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October 6, 2020

An Open Letter to the “Friend” who Thinks I’m Going to Hell.

I received a package from you today.

It was heavy.

You sent it to the yoga studio where I teach. I still don’t fully understand why.

It was a surprise to receive a package delivered to the studio and addressed to me. I excitedly ripped into the padded envelope and pulled out a beautiful purple book. It wasn’t until I read the spine that I realized what you sent me.

A bible…

A bible?

Yes, I remember our talk a few months back where you suggested that mantras were evil. It was around the same time when you proceeded to send me a YouTube link to some guy ranting about all the evils of Sanskrit and how these practices should be condemned.

I also remember telling you that you were free to believe as you wanted and that I hold no judgment about you or your path. Your “gift” to me says the exact opposite. Yes, I realize that it was just a bible and it is merely my story around what it means that seems to be creating my negative association with it, but also, it feels like you crossed my boundaries in the name of religion.

It’s not your fault. I grew up Catholic, and believe me when I tell you that I have had to work through some serious religious wounding; and though I want to believe your intentions were from a good place, I can’t help but feel angry about this. To me, this represents everything wrong with religion. There is always so much talk about being more “Christ-like” and very little follow through when faced with anyone who believes something outside of what is deemed acceptable by the church.

Boundaries are crossed consistently in the name of religion, both on personal and collective levels, and it just seems to repeat the message of bullying in the name of God. To me, your package merely highlights the widespread shaming and judging of another human soul, when the Bible explicitly states to “love your brother.” Your message to me indicates self-righteousness in the name of holiness and this is just a micro example of what feels so wrong with our country.

It has taken me years to heal the relationship I have with the religious figures of Christianity. I had to work through and heal the fact that religion is what ruined the message that Jesus had to his followers, which was love. Unconditional love means you love unconditionally, regardless of what another believes and without judgment around another’s path.

To me, hell is not a place we go to after we die, but rather what we live in when we cut ourselves off from the God energy that flows through this planet and is always accessible to us when we open ourselves up to it. It means that we all have access to the kingdom of heaven when we unlock ourselves from our mental prisons, and a part of mental imprisonment for me had to do with what I was taught in church. My relationship with Jesus and/or any other deity is mine and I do not feel the need to follow a book of rules around it, consult a priest about it, nor continue to beat the drum of women being inferior to men (a prominent message in the Bible) in order to access my birthright to the divine.

I’m not saying that because you choose to follow religion that something is wrong with you—as I said, true Christianity means loving another and seeing another as the beautiful expression of God on your own path toward ascension with your own amazing story. What I am saying is this: I will not force my beliefs on you—ever—because I respect you. You will never have to worry about me sending you a big book of mantras in order to make you see things the way I see them. You are entitled to your journey and I honor your sovereignty as a soul upon this earth.

It’s unfortunate that some of the most religious people I have ever met are often the most judgmental and condemning, and I feel that clearly the Bible might need some revisions on how to truly embody Christ Consciousness as that message seems to be missed by many.

My “friend,” it is here in this moment, at the closing of this letter that I say—I offer you grace. I’m sure your intentions were good, but I feel it would serve you better to focus on your own journey and not worry so much about my relationship with God. I know that I am an extension of his love, and just as Jesus loved, I can offer you the same.

May you find peace on your path and may the true love of God find its way into your heart.

Sincerely,

Your Sister in Spirit

~

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