I learned a lot of lessons in the last three weeks. I have always given people who are healers as well as teachers in the field of religions such as pastors, priests and reverends, higher status than me, because I thought they were better than me.
I had this notion that they were almost non-human and certainly infallible to human mistakes. I thought that their opinions should be unquestioned because they had more knowledge about “stuff” than me. The problem is that I never questioned what this “stuff” was.
I guess it is because I grew up Catholic, and I remember always being told to be quiet and to listen to Father(a priest) during service and to not question any services.
Maybe it’s because I was told that I needed to go to Confession each week, even during times when I was certain I had nothing to confess. I remembering being 16 and in Catholic school and as I was kneeling in one of the pews I was having anxiety because I couldn’t think of what to confess. My friend heard my heavy breathing and asked what was wrong. She told me that it was possible that there was nothing for me to confess and that she was different from others because she was at a Catholic school to get a good education, and that not everyone believed kids had to go to Confession. To me that was completely absurd. I finally decided to confess my confusion over not being able to decide what to confess.
Whew… saved by another confession of my lowly self. I also prayed for her Soul, and that she learn the importance of confessing her confusion as well.
I got into my head that I was less than others just because I was ordinary. I thought about being a nun but I liked the boys. I wanted to be a Shaman, but I didn’t want to take drugs and I heard that you had to be chosen for that position. Only later in life did I find the perfect religion for me: Religious Scientist. But by the time I found this philosophy I was already damaged and confused and needed much reprogramming. I learned that everyone teaches us lessons for our good, and that I am a part of God. Still, I had to force myself not to bow to the Reverend Doug the first year.
When meeting him, I would casually lower myself pretending to pick up something I had dropped so that I could bow without him knowing it; other times I would do a quick knee bend towards him after he was leaving, because I was programmed to show obedience and it felt too uncomfortable not to do so; even though I knew it was not expected, nor desired at this new church.
For many years, It was hard for me to believe I was equal to someone more spiritual than me! But no matter how many classes I took that centered on “Loving yourself,” “Finding your Divine Purpose,” and “Being one with God,” I never really believed in any of it! But for years, I thought I did.
It took three friends who became homeless the same day and needed to live with me to understand that not only did I not see myself as equal to everyone, but I also would NOT establish boundaries, because I got used to giving my power to everyone else.
I had gotten use to believing that I needed someone more spiritual than me to help me love myself. And that by being godly I needed to give and give and give of myself. I never remembered a lecture in church as a child or as teenager in which I was told to love myself first. I never remember hearing a lecture about establishing boundaries either.