The Question That Changed Everything
I remember sitting in my therapist’s office, with a question that had been mulling over and over in my head. It was really bothering me. And I desperately felt like I needed definite answers. There had to be a reason. There had to be an answer that my therapist would give that would calm the doubts that I was wrestling with in my mind. Doubts were not okay. Doubts were a lack of faith in God, which was a sin, and to squash these doubts, I needed to have concrete answers so I could move on with my life and feel okay.
“How can somebody who is not a “Born-again” Christian have spiritual experiences just like me, and have them feel so real and legit? What causes that? Is that God? CAN that be God?”
My paradigm told me, “no.” It told me that their experiences cannot be God because God does not work that way. It told me that their religions were false and that my religion was the ONE, true religion. And on top of that, my denomination, along with my belief system was superior as well. THIS was where God is. The other thing they are experiencing cannot be God. Maybe Satan and his demons trying to trick them or something, but not God. That’s what I was taught all my life. So why would I not believe that?
I was expecting my Christian therapist to give me some sort of Bible answer or Jesus answer that would calm my doubts and tell me how it all worked, and to assure me I was right and the other people in different religions were wrong. But he didn’t do that. Instead, like every good therapist should, he let me question. He let me wrestle with ambiguity. He did not give me the black and white answer I was trusting him to have for me. The one that would make me stop questioning my faith. Instead he let me wonder if it was really God reaching out to them or not. He let me contemplate how and if God would speak to other religions, and why or why not. He radically challenged my confidence in dualistic thinking. The wall of certainty that my mind had constructed through the paradigm I had been given from birth followed by my own biased study interpreting scripture the way I was taught for 37 years wasn’t quite so certain any more. And this was as scary as hell.
Terrifying thoughts of I DO NOT WANT TO LET GO surged through my freaked-out mind.
However, while my existing paradigm told me one thing, my gut knew something different. And the day my gut asked this question, and I verbalized it out loud in therapy, is the day my brain went to war with my doubts. I had no idea the power behind this loaded question would be the beginning of the end of my paradigm as I knew it. Little by little, as I questioned, researched, read, and listened, things began to shift. My brain began to think critically. My thoughts began to change. And I began to panic…
To be continued…