I meet people every day who are struggling with the guilt associated with leaving their religion.
Many announce they have left the Christian church or the Temple because of the limitations they’ve associated with the religion. Most confess they just can’t take the contradictions of what they learned from holy books and the practice of the congregants. I often hear sentiments of judgement, pain and belittlement, from those who speak openly against their religious past. Their first inclination is to trash the entire faith as subpar or completely useless.
To these hurt folks, I try to remind them of the beauty in the faith they carried. They are not suffering from a subpar faith, nor an unrighteous religion—they, like many of us, are bearing the burdens of wicked people. If you must go, go.
But don’t bad mouth the religion—it’s the people, not the God, bothering you.
But please, take God with you—the God you first encountered in the religion.
Leave as a spiritual adult. Appreciate what you actually learned. You can’t say you didn’t learn a single thing all the time you spent in that religion. Take the good from church, mosque or temple.
Why wouldn’t you do that for God?
You can attempt to abandon it if you want, but you will only be fooling yourself. You can’t ever really leave it. Once you have known love, its presence becomes a part of you. The lessons you learned, the love values you embraced are all relationships you built with God.
To those who feel guilty, having encountered new love with Krishna, Buddha, Mohammad, Shakti, or Jesus, release this foreign emotion. It holds no place in the Divine. Why should you feel bad for having loved God in more than one way? As a yogi, I am happy that you have Jesus. I too have Jesus. God energy is not separate; great Divine powers stick together. I have a relationship with Krishna, Jesus, Allah, Shakti, and Buddha. Jesus and Krishna very much reside in the same realm. And I can tell you first hand, it is great to have even more love! We should not refute love in any form—this is the message many of us miss. The message of the Omnipotent, is that all have access to infinite love, should they only tap into the Light.
To those who find themselves frustrated with the religion of their childhood and all those who are desperate for spiritual change, I encourage you to unpack your bags. Stay just a little while longer. You are really what it takes to make change.
If you leave now, who will be left to do God’s work?
Don’t half sell the deal. Every spiritual tribe needs a chief. Perhaps it is your voice, your prayer, your presence that leads the pack to the Divine.
Reyna Puri almost Bollywood actress turned spiritual leader, healer and writer. She lived In India to eventually be a healer. She spins her time between the east and west spreading her uniquely modern style of yogi breath, life and love for almost a decade. Look for her book “We Can All Be A.M.Y”– Fall 2013. Visit her at www.amodernyogi.com .
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Ed., T. Lemieux/Kate Bartolotta