Sunday 3-23-14 Catholic Hurt

“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.” ~ Nelson Mandela

Happy Sunday!

Last Sunday at lunch the family got to speaking about what they felt about going to Church on Sunday.  Only one of us still goes to Catholic mass regularly, the others spoke about trying church again.
I didn’t add anything to this conversation as I just felt such hurt inside of my heart.  From doing my shadow work in the last few months, I knew this was a pain I need to work through so it has been on my mind all week.
The pain is due to the belief I have that the Catholic Church hurt my children.
Both of my sons were diagnosed clinically depressed and had to have therapy and medication due to their experiences in parochial school.
For years I have placed blame on the church organization saying in my head “they should have known better.”
Today I ask of myself to better understand “What should they have known better?”
The answer came quickly from my inner voice – to not extinguish the light in my child.
Whoa, that really hurt to say.  I had a real sobby cry over that.
This is so painful as now I realize that I was also part of society that was more concerned with conformity than with the individual gifts my child brought to the planet.
As humans, parents, teachers, church and community leaders, we just want everyone to conform to be a part of society.  Under normal nurturing circumstances, we love and indulge our children admiring their individual traits until about age 4 then you are expected to ‘man up’. You get sent off to school where you need to meet the standards that society has set for you.  If you can’t perform the tasks that are named important by society then you are a failure.  Perhaps the adults’ sugar coat your performance, labeling you special, modifying the standards to keep you moving through the system. But, the system is set up to compare you to your peers so you take on within yourself that you are a failure!
My younger son has had to carry this un-truth.
My older son, I think he became aware of the hypocrisy of the system.
I can not know his thoughts but this is my perception.  The early years that you are taught the church doctrine you learn of Jesus and how you are a precious child of his.  You learn his message of Love.  You learn the Golden Rule, to Love others as you want to be Loved.  This speaks truth to the young soul who still recalls being surrounded by unconditional Love before becoming human.  You then move into the middle school ‘tween’ years where your peers start judging each other as worthy or not worthy.  This is a very painful time for most kids but High School usually brings some relief because there is a big enough population to find a place to fit in or to just get lost in the crowd.
I think that my son found himself still holding onto the message of Jesus, he chose to try to Love and be a savior to other kids in his fringe group that were suffering the pain of not being accepted by their society.  When he looked for the support of the adults in understanding and healing the pain he was shown that the doctrine of the church and rules of society were more important then what he knew was true, compassion and loving one another.
Where was I in this?  I was supporting the requirements of society over the well-being of my children’s hearts. I was worried about their performance and what it would mean to their future.  I was thinking that they would be happier if they could conform so they were accepted by their peers.  I was taking action steps that stayed within my comfort zone so as not to extend myself too far.
From the lesson of great spiritual mothers such as Maya Angelou and Iyanla Vanzant, I know that I did the best I could with what I knew at the time.  But now I also know from watching Iyanla help so many hurt children that my sons would say “I needed more.”
I am sorry. Forgive me.
I didn’t know then what I know now.  I didn’t know and couldn’t believe that God had given me you, a precious unique cell of light of his being.
There are other things that I know now.  You chose me.  And for some crazy reason we seem to have to get knocked down as children to experience suffering, as we are also given free will to choose to evolve past it.
I just had this thought pop into my mind, in Jesus Christ Superstar Judas says “Lord, I will never know why you chose me for your crime, your foul, dirty crime.”  As parents we have to play that role of Judas, to bring our beloved children down to earth.  This is the journey they have chosen, as we all have, but it still hurts so much to know that they hurt.
God, if I still thought you were a person I would be raising my fist and shaking it at you.  But I know you are the consciousness of All. It is through experiencing the duality in All that anything exists and that evolution continues.
So can I forgive the Catholic Church and the parochial schools for the hurt I perceive?  I must!  I must as I am also guilty and I must forgive myself.
Will I ever return to church?  Who knows what the future holds?  Right now, no.  I don’t think it could contain me.
Several years back, when my kids were still in school, I recognized the church as a social club; as just another group of people with similar interests existing within a society.  I don’t share the majority of their interests.  I did on several occasions experience great insights and inspirations while attending mass.  The ones that really touched my heart were wonderful and I am grateful for them.  I understand now that they were personal experiences that I brought to myself.
Church was a tool for connecting to Source.  Today I know how to connect to my Source anytime, anyplace.
Sundays are the most sacred time of my week.  All week I read and watch media that inspires me; my feelings alert me to what the universe is sending me as the lesson of the week.  Sunday morning I get support in my lesson from Jesus through Joel.  Then my writing opens my mind and my heart to receive the lesson.  I get to gather with my family for lunch and many times we speak about spirit.  Later in the day Oprah programs and guests bring my mind new lessons to consider for the week ahead.
Life is good.
“True forgiveness is when you can say, “Thank you for that experience.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

3 thoughts on “Sunday 3-23-14 Catholic Hurt

  1. I too have processed the catholic hurt you describe in your blog. I came to terms with the fact that it is not the institution that hurt me, but it was certain individuals interpretation of the institution (God, Bible, Doctrine) that I allowed to hurt me. I’ve learned not to put my trust in individuals, but to put my trust in myself and my interpretations and that I will know what to do, with help from the Devine. (When you know better you do better! Maya Angelou)
    As far as Middle School (Right of Passage) is concerned, it is a lions den, no matter where you child goes to school. Some will be the lion (bully), some will be the sacrifice (victim). My son Richard was the sacrifice (victim) and yes it hurts, but I do not know what my son’s lesson is/was by having that experience. And what is my lesson from experiencing pain along with him? I don’t know, but I do know that, I am who I am from all of my experiences.
    I came to this realization when I was attending the Reform Church. After a few years of attendance the Minister asked me if I would like to become a permanent member and go through a sort of re-baptism. I asked if this meant that I would be renouncing my catholic roots/beliefs/heritage. He responded with a, yes. I responded, how can anyone renounce/remove a lesson or an experience from anyone. Even though I was no longer a practicing catholic, I still had experienced catholic upbringing. At that moment, I loved me, all of me, and all that made up me, everything I was told, everything I experienced, everything I was socialized to be, good or bad. This is who I am and no one will ever make me or ask me to remove or renounce anything that makes up me.
    I guess the question is, will we or our children be who we are today without all of the experiences we had, the good along with the bad? I think not! For me the answer is, cherish all that we have experienced, it is who we are, and the amazing love we are now.

    • Wow, thank you for that – so many great insights. I ready to give up the hurt and move into forgiveness. Your words build on that, finding acceptance.

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