Your Religion is Crushing You
Yeah, I said it. Your religion is crushing you most likely. How do I know that? You wouldn’t be here if there wasn’t some part of you that wanted to leave your religion. Fair warning since this is one of my earlier posts, this is an unapologetic, blunt blog not for the easily offended or defensive. You’ve been warned. And welcome!
First, this is not a post aimed to convince you religion is a farce. I believe it is, but that’s besides the point. No, this little gem is to help you recognize if your religion is crushing you, controlling you, making you unhappy. If you happen to leave as a result, bully! If not, as long as you’re content, that’s all that matters.
With that out of the way, let’s dive on in shall we?
Is your religion crushing you?
I know mine was. I’d known even as a girl. Now, I will say this. Not ALL religions are the same. Mostly I’m referring to Christian religions (mostly Mormonism) as they are mainly the same. Same values, same ideals, basically the same explanations for the world. Mormonism is a special sect in that they believe people become gods but I’ll leave that alone. Also they are on the far end of Christianity so many Christians reading might think “Pbb! That’s not me!” so take these generalizations with a grain of salt. But for the most part, they believe in Jesus, God, holy trinity, whatever, the bible, you get it. They believe in no pre-martital sex, no abortions, no abusive substances usually. I actually don’t have many complaints with some of the ones like Buddhism or Taoism, because they remove a “god” figure, and the focus is on being a decent fucking human being and finding peace and happiness. I can get behind that.
What I can’t get behind are the religions that stifle people and cram them into tiny decorative cages. But we don’t see the box, the traps. Instead, we grow to value the box, cherish it. We want to fit perfectly in that box. To prove to our family, to our friends, to ourselves that we’re perfect. It becomes less about religion, and more about being popular in a sense. After all, how many Christians do you know that are complete judgemental assholes? Exactly. Fuck, even my own cult had a sad little saying, “The church is true, the people aren’t.” Now what the fuck?? Yeah, I wanna stay in that club!
Is your religion shoving you in a cage?
Let’s examine the cage I (and other Mormon women) are in. To be a “good Mormon” and get all the blessings and get our special access pass to the temple, we have to: pay 10% tithing EVERY MONTH + “fast offering” (and other charitable donations don’t count), do home teaching every month, give lovely talks when asked, get married but only in the temple or no gold star, regularly perform church duties like baptisms for the dead (WTF??), take on a time-intensive callings in church, never swear, have babies and then stay home with them to get extra stars, never consume substances like coffee, tea, cigarettes, alcohol (oh but Coke is a-okay), not show our shoulders, cleavage, armpits, or too much thigh, and attend the temple regularly. (Oh, and if you’re a man, instead of the baby thing, you’d have to serve a full-time mission AND return with honor. Or else, no wife for you.)
If we did all these things we’d fit into the cage. But skip out on one…you’re great at your church calling, and reading those scriptures, but you’ve been heard swearing, or maybe you got a divorce, or maybe money was tight and you missed tithing for 1 month…well you no longer fit the cage.
It didn’t matter what religious aspects you aced, your personal life was on display, and you were killing yourself to make it perfect. Even when you yourself didn’t give a shit.
Does this sound like you?
My experience is limited to Mormonism – your religion’s expectations likely differ. But my point is that they do aim to control what kind of person you are. I tell you about Mormonism to get you thinking.
Do you have dreams that don’t fit into your religion’s cage? Do you want to be child-free? (GASP!) Do you want to have a full-time career as a woman? (Double gasp!) Wear comfortable “revealing” clothes, have a drink, or enjoy your weekend without church? Do you want to enjoy the single life because it’s awesome as fuck and don’t need marriage? Do you want to spend your money how you like? If your religion is against, or just “frowns upon” this way of life, then YES, your religion is crushing you.
And I’m here to tell you something:
If the life you envision doesn’t play nice with your religion, something has to give. And I can testify that letting religion reign and your dreams fall to the side isn’t the arrangement you want. Which means your religion must fall to the side so you can flourish and experience true happiness. So you can find out who YOU are, not who you are with religion controlling your every move.
I read something not long ago. It said that we are seeing a decrease in religious members as the years go by. Many millennials are atheist, agnostic, etc. Why? They said it was because we are evolving. We no longer need religion.
I couldn’t agree more.
What an amazing, uplifting thought. Religions came about in a time of uncertainty, our knowledge of the universe was so limited, we created them to explain the world. But we’ve evolved. We are no longer afraid of the unknown. And we no longer need an invisible guy in the sky telling us how to behave.
You just must decide if you are truly happy with yours. Because if you aren’t living the life you envisioned, if you aren’t happy, if you dream of an alternate life, something is wrong. Your religion isn’t improving your life, it’s drowning it.
“Alright, thanks Shelby, now I know I’m being crushed, now what?” Oh you wanted a solution? Shit…well, recognizing that you want something else is the first step. Then this is the fun part. Imagine your dream life. Where are you? What are you doing? What are you eating/drinking? What are you wearing? Who are you with? Do this now. I’ll wait.
You’re smiling aren’t you? That life made you smile. But it also made you a little sad. Because you know you must choose. This won’t be easy and the only advice I can offer is advice if you’re leaving.
The First Step Toward Leaving Religion
The first step is looking into the religion itself for any discrepancies, inconsistencies, and blatant bullshit. Finding these will really help you leave. And I can guarantee, if you’re any form of Christian, there is a shit ton out there to open your eyes if you WANT to open them.
Then after that, your life is your own. It won’t be easy, you’ll more than likely lose friends/family in the process. But as someone who left a cult, I can tell you, the freedom means more. Many people stay in the cage, their last breaths seeping out from them as they force a fake smile, because they would rather be caged and be part of the group, than breathe freely alone. So the choice of whether to leave or stay comes down to you.
But I’m thinking if you found this post, odds are you already know your religion is crushing you and you want to escape. I wish I had more advice. Maybe more will come later. All I can say is leaving religion changes a person. You learn really quick who has been trapped far too long by religion. The parents that disown children for leaving – damn, they’ve been prisoners. Because if religion had never been involved, that family would be thick as thieves, no matter the child’s choice. So if you’re ready to see those around you for true people, see how ugly religion can make them, just tell them you’re out. It’ll make you stay out and only reinforce your decision.
What I can tell you, is I’m out and I’ve never been more optimistic about my future, happier in my marriage, and happy about life. Let me know your thoughts, concerns, etc. in the comments. We can all help each other through these hard times. (And if you’re Mormon looking for a way out, I can give you some better guidance. Use the Exmo resources HERE)
You deserve to be happy, to be yourself, and be in control of your own life. There’s more to life than religion.
I’m an atheist and I’ve been proud to say that. When I was Mormon, I was embarrassed to say I was Mormon. Why? Because I didn’t really believe it, because I was ashamed of what my religion stood for, because I was ashamed of what it made me stand for. This isn’t saying you should be atheist, that is for you to decide. But once I found that Mormonism wasn’t right for me, I got the hell out and I’ve never looked back.
Still don’t feel 100% certain? Take my quiz: Should You Leave Religion? for some better insight.
Let’s talk about it. How did this post make you feel? Justified? Attacked? Worried? Happy? Do you want to leave your religion? Are you afraid? Only by talking about it can we help each other out. So let’s talk! If nothing else, please don’t ignore what you feel. If you’re being crushed, you are. And you don’t have to be. Break the cage my friend.
PIN IT and help free someone else!