At times, humans have the ability to be very hurtful and they can say and do downright horrible things in the name of their “God.” When it is a human that is part of our biological family or community circle, that experience can be devastating for a Sensitive. What do we do with that pain?
I come from a long line of Mormons on both sides of my family. There are stories of great pride about ancestors immigrating from other nations to the U.S. just because of Mormonism. There are harrowing tales of ancestors walking from Nauvoo to Salt Lake City, all that they gave up to flee the repression, all that they lost because they wanted to practice their faith in peace. My DNA is rife with repression, depression, and suppression.
As a child, I was confused by the tragic stories that seemed to deify these “saints” and all they went through in order to get to Salt Lake City. There were aspects of it that were awe-inspiring, that there was a generation of people that so firmly believed in this “new” religion that they were willing to give up, literally, everything they had and were to follow their prophets was impressive. But, the way the strife and the struggle was seemingly glamorized gave me pause. Every time stories of the Mormon pioneers were shared in church, it was from the point of view of how much they lost, how much they struggled, how much they gave up, how much was taken from them, how much pain and illness and death they had to endure. I imagine this was shared as a means of strengthening our appreciation for all they did so that, 150+ years later, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints could be a thriving, powerful, influential religion today.
However, for me, I never bought into it.
On the first Sunday of most months – except April and October, because that was General Conference, when all Mormons turned their eyes toward SLC to be instructed by the prophet and leaders of the church – was called “Fast Sunday.” This was the Sunday that active members were meant to fast – skip at least two meals – and donate the money that would be “saved” while doing so to the church. This was a time that they were meant to go inward and commune with their Heavenly Father. It was meant as a practice to strengthen their testimony. Then, in church that Sunday, on “Fast Sunday,” sacrament meeting was an opportunity for active members to rise and speak into the microphone, telling of their testimony. Often, on Fast Sunday, the testimonies spoken by the “true” active Mormons had the words, “with every fiber of my being.” Those six words were said by nearly every person that stood, no matter how old they were. And following those six words, there would be specific things that they believed with every one of those fibers. Things like, “the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church on the face of the earth,” or “the Book of Mormon is the word of God,” or “Joseph Smith was a true prophet,” or “So-and-so (whomever it was at the time) is the only true prophet on the face of the earth.” There was a lot of declarative statements that the members used which served to set “our” church separate from every other church “on the face of the earth.”
I never bought into anything with every fiber of my being. I think, maybe, 25% of my fibers bought in, but the other 75% questioned everything.
That was frowned upon and the older I got, the more questions I asked, and the more I got told, “There are just some things that you need to accept on faith, Angie,” or “These sort of questions are not the kind of questions a true and faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints should be asking.” I was told to study the scriptures and the words of the prophets with an “open heart and contrite spirit” until I felt a “burning in my bosom” of the truth. The questions for which no authority could “rightfully” answer, that seemed to prove to them that I wasn’t a true and faithful member had answers in the “approved” documentation that only brought me more questions. And as I studied deeper into the writings of the church, the more I knew that I wasn’t in alignment with the church and never would be. Never wanted to be.
When I left the church, as I wrote about in my book, Above the Clouds, it was because the words of one of my seminary teachers came creeping into my mind. He had said one day, “In the Last Days, those who are straddling the fence will be judged the most harshly.” At the time of that lesson, I know that he was meaning to stress that we needed both feet and every fiber of our being in the church, but for me, that day, I realized that I had to make a choice for myself and really look through eyes of my Creator at what I had been born into, not the eyes that had been formed for me by those who had come before me, by the eyes that had been handed down to me through my religiously programmed DNA. When I asked God to show me the truth, I had to move my feet out of the church.
With every fiber of my being, for the first time in my life, I had a testimony of the truth of the principles within the church, but that church, itself, was far from truth. The corporate structure of the church was corrupt. The humans running the system within the church were far from who they said we had to be to be received back into the presence of our Heavenly Father. They, themselves, many of them, were corrupt and hiding, untouchable, behind a bunch of smokescreens and protocols that protect the system of the church.
When I left the church, there were huge repercussions and from shocking sources. That church is supposed to be teaching the principles that Jesus the Christ taught, to love another, to do good unto one another, to judge not lest ye be judged. However, when I wrote my letter and officially left the church, family members literally stopped talking to me. I experienced them actually turn their back to me at family events. Aunts who had once embraced me and laughed with me would no longer speak to me. Uncles who had been my protectors and my friends became strangers to me.
