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6 Ways To Navigate As You Transition Out Of Your Religious {Mormon} Faith

Tuesday, April 16, 2019
My dear friends,

I speak often on my blog about subjects that are partly vexing. My attempts are too fragrant them just enough to know that I am polite in my efforts, and in no way do I have the intentions to cause anyone affliction. 

With that being said, I should also like to share a quote that I have on my desk as a reminder of my well being.

"What other people think of me is none of my business."~Gary Oldman

A verifiable writer has an expansive desire to speak about their lives, share particulars that nearly ripped them to emotional shreds, or to simply write about a lovely stroll at the park. A writer must write as if their life depends on it. Between writing and breathing, in order to survive;  both are required {smile}. 
Even though I spent decades of my life ignoring my dreams by wadding them down, I still wrote every day. As a child deeply seeped in indoctrinated religion and living in a dysfunctional environment, I wrote to calm my disquietude and escape to wherever I wanted to go. The same happens when being an avid reader.
I think the wonderful writers and artists of today and in centuries past, are far-reaching in their messages because they too, experienced similarly. When you are a child, you are limited in what you can do, but writing- oh, to write, is the greatest gift to ever experience in life. Invariably, Beatrix Potter had a diary in code so that peeking eyes could not keep her from writing.

The title of this post may hit a nerve or two with many folks, however, I wrote it to inspire and send encouragement.

{Now, before I begin, I want to preface that I would never wish away my religious upbringing. At the time, I absolutely loved and embraced my religion; and to this day I am better for having had it. I thought it might be an interesting topic to write about since I never have before now.}
5 Things To Do When Transitioning Out Of Your Religious {Mormon} Faith

1. Keep your ideas to yourself

In life, our vibrational energy is RSVP'ing what we believe. The law of attraction states that we attract what we give our attention to. There is no escaping the laws of the universe, regardless of whether that is good or bad. We get what we think about.

In my transition out of my Mormon faith, I knew I had to remain quiet in order to keep people from bombarding me with questions, attention, and an ongoing of trying to"love and fellowship me back into the faith." I have seen folks, family and friends {with good intentions} feel the need to warn and even go so far as to alienate, in an attempt to coerce the person transitioning out of the faith, back into the fold. Fear is lead by most people that need to congregate in groups to feel secure and powerful. The more people, the more comfortable they are. Most humans are lead by fear. As a Mormon, I was lead by a great amount of fear. Fear of being alone, damnation, hell, alienation, lack of friends, and society. Mostly, the fear of not being a Mormon any longer is at the helm. It's cult-like. And no, not cult-like as in demonism. I'm speaking of a tight-knit culture.

The thought of a Mormon woman not being with her family for eternity is enough to keep a woman close to the faith. For a Mormon woman to feel she won't "make it" to the correct kingdom {celestial} in heaven, be without her husband that she married in the temple for time and eternity, and risk losing her children indefinitely, is enough to keep her right where everyone feels she belongs.
Many women are miserable in their Mormon faith but just bear it. As if this life is about hardship. The more arduous she has it on this earth, the greater her crown and just desserts.

The surprise is going to be when we all transition from this world, only to realize that all those stories that were created from writers, we're just that- stories. It was a man or woman not in alignment for most of their prophetic documented words, but cuffed a religious notion to it, to keep minds all in the space of togetherness. The greatest downfall in all the world is when religions create segregation and ruling with fear is notoriously at the helm. The bigger the group, the greater the ability to convince insecure people that have no minds of their own. As a Mormon, when I was in it, i felt that I knew better than the rest of the world. The world is asleep to TRUE knowledge. In fact, I now think I was led to keep the blinders on as a way to keep me from exiting the beautifully decorated box with the silk, Tiffany blue bow atop.
2. Follow your heart, it knows the way

We all are naturally spiritual beings living a physical life. We are no different than our higher consciousness. We all came to experience life, most importantly as Joseph Campbell said, " Follow your bliss." We truthfully make this world much too complicated. It is as easy as that, we are to find joy. We corrode it by adding resistance to most things in our life. If we were to listen to our hearts, as we did when we were little and uninhibited, we would know that is the way we should live our lives now as adults. Find what makes you happy and fill your heart with joy.

