First I had to hear someone say how they would address an abused person that shares their story and as an abused child I chimed in and suggest try not to say "I'm so sorry". I get sick of those words (or similar words). Instead empower them with things and offer them to share their story and volunteer because of their experience. I used examples of other things they said that were good ideas. I didn't shoot everything she said down, just told her some strong statements I thought she said that were better like "I'm listening. thank you for sharing this with me.". We want to empower people and tell them they are worthy and valuable.
The last one was bad. bad bad. Ugh. All the testimonials from staff that work for the nonprofit agency and shared their story all spoke of their Christian religion (god, Jesus) that helped lift them from their dark place after being abused in some way. Some were physical, verbal and sexual. I found out later that the testimonial was for a Christian TV show so then it made more sense to me......I was fine with that. Just I don't want to volunteer for a pure Christian organization, know why? Because I think they push their faith on others. Just like our emergency shelter here who ministers. I can't get right with that. I think it's peoples own path. Anyway, then one of the volunteers next to me jumps in with "Well I'm a Christian and I'm not afraid to say it. I don't care that people are against Christians and....". I jumped "There are people against all religions (Hello remember Jews, Islam, pagans, etc). Just bias about other faiths too outside of theirs". I was irritated. Given the media coverage of the Chick Fil A stuff then the Hobby Lobby CRAP all I see in my feed is "I'm so tired of having to defend Christianity".
Then I went off "I'm sorry I just am open to all religion and I try to be sensitive to others believes (we're talking patients, clients at this point who we help). I'm very protective of peoples rights to their own faith and I study all of them.
I think this is where I dug myself about to my knees in dirt. *sigh*
The thing is I don't care what peoples faiths are, I really don't. I've been a victim of bias being Catholic. Once. I was so upset to move to the South and be told I was pagan because I was Catholic. So ok, I'm no stranger to her plight but it was OTHER Christians who was telling me I was pagan and my faith (Christian) was wrong.
What I meant to say was people are hurt by religion. That's why I hate to see people use religion when we are dealing with the public. When we are trying to lead someone out of their dark place. Not everyone found their strength that way. What if I told these people in my testimony that a High Priestess of Wicca out of England is the key person who stopped me from killing myself in 2001? Would they use it? NO! I would put money on it. Why? They are scared of that. They don't know what it is and they assume it's bad.
Christianity is one of the largest, if not largest, religious groups in the World. When they are preaching their faith to others not of the same religion , it's ok. When they are violent in the name of evil it's ok. When they want to push their beliefs on their employees, it's ok....but dare anyone from any other belief system to challenge them doing any of that and suddenly they are an oppressed, minority who are victims of judgment. Hmm.
Mind you, not all Christians think this way. There are so many groups but a large majority of them do and while their god and Jesus Christ might be some pretty great allies to have, not everyone who finds their way through life walks the same path nor wants to do so.
So there I am looking like a complete ass. I really meant well. I just need to figure out how the heck I can fit as a volunteer and not feel triggered by these topics. I figured out after all this thinking today and writing that those two topics are my triggers for sure. Maybe it's not Christians but my resistance to Christianity after being attacked as a Christian (at that time) by other Christians. I didn't fit in as a Christian then and I don't fit in as a person who just claims "spirituality". I don't want to be forced in a box. I can't claim Christianity just because I don't want to be "those" people. It really has nothing to do with their god or Jesus Christ. I'm quite connection to both of them, thank you. It's just that box I don't want to be in, see in, think from, ....definitely not one I want to be judged from either or find myself judging.
I find in my 40's I have completely lost my filter. I am so frustrated with humanity yet I volunteer the majority of my waking life to other peoples issues. It's a love/hate relationship really. My frustrations I know are a reflection of me. They reflect my wounds which I deflected. It's so easy to blame others for your discomfort. While I don't agree with those who were so judgmental toward me and think they were wrong, I've pretty much took that frustration and drawn the wrong attention toward me today. I completely showed my discomfort in talking about Christianity and abuse. It's good in one way because I need to work this out before I pursue my counseling license but it also means I have to reconcile my goofs with this group next time we are together. *picks up big girl pants* Sure wish there was a redo button for this day. That's enough of the Cosmic Mirror for me today!
Yours in conscious imperfection,
Love & Light,