Perhaps there’s something about being raised in a cult that carves guilt and shame deeply into one’s psyche. (Trust me there is.) Perhaps it’s something that many, if not all, of us have had inflicted into us, one way or another.
Either way, I am realizing more and more and more that that shit has got to go!!!
Guilt and shame certainly don’t help me live and love as my best self. They only get in the way of me finding my wise mind and my wisest and kindest self. The one I want to welcome into each moment and the one from whom I want to get guidance.
Not the part of me that was taught that I was inherently wrong and broken, just because I was me.
It can kick in over the smallest, weirdest things.
Taking time for myself when I’m supposed to be productive? Yep, guilt can kick in. (My current fave way beyond that is to indulgently watch Dr. Who in the middle of the day. 😊) Getting my massage when others aren’t so self-pampering? Yep, guilt can kick in. (Though much less so as I’ve strengthened that muscle.) Saying “No” when I’m “supposed” to say “Yes?” Or “Yes” when I’m “supposed” to say “No?” Yep, guilt can kick in.
Letting go of my over-responsibility that was, again, deeply carved into me? Yep, guilt can kick in.
The good news is that I’ve learned over the years that this, like many other things, is “the cult talking” in my head. These are lies that were drilled into me until I came to see them as mine and to believe them as true.
That’s how they keep you in a cult.
When I first crawled into Al-Anon many decades ago, one of the life-changing things I was told was that if I ever felt guilty, it meant that I was probably doing something that was good for me. That I was probably taking care of myself. I clung to that concept then, and it helped me start to get massages and practice self-care and keep my focus on myself (as I was also told to do).
I delight in that concept now, as I continue these practices and learn to let go of the guilt I even can feel if or when I think differently than I am “supposed” to. I was taught never to even think for myself, and definitely not about myself. These were all aspects of Satan and my evil nature.
I am letting that shit go.
I am letting go – more and more and day by day – of my deeply engrained guilt.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!
If you have been in ANY high control group or religion, share your story with the hashtag #IGotOut. Share on your own platform OR if you need to be anonymous and/or would like support, there are resources at the @igotout_org website.
When you see a survivor share their story, let them know they have been heard. This is such a meaningful part of the movement. We all need to know we’re not alone.
If you know someone who has been harmed by a high demand group, share #igotout posts or stories you think would help them.
Together we can bring awareness to how many of us have been harmed by high control organizations and end the shame or stigma we might feel about our experiences.
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