FIRST, AN APPETIZER: a follow-up on an earlier post:
Back on March 16th, I wrote about the Bulwer-Lytton 2012 Worst Opening Sentence competition. If you recall, I was contemplating the idea of submitting an entry with hopes of being the grand prize winner. How cool would it be to have this esteemed honor to brag about all over the place? But I never seemed to get around to actually writing it. And life being what it is, I forgot about it until a few days ago when I saw the winners announced on Huffington Post. Dang. Why didn't I at least make an effort? Oh well. Maybe next year. If you feel so inclined, you can click on the link and read the winning entries. It's kind of fun. http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/2012win.html
NOW FOR THE MEAT: Why I don't go to church.
It was way back at the turn of the century that I gave up church for good. I'm pretty sure it had to do with my penchant for landing in churches that harbor a covert extra-biblical agenda. I didn't have a good track record and I just knew that for me, the process of finding a group of like-minded believers became too painful.
For several years afterward, I felt terribly guilty. I was "sinning against God." I was letting my family down. I was "feeling sorry for myself." Yet despite all of the incessant internal criticism, I still couldn't walk my body inside a church building.
Eventually the guilt subsided. The sense of belonging I craved began to dissolve as I took wobbly steps towards independence. At some point, I realized standing on my own two feet wasn't as scary as I'd believed it would be. I could actually trust my own mind to do the thinking, rather than rely on the teachings of the church.
Grieving the loss of an ideal eventually gave way to a sort of disgust where anything Christian or religious was concerned. I was mad about the ways I'd been manipulated. Angry at the blind, unquestioned "following" that I'd submitted to for two decades. What an idiot I was for flying right into a cage of religious mandates and sealing the door, living a life bound by rules at my own hand. What was I thinking?
There are many people who are born and grow up in religious, cult-ish settings. They have no power over the brainwashing they're subjected to. I feel for them. My story isn't like that. I was a culpable player in my own demise.
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I'm planning to shift gears, writing about the premise for my memoir. The traumatic events I went through during my childhood up to my 30s are the impetus for my memoir. I want my blog to become an adjunct of that work. I'll be offering relevant and brief snippets on those subjects. I hope to make my writing specific enough to be authentic yet general enough that even if your story is vastly different, you'll be able to relate on some level.
Please feel free to add your comments on the matter.