I followed my heart when I left my marriage of 24 years, and when I transitioned from Mormonism. I was constantly frustrated in my faith and in my life. I was doing all that I could and what my leaders told me, and I was growing increasingly more miserable. I'd ask myself, 'how could this be"? I was doing everything I was supposed to, I was following all of the church rules and I felt I was repeatedly getting the shaft. I would see leaders not following the rules at all {adultury, porn-addicted, criminal acts}, but then show up on temple night. I knew they were unworthy, and yet I couldn't enter the temple because I wore too many bangles? I was beginning to see massive hypocrisy. I let my bishop know of it, and I was punished for sharing my viewpoints. My rebel nature was seeping out and I knew that things were about to explode. There were meetings about me. They needed to get me under control again and quick. Scrambling ensued.

I see women seeking accolades, social media fame, a picturesque life with children and poppa in tow. I know the root of this desired persona. To be perfect is all we as Mormon women strive to become, and we would take on anything to achieve PERFECTION. I accepted and camouflaged an adulterous and alcoholic husband. I worked out sometimes 4 hours a day and even picked up anorexia in order to try and obtain being perfect. I would take on church callings of more than 3 at a time and give service so much so that I neglected my own/families needs in order to perform for others. I was like a circus animal, and someone just had to pull my strings and I was off to the next performance. Until my strings broke and I was tired emotionally, physically and in all ways of "performing". I soon began to realize that just when I thought I was getting a hold of things, another wave would come and nearly drown me again. I was constantly out of breath. I could wade life's currents no longer. There was a brief time that I considered suicide. I began having suicidal thoughts, at least ten times a day. What did my church leaders recommend? I needed to see a therapist and be put on medication for depression. I did that and every time I complained that things were becoming worse, I was given more mg and the prescriptions went from 1 to 4. Right before me leaving my faith and marriage {which was simultaniously} I took enough medication to drop a rhino.

When I finally shared my true feelings to my husband, such as "I'm not happy, I need out." He called my bishop, made appointments with a church therapist and constantly told me I was going crazy. I needed help, I was having a mid-life crisis and a mental break down.

The actual truth was, I could no longer live hollow. I had to change my life and the only way I felt I could, was to begin living MY TRUTH; no matter who it hurt. I felt if I didn't leave I was going to end up killing myself, and at that point, I still had enough hope inside of me to want to live.

We as women spend our lives so worried about not hurting the feelings of others, so why do we feel it's okay to continually, hurt our own!

You get to a point in life, and everyone does; that you decide right then and there you have had enough and you aren't going to take it anymore. Hell hath no fury when someone gets that fed up. You won't have to wonder any more why folks seemingly {from your subjective viewpoint}go off the deep end. In fact, they haven't gone off the deep end, they are just bone-weary. They have finally decided they are going to follow their heart and to hell with the rest of ya. At least, that is how it was for me. People don't know what to do with folks that finally begin to follow their hearts unless, of course, they too, have experienced something similar themselves.
3. Give yourself permission; unapologetically, to be angry, hurt, resent and lose all manner of appropriateness.   

This is another particular circumstance that most people in our circle of influence initially struggle with. I felt as though when I was sharing my experience on my youtube channel, expressing clearly my anger and all manner of injustice, I was berated and ridiculed. I, not only felt it, I was constantly bombarded by "so-called" friends, family, and church members/officials warning me of what would transpire if I were to transition from my beliefs. I was somehow wrong for being angry and I was admonished to deny/suffer in silence my feelings.

In religion, we are taught it's wrong and inappropriate to curse and to get angry. Anger is a natural occurrence. Source/Higher consciousness/ God doesn't have the same meaning of anger, as humans have defined it.

