In my practice, I meet many different kinds of people. Certain people are attracted to me because of my skill of dealing with people who have been victims of spiritual abuse. It is possible that my experience in the God business, as well as my continued spiritual growth is appealing to people along with my success in working with people who felt as though they were dealing with issues of spiritual abuse.
Based on my experience, one could conclude that there is no one way to define, “spiritual abuse,” as it takes on such a wide spectrum of issues. Without a clear definition, only the individuals can correctly diagnose themselves as suffering from spiritual abuse.
You know if you’ve been a victim of spiritual abuse
You probably have the idea that spiritual abuse comes from religious environments, like churches – though this is the most prevalent source – you might be surprised to find that victims of spiritual abuse come from all walks of life, both religious and non-religious.
Spiritual abuse can come from religious organizations, clergy, religious psychopaths, parents, and other family members, husbands and/or wives, friends, neighbors, employers, counselors, therapists, doctors, and coaches, just to name a few…
The implication is that pretty much anyone could be the source, the source of spiritual abuse; not to mention the invisible spiritual abuse that comes from deep within (or without) one’s self.
This kind of abuse (like any kind of abuse) can show up in someone’s character in what would be perceived as negative (or abrasive) attributes, though this appears without cognitive effort from the individual who suffered the abuse.
If left buried and untreated, it will spread from an attitudinal presupposition to other areas of life, affecting relationships within one’s inner circle and lead to deterioration of health, leading to the spreading of disease, premature aging, and death.
A true zest for life, happiness and joy can be more difficult to grasp while feeling oppressed by spiritual abuse. The happiest and most effective people on the planet have a pleasant balance between the things of this earth and those of the beyond (and this can take an unlimited variety of styles and colors).
There is no right way – and there is no wrong way – for you to find a healthy spiritual expression, and this can have a completely new source that has not remotely connected to the type and style of spiritual expression that may have been the source of the abuse.
I am not saying that people without any spiritual component cannot find happiness; I am just saying that – statistically – those who possess a healthy spiritual perspective (doesn’t have to be religious) are far more successful and happy.
Spiritual abuse is more a taboo subject than sexual abuse because there is far more training focused on sexual abuse in current therapeutic curriculum. It is important to find a counselor or coach who is open-minded, non-judgmental and will not further abuse the victim even more.
Treating Spiritual Abuse Can Be Spiritually Abusive
This is where the victim needs to get a grip on their own personal spiritual perspective and feel free to defend it fervently while moving forward. Everyone will have suggestions, advice, and prescriptions to help you discover and treat your underlying spiritual issues.
Only You are Responsible for Your Own Spirituality
Take responsibility for your own spiritual growth a pursuit. Don’t let anyone else tell you what is best for you. Let them listen and give you ideas, then you decide what to do with the information. Stay true to you – and be willing to change – when it serves you and feels good to you.
It’s a Process
Simply know – and resolve to be okay with – the idea that your spiritual journey is a process. There is no time limit, nor is there any limit to the variety of spiritual expression that is available to you.
Decide what is acceptable and good for you each day and be open to allowing other expressions to be revealed to you on your journey. Something that may not resonate with you today, may seem more like a more viable option in the light of a new day, as you continue to heal and grow.
See you at the Recovery from Religious Trauma Event in Olympia, September 21st