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1st January 2021

Dear Diary,

If I had to identify a specific criticism of organised religion it would be the message of service without appropriate boundaries. Serve God, serve people, serve at church, but with minimal mention of the vitalness of boundaries. The boundary keeping was assumed. "Give as you can" or "we're busy people and so this extra giving is minimised", were tacked onto the appeal.
This was not good enough. Mental and physical health requires both service and boundaries. I absorbed the message of service and left myself wide open to abuse. Service was described as an expression of love, the "love offering", that ultimate command of God - to love. Remuneration of any sort was irrelevant. Too little attention to my own needs for mental, physical, and spiritual safety finally led to collapse.
Recalling this is painful. I'm not ready to go there yet. And the awareness of multiple narratives around the events alluded too simply crowds my head.

Narrative therapy suggests I look for the moments in which I resisted the above problematic narrative. The moments when I focused on my own needs for safety and self-actualisation. The moments that usually felt "selfish" or "wrong" but compelling. The compulsion itself seemed a stamp of "the evil one". I cannot go here either.

Hugs,

Julie.