(How much did we really receive?)
In “God’s church” we would say we felt loved because our friends in there talked to us and visited us and just plain acted like they liked us. Most importantly, they would show comfort, concern, compassion, care and help when we were down and out, or when we were having low spells because of difficulties and problems known as “trials.” (This seemed to be more prevalent in the early years.)
But the fact is, the real reason we were having so many of these problems was because of the things they were putting into our heads that we had to do in order to “obey God,” or because we had no self-worth to begin with. No one affirmed us for who we were, or for what we did (outside of service for the group) because then that wouldn’t cause us to remain “humble” would it? Vanity in any form was said to be a sin.
As a result, we didn’t realize how starved some of us would become once the group was out of the picture, because in there we were receiving a steady flow of words telling us what we should do–and sometimes compliments when we did it right. This all hinged on “obey.” That kept us feeling good about ourselves, since we knew we were the “elect” and “knew God’s plan.” How much we felt God really loved us, I don’t know. Everything circled around our obedience to Him and how we would then be “blessed.” (Blessings and curses figured prominently in our lives then.)
I think we felt we “met God” on the Holy Days when we attended, because His Spirit was “in” those days and we believed they were very important to Him. Rituals kept us too busy to think about our true inner needs, but they surfaced after we left, especially for those that had never had enough unconditional love and affirmation shown to them in childhood.
By T. H.
Exit & Support Network™