If you’re reading this then first of all I want to say a big THANK YOU! Thanks for stopping by even if you don’t read another word of this post, I still appreciate that you took the time to check things out on this little corner of the web.
No Regrets, Sort of
But what I really wanted to say was that I DON’T REGRET MY TIME SPENT IN A CULT! I didn’t always feel this way. For a long time I felt like twenty years of my life had just disappeared into a mad vacuum of religious zeal and that I had nothing to show for it besides a marriage in tatters and my two beautiful boys. But over time these feelings have changed and now I just see it as a bizarre chunk of my journey on this planet. A necessary part of my story.
And while I have come to terms with what happened to me while living in a cult I have to live with the things that I have said and done, the people I have mistreated (and none more so than my very own children) while under the influence of a warped dogma at Alon. I recognise that there are flaws in my character that allowed me to become a tool for unkindness. I can be haughty, I can be stuck up, I can be fanatical, I can be judgmental, selfish, narrow-minded and a whole long list of other things. And all these little chinks can be infiltrated by what I choose. I can choose to ignore my flaws and blame the world for my misfortunes or I can choose to look at them and look out for them and get them patched up as best I can, but it will never be perfect and I am accepting that now. I am a magnificently flawed human being! It’s not an incredibly insightful or original revelation but it’s good to keep reminding myself of this.
And yet I am writing this weird book-like blog and I sometimes cringe because the words that spill out from my keyboard sound so pitiful – but that is only one part of it and for the sake of getting the point across it seems like this part is necessary. I was hoping I could somehow flit over that stuff and not seem like a victim but a story unfolds in its own way as if it has a life of its own and the characters spring onto the page in ways I would never have imagined, even though I have already seen the entire plot in real time. So weird but so true.
Lessons of a Lifetime
The point is though, that I am content with who I am, this person I greet every day in the mirror, this person I observe in past, spend time with in the present and try to prepare for the future. I have learned lessons that some people take whole lifetimes to learn and it’s not because I am any more special or wise than the next person but simply because I have been afforded this unique, intense chapter in my life where I had to run to keep up and I was forced to adapt or die and to learn stamina and to do hard things (as Glennon Doyle would say) and to lose all my freedom so that I understand in such a poignant way that it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of you as long as you are being true to yourself. I say that it doesn’t matter but I do still care, I just know that I should care most about what I think.
Many people go through a crucible of some sort in the journey of their lives that molds and shapes their characters for the better. The process is painful and feels like it may kill you but in hindsight you can look back and say it made you stronger (cue Kelly Clarkson, baby!).