The perception is all wrong. The first way to make someone even angrier is to tell them they aren't right or taking away their agency in regards to the emotion. I didn't have permission to be angry.  How is that showing a person, unconditional love?  To tell someone, that everything they are choosing to do, is unacceptable. And might we wonder why women in the Mormon church have learned to act and pretend to the nth degree. I felt like I was supposed to be a Stepford Wife, and then all would be jolly.
4. When folks distance themselves from you, don't take it personally.

I admit that, to me,  I didn't think this would happen to the degree that it did. My children even sided with their father for a good portion of 3 years. I was a stay at home mommy,  canned our foods, cooked, cared for, performed my callings, was deeply involved, homeschooled, and the whole bit, to then have even my children take their father's side; is quite the burden to bear.

I was indeed even more angry at them because I felt like I had spent my life in service to my church, my husband, and children to then be shunned, was heart-wrenching. When I say that, I do not say it lightly. I had not one, and I mean not one person on my side. Even for a time, even though my parents allowed me to live with them, there were moments, I felt a sense of disapproval. That didn't last long, once they realized why I was leaving my marriage of 24 years and my Mormon faith. They turned out to be troopers, but I will say again, when people are distancing themselves from you don't let it sway you, and don't take it personally. Not many folks are equipt enough to handle such contrast. You are amongst the few; "A woman without fear!" The definition of a courageous person: an adjective derivative of the old French word corage, meaning "heart, innermost feelings, or temper."

Don't you forget that! If you are on a path of transitioning out of your faith, be strong and courageous, dear friend. You can do it, do not give up!
5. Swim away from social media for a while

This step took me a bit longer to do. In order for my mental health to become strengthened, I had to remove myself from social media for a while. It was only worsening things and I had to preserve my stability. There is a balance in all things and that includes social media.

When you are just learning to get your sea legs, you don't have the inner self-worth, self-love and confidence to remain wobble free, so you will actually slow your progress. The whirlpool will get you and take you too easily. You will also find after swimming away from social media that you were using the platforms as a way of blanketing your true emotions, by bogging yourself down with minutia and distractions.

It doesn't mean you have to leave permanently, but for a bit of time can be very healing for you.
6. Meditate, sleep often, and get into nature daily

I now practice the law of attraction {specifically The Teachings of Abraham} and one of the beautiful ways to align with our inner being is to rest, meditate and get into nature. When I was a religious person meditation wasn't a word used. Religious folks perceive this as prayer. I shall write a post specifically designated for prayer in a future post, but for the moment, let us be mindful that meditation is completely different than prayer.

When I was transitioning from my religious faith I spent many hours resting/sleeping. It does our bodies, minds and spirits exceedingly well. Resting removes resistance and we need all the universes' help in allowing for this state. I had spent so many years building a resistance that I felt the need to sleep in copious amounts. Give yourself these gifts, as they are your soul telling you help is coming. Just relax into what your body needs at this time.
I found that I learned so much from all of these steps. I needed them to build my self-worth.

But most of all I needed them to learn to love myself again. I had forgotten how to properly do that. I hope this post inspired you.

Most affably yours til my next swim, Raquelxxx

2 comments :

  1. This seems like such helpful advice from one who has made such an arduous journey. I think often of our foremothers who emigrated across oceans, often at an older age, on the hope of something better on the other side. Just setting out, what courage was necessary, what faith that the sheer impossible work of it all would offer . . . that bit of reward. Reading your story, the inner work of it seems exhausting, like those long ocean journeys based on a bit of hope. Wishing you nothing but joy in your own "new world".

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    1. Kimberly,
      Thank you kindly for saying that. That was my truest desire in writing it. I would have felt more at ease if I had an example while I was transitioning out of my faith. It was indeed lonely, and a bit terrifying at moments. I also wanted to write in the attitude of positivity, so I hope I did it justice. Thank you again. You have a lovely way of writing. Raquelxxx

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