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Untethered Collective

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1 contribution to Untethered Collective
Realizations of a Recovering Catholic
I grew up attending private Catholic schools until I was 14 or 15 years old. During that time, I was the problem child. I spent more time in Mrs. Brand's (the school principal) than anyone else I knew. We would fight like cats and dogs about my behavior, and I was labeled by nearly every teacher, student, and parent, as a "bully." By the time I left that school, I hated everything about Catholicism. I hated the judgment, the hypocrisy, and the damnation I witnesses and experienced. Throughout my public high school experience, I never once had a similar issue. I never even saw the inside of the principal's office and I didn't change that much. While this was very nice, it only served to strengthen my conviction that Mrs. Brand and all those other Catho-lickers were "bad" and "wrong" about me. Needless to say, some samskaras were formed. To this day, I struggle with all things Christian. When I meet a proud Christian, my internal narrative picks up. When conversing about the Church, I have to hold the words of scorn that leap from my heart to my mouth. When I see pictures of Jesus, I don't feel love, but a childish pain of rejection. Recently, however, I've been traveling through Europe. Traveling long-term on a budget requires a lot of time spent in hostels where I'm surrounded by people. It's a great social experience, but when I want to sit down to meditate, there aren't many options. Two months ago when I was in Paris, I went to visit one of the churches mentioned in the book The DaVinci Code. While I was there, I realized, "This would be a great place to meditate," and so I did. Regardless of any other opinions my personal self might hold, it can't deny that those Christians knew how to build temples of worship. Since then, I've been making a point to walk into as many churches as possible whenever I walk by one. I find the quietest, out-of-the-way spot and do 10-20 minutes of meditation. The more I do this, the more I find myself enjoying the churches and the less I feel that childish pain they used to evoke.
New comment Jun '23
1 like • May '23
Michael, that’s a beautiful full-circle moment. I can relate to your experience with religion. I went to Catholic school through high school, but I was really in to it. For a while, I wanted to be a nun. I left the church during my freshman year of college and I struggled to unlearn what I had imbibed so deeply. I could not bear to think about Jesus for many years. Recently, I’ve done even more unlearning of religious beliefs, beliefs that were still hidden until recently (and I’m 60!). Because I’ve found this spiritual path, which I feel so good about, I can look back on my experiences with religion in a balanced way. I can see how it helped me and how it burdened me and I’m ok with both. I’ve developed a very high regard for unlearning and the need to let go of religious beliefs is what forced me to learn how to unlearn.
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Janet Mixson
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Joined May 29, 2023
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