One of the coolest things about owning your spirituality, outside of religious dogma, is that YOU get to decide how things come together. You learn to trust yourself to determine if something feels right to you.
When I was growing up, I was taught that my feelings are the enemy. That they can and are meant to steer me wrong. Instead, I was taught to put my trust into my leaders and the Bible.
The awful thing about this is that you learn to completely ignore your own intuition (which is the goal). This builds an unhealthy co dependent relationship that can contribute to low self esteem AND years of regret because you aren't making decisions from your heart-you're making decisions hoping to gain approval from the leaders who you're taught to believe know more than you.
That's no way to truly find happiness.
Once I left the church, it was really hard for me to get comfortable with trusting my heart. I felt as if every emotional decision I was making, was "sinful" and leading me further away from Heaven.
That kind of fear is paralyzing.
But the way to get through is to PUSH through it. I took it slow, taking years to finally get comfortable with trusting my own inner voice. But here are the things that helped me to get through the fear.
- Community. I searched Meetups for groups of women that were like minded. Talking about spirituality, Goddesses, and various spiritual beliefs. The first meetup I went to was called the "Goddess Supper Club" and I was so scared. I went alone (which only made me more afraid) BUT I ended up meeting amazing women there who taught me more about self love and self trust. From there, I met a woman who told me about a Sister Circle-where THEY really opened up my eyes to spiritualism and at that point-I felt at home. The key here is to know you WILL feel uncomfortable BUT be willing to do it. However, if something terrifies you, you don't have to do it. When you're first exploring who you are, it's important that you don't feel terrified. Take it slow.
- Visiting Metaphysical Stores. The first time I went to one of these stores, I was soooo scared. Just terrified. I feared that Satan and his demons would come into my home and terrify me. This was based off of my misunderstandings and my very Christian upbringing. The way I was raised, came from a place of love, but it's all misunderstandings... but by visiting these stores and talking with the cashiers...seeing other patrons in the store, and being around the crystals and tools - it took away a lot of the fears that I had
- Researching. For me, this was the fun part. <3 I love to learn the history behind things so I started to research the things that I felt most interested in.
For me, that was crystal healing, astrology, and Goddess history. From childhood, I was interested in all of those things. I just didn't realize there was an entire community behind it. So learning, took away my fears.
- Doing What Feels Right. Listen, I had a serious misunderstanding of things like Satan and hell and I often thought that he had something to do with a lot of "spiritual" (aka not Christian) things-again it's because of misunderstandings-not facts.
So when I just did the things that felt good to me-it made it a lot easier to move forward.
For example, it felt so good to meditate. So I practiced and researched about all the benefits and ways you can do it. I loved to hold crystals, so I allowed myself to purchase the crystals that felt the best for me.... rose quartz brought self love, Obsidian felt powerful-so I bought my own for my home.
Eventually through practicing these things, I was able to remove the majority of my fears. When I started to realize that the women I hung out with-were great people and not evil women who wished harm to others... when I also learned that crystals are natural gifts made from the earth.... it gave me so much comfortability to pursue something that I've always felt was natural. Self trust.
Lastly, one of the most powerful ways that I continue to overcome a lot of my own fears when they pop up (cause they still do)...is by simply learning more about the history of our world and it's relationship to spirituality.
When you learn about the emergence of religion at a time when people were exploring and needing other ways to control various cultures and outlaw their practices (in an effort to control), it becomes quite clear that religion served more than just the purpose of providing "salvation" to people. Knowing the truth and the timeline of Christianity (if you're coming from that upbringing), helps to ease a LOT of fears about practicing anything outside of Christianity.