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  • Writer's pictureJoel Brown

All is not a loss.

The narrative around religious deconstruction and faith reorganization is just too negative for me. It's framed as only a loss of noble things: confidence, certainty, friends, spouses, careers and even a whole community. Those losses are real and bring their own disappointment and trauma to navigate. But it's not all a loss.

In the midst of losing many of the above, I'm discovering I've gained so much more than I first noticed.

  • I've regained my sense of personal integrity. Something had to give, I could no longer remain in the same place, knowing I was not satisfied with my position. Pretending to be sure or deeply confident in my beliefs was exhausting and hypocritical.

  • I've learned the humility in admitting what I don't know, when I get things wrong and what doesn't make sense to me based on my experience, knowledge and available wisdom. This leads me to learning experiential wisdom outside my lived experience from other groups.

  • I've gained a deeper trust in my intuition about what resonates as truth to me even when it goes against previously strongly and culturally ingrained beliefs. This remains ongoing work to optimise but I've made so much progress.

  • I've learned to value and rely on to a greater degree, the tools of critical thinking as a means to evaluate the soundness of some arguments claims and beliefs.

  • I've developed what I call fingerprint spirituality which is tailor-made for my personal orientation to the divine, deciphering a fluid theological framework of engaging the world that fits like a glove to my existential realities.

  • I am more open minded to trying new things, connecting with and learningn from people with a greater diversity of spiritual experiences.

  • I've met others who are on a similar path and much of the initial social isolation has been mitigated by new, often deeper friendships.

  • I've moved away from rigid identification rooted in my dynamic metaphysical beliefs and into a more grounded identity within my common humanity. This has helped me to see spirituality as broadly inclusive while very unique to the individual.

  • I don't have anxiety about getting my metaphysical beliefs aligned to some standard of orthodoxy before I die, I simply grow in grace and truth towards myself and others, with love as guide.

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