with healing for now! 😅)
At the beginning of my grief therapy, my therapist suggested doing some kind of funeral for the loss of my faith. We never did anything, but I think I’m ready now. And I think it’s better to do it now, rather than right away anyway. I think now it’ll feel more of a declaration and one that is already true and not just one I want to be true some day. Stay tuned for details on that.
Another thing my therapist has helped me think about is establishing my own creed or life motto of sorts. I think I’ve settled on giving radical grace while also seeking radical justice. I don’t know if I’ll ever figure out the tension between those two or the right balance or what this exactly means or looks like, but I think figuring it out is what being human is all about. I’m O.K. with my journey and just trying to be the best human I can be and I think that’s all I want for right now.