TRIGGER WARNING, I use the word "inhumanity" with the word "rage".

Ceremony

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Staff member
Why title this a "TRIGGER WARNING"? There are guidelines I'm aware, and though I have some deeply held, and lived beliefs, the sense that there's little room for my self discovery has resurfaced. The guidelines seem a dance to me, one which I'm in a fog of doubt and fear stifling my anger.

A short background. I was raised Lutheran, and it seemed Ok. I turned to faith in my early 20's, and knew the belief in being loved was very strong to me. I rested a lot of faith on that love being the first true love being given to me. My life soon progressed into some very dark thoughts as living showed me how too much inhumanity prevails. There were a lot of starts and stops with church, until I settled some time ago.

The problems I face, the nuance, the filters that now focus my attentions, have shown me there's no safety from a vast swath of congregants, that inhumanity blinders are welded to their sight.

I loath to attend services now, I find the music I once enjoyed and sang along, hurts rather than inspires. The intuitive nature of letting in what works for me, and leaving the rest has become affected by a deeper understanding of my life. I'm in many ways completely stifled and unable to be me.

I have a short share about one encounter, and a message I wrote, and put in the offerings. The first, I've been greeted by the same man for quite some time. He used to say "young man" a lot to me, and it pissed me off. I am probably his age, in the 50's, I looked younger. That I've looked young has followed me like a millstone around my neck! That's another and longer story. I approached that man one Sunday about 2 years ago, and asked if there were men's support groups, (which I no longer want). He responded telling me there were, and some for many things, including sex problems and porn. That was the last he shared, and at that moment, I leaned in and whispered that I was raped age 16, and find it hard to manage. I was just getting into some deep things in therapy, and my emotions stirred up very easily (less so now). When I shared that, he looked concerned and didn't know what to say. Ok then, Ok, not a church topic! Then, that note I put in, and I did it because I'm tired of not being understood, and there's no concern for this topic, it's not brought up, and so on. A Sunday not long after that note, the person sharing what's in the bulletin shared her childhood sexual assault story. She made an effort to broaden what the message was by mentioning this happens to males too. I knew it was from my note, it was the first such message in near 9+ years of attendance.

The reason for that trigger warning may not expose itself readily, but it's there. I am very careful with these words, my heart is much more hurt and angry than these convey. I can be stirred to rage. I don't want prayers, and I especially don't want to have people of faith offering advice. I will be very put-out by that. This journey is shared to lessen my burdens, and to wish there were an easier way to reveal what's in my heart, mind and emotions. Faith stifles so much when there's so much anger. I don't want to feel so much rage about this, but know it's there and not consuming me, it's anger that there's a deep inhumanity out there.

I want to seek a new church, but I'm in circumstances that will not work for the foreseeable future. The message from my faith, is that I'm loved and lovable. There is too much focus on things I'm at a place that has to put those aside. This might work out in the long run, and that's fine; in the meantime, with this rage, I desire to share my spirituality here.

Inclusive, loving, caring, passionate, compassionate, and standing with the marginalized, the supposed unworthy, those in pain, those whose life entwines with their overwhelming circumstances. To these and more, my heart is filled with love, but, there's a lot out there, the world, that shows me overt oppression, overt desires to not show compassion, to not show compassion and worth to others.
 
Deep appreciation for your courage in unpacking all of that for us. I probably wouldn't have posted a comment except you tell us you're attending a Lutheran Church. I visit a Lutheran Church two times each week but that is because the 12 Step fellowship I participate in meets in a Lutheran Church. I was raised in a Lutheran Church founded by my parents and a few other families when I was a boy. I was deeply involved throughout my childhood and teen years. It was at once a refuge and a torment since I was acting out in shameful ways while attending a service each Sunday at which a creed was spoken with the words "I am by nature sinful and unclean." When I began attending classes at the university I soon left the church and I've never gone back... It was too shameful to speak those words each Sunday.

I've spent my lifetime trying to find spiritual solace and no doubt coming to terms with the suffering in the world has played a part in that exploration. Christianity has not fared too well in my assessment, which isn't really relevant to this comment since I've no wish to engage in a conversation on that topic. I want to support you in finding a relationship with your own rage that permits you to access the loving kindness that is clearly part of your experience as well. We grapple with unworthiness, with terror, rage, grief in our healing journey. It seems we must continually deepen our self-compassion for the simple reason we keep encountering the damaged parts of ourselves... what I call the residue of trauma. I trust that as your heart becomes more tender toward yourself, it will allow you to find comfort in whatever spiritual path you choose. This seems to be the nature of this journey as "old friends come to visit..." as a spiritual teacher I encountered along the way put it. Take exquisite care of yourself Ceremony.
 
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