How To Overcome Religious PTSD
This is probably the worst kind of post-traumatic stress disorder a person can experience. Throughout the centuries religion has done more harm in the world than good. First you have the Crusades in the past public hate speech in more recent years. All that and not to mention the sexual repression that seems to plague religious people. First with the Catholic Priests and other clergy who have to take a vow of celibacy to many religious types who cringe at the very mention of the word “sex”. Some churches even go as far as condemning a person for even wanting to get married by taking certain verses by Paul and Jesus out of context. Well not just sex, pretty much everything else that is good if you know how to use it right. This article is all about how to apply personal growth and self-development to overcome PTSD that is brought on by religion.
First we do not want to paint religion in a totally bad light. In the book of James, the second chapter from the book written by the half-brother of Jesus Christ (different Fathers), he says there is a thing as true religion. True religion is defined by this book as basically being uncorrupted by the world and taking care of widows and orphans.
Has anybody ever seen “true religion”? If you have it is probably like everything else that is good in this world and hidden. You can find it but you have to really search for it. I have to hand it to the Catholics though since upon serving in a homeless shelter I saw many Catholics reaching out to the homeless by feeding and clothing them. The so-called followers of Martin Luther’s “Protestant Reformation” were over handing out food too along with telling people how bad and evil they were and they should repent and accept Jesus as their Lord and* Savior.
Even Jesus said by their fruit you shall know them. The people who look like Jesus the most are usually the more “liberal” Christians who are more actively involved in serving their communities. There was an old quote by St Francis of Assisi that said “Preach the gospel and when all else fails use words.” It is not surprising the psychological damage done in the name of religion. From the Christians, mostly by Protestants, you have much verbal and emotional abuse that believe humbling someone involves tearing them down, only so they can rebuild after years in therapy to learn how to love themselves again. Then you have Muslims who kill people physically by flying into buildings. Actually it was a Jewish person that said neither side was true Christian or true Islam because religion is all about peace. These two groups aren’t truly religious, they are fanatics.
And the Crusades were basically one fanatical group fighting another fanatical group.
Remember even in the bible it was the religious leaders who tried to bring down Jesus. They even killed Him in the end in an effort to try and stop His charismatic following. They may have failed in the physical realm but they did not fail in the spiritual. You may have grown up in a religious home and been put down all your life, afraid to be yourself. How do you overcome this type of ptsd? The first step is possibly years of a commitment to personal growth and self-development. This is simply getting to know yourself and telling yourself positive affirmations. Secondly you have to be willing to challenge the beliefs you have been taught growing up.
A funny thing happens when you do this. As you retrain your brain to see the positive more, something happens in your cortex region of the brain. It strengthens and you become more resilient to life’s difficulties. Then you become more compassionate and less judgmental toward others. Sounds more Christlike than the “religious” types don’t it?
Next you begin to see more positive in the world and you begin to realize that people are not as bad as you have been led to believe. It makes it easier to love them, after you learn to love yourself that is. You have to love yourself before you can love others or even God. This is nearly impossible if you are overexposed to doom and gloom for years. It takes a strong commitment to self-development and personal growth to break away from that type of dogmatic teaching.
It also helps to study science. While many, mostly Protestants, separate faith from everything with their “faith alone” theology, you can study science and develop a deeper appreciation for the world around you. And while many may not disbelieve God by crediting man for all that is, your faith in God may be strengthened by the study of science. Part of the reason society is so dumbed down these days is because they don’t study mathematics and science anymore. That’s what helps life to makes sense when you understand the science behind everything.
While religions is anti-science this does not have to be the case. You just have to be strong in your pursuit of personal growth and self-development enough to try not to separate the two.
- Erwin Wooten
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