Here’s a hard truth: toxic religion/religious communities have done extensive damage to people globally.
There is a lot I have to say about this, for today, let’s focus on the mindset piece.
For those raised in toxic religion from birth, there are deeply embedded teachings that influence our beliefs about ourselves, others, and the world around us.
Many people I work with–myself included–have deconstructed from the doctrines of their former religion, and yet still struggle with certain mindset issues like money, worthiness, mental health, and identity.
I work from a perspective that it is *vital* to name the source of these bullying beliefs so that we can recognize, “Wait a minute, this belief is not mine. I don’t actually align with this!” And once that happens, we can kick that shame to the curb and make leaps toward realizing dreams and purpose.
I’ve struggled with my money mindset my whole life because of this…we’re talking over 4 decades of believing that wealth is wrong (actually, more than “wrong” I was taught it was evil) and I need to give everything I earn away to others.
This has led to many years of financial stress and struggle. Before I broke up with religion I was bereft that I did all that and god still didn’t “reward” or “provide” for me.
Tell me if any of these beliefs sound familiar?
“Maybe if you just had more faith it would’ve worked out.”
“Money is the root of all evil, you should focus on storing up treasure in heaven. “
“If you were open to receiving joy, then you wouldn’t be so depressed.”
“Don’t be proud of what you did, God is the one who gave you that gift.”
“You can’t listen to your heart, it’s evil and will lead you astray.”
“You can’t trust your own discernment; you need leaders to guide you.”
“It’s not your place to lead, leave that to the head of the household.”
“Your place is to serve others, thinking of yourself is selfish.”
It honestly has only been in the past 3-5 years that I have been able to begin releasing and rejecting that mindset. And to be super transparent, it was only in the past 2 months that my mindset shifted from, “It is morally neutral for me to want to make enough money to provide for myself sustainably” to, “I am allowed to want to build wealth not only to redistribute that wealth to others, but also to create an easeful life for myself. That is not a wicked desire.” 🤯
Let me say that again:
“I am allowed to want to build wealth not only to redistribute that wealth to others, but also to create an easeful life for myself. That is not a wicked desire.”
Whoooooooooo….my heart is pounding just writing that sentence. Anyone else?
Being able to embrace this new mindset is the outcome of work I’ve been doing for a long time and quite rigorously this year. And I’m pretty sure the class I’m taking with the Institute of Radical Permission with @sonyareneetaylor and @adriennemareebrown is hugely responsible for my ability to make these shifts.
Now, in this blog, I’ve mostly focused on how my relationship with money was shaped by toxic religion…but every aspect of who I am – a queer, Autistic, ADHD, disabled, femme – has been influenced, harmed, and oppressed by toxic religion. You’ll definitely see more blogs about this in the future!
How has your mindset been influenced/infected by toxic religion? What bullying beliefs still snag you up? Let’s talk about it!