One of my uncles, in particular, had been a vast influence in my life and he had been nearly an everyday part of my younger years. He was my buddy. I dated some of his friends. I laughed with him. I felt protected by him. He stood up for me. He was the man I looked for in every boy I dated. He was the uncle I chose to spend a summer with when he lived in another state, so that I could experience life outside Utah. I always felt safe with him. I learned from him. I loved him and looked up to him. This was a man who, when he was divorced, he made mistakes and felt the wrath of the church. He was excommunicated and ousted from the church, having all of his blessings stripped from him. It had broken him for a very long time and made him more vulnerable, softer, more approachable. For a while, he stayed out of the church. Then, he decided he wanted back in, so he did everything they demanded of him to earn his worthiness back. And eventually, he was rebaptized and went through the temple with his beloved.
At about the time he went through the temple, I was leaving the church. I had questions that no one inside the church could or would answer. I had questions that the doctrine and the “approved” literature gave contradicting answers to so I was led to seeing the dissonance. I had questions that “worthy” members weren’t asking and “worthy” members wouldn’t answer. All of that concerned me and I left.
From that point on, this uncle, whom had been my everything, became mean and spiteful toward me. To my face, he was polite, but I could feel his horribly judgmental thoughts when he looked at me. Behind my back, he seethed. He unfriended me. He blocked me. It was so confusing to me and, for years, I have been unable to reconcile myself with who he was, what the church teaches him to be, and who he has become. Who most of my family members have become.
Recently, we experienced a death in my family. It was an uncle that recently married into the family. He had never been Mormon, which was odd, in and of itself, and he had no desire to be Mormon or even know about Mormonism. There was a lot of negativity that he had been taught about the “Mormon” church, so his heart was closed to it. He was of Native American descent and much of his “ways” resonated with me on a very soulful level. I felt instant kinship with him and a deep fondness that I couldn’t explain. When he died unexpectedly, I was turned inside out.
My auntie is struggling with it. Her husband was her safe space and now he is gone. There have been many lengthy group texts that have gone on with many of our family members as she attempts to survive after his passing. Recently, I was in my own experience of grief and stress when one of these barrages of texts began. I politely asked for her to start a separate thread without me on it because I couldn’t ingest anymore emotional stress. This request sparked more texts and battle, with which I was exhausted. No matter how I worded it, she perceived my requests as an attack and the thread continued on for many hours, with her texting to it well past midnight, even though no one was responding any longer.
24 hours later, my uncle who used to be my soulmate posted to the now-silent thread, “Sort of was pasted into the tail of this thread. You do what you need to and ignore those concerned with themselves. Our prayers are with you. Not our “positive energy”, but our prayers and best wishes.”
These are the sort of things I get from him, now. Barely veiled belittlement of who I am, what I know, what I do. And, for years, I have said nothing to him. This time, though, it was too much and I said something, privately addressing him personally, asking him what had happened between us, why he was so mean, why he chose to say mean things, and why he was behaving in a way that “isn’t in alignment with the teachings of Christ.”
This is how he responded:
My heart broke.
This man, who had once been my everything, had just judged me with the harshest of judgments in the Mormon church. He had read the scriptures, saw that Jesus said to “charlatans” that He didn’t know them, meaning that Jesus would not recognize them because of their falsehoods and my uncle had decided that he had a right to judge me as a charlatan and not know me either. And then, he had thrown me into hell with the devil – the harshest judgment of Mormonism. He was telling me I was unredeemable.
We as Sensitives, especially Sensitives who were raised inside the construct of religion and then left, frequently have the experience of others judging us because we are different. Because we are Sensitive, because we can feel what others are going through, we often are able to understand them, what they are saying, where their judgments are coming from. We can see the fear they are in. We can see how the constructs have gotten hold of them and have twisted their own knowing into something that is more in alignment with the false-truths inside that construct. If a construct can perpetuate their “truth” through fear of reprisal in a future state that no one really knows about, if a construct can convince its members that the only way their soul will be redeemed is if they do as the construct says is right, then that construct can continue on.
Sensitives can see this. We know this.
And, we still are in a plane where emotions exist. We still possess a human emotional system that is hurt by another human’s judgment and declaration of our worth – or lack thereof. While it is true that we can choose to not be hurt by this ousting, often times it is instantaneous when we are blindsided by someone we have once known as a safe space – or even someone who has never been a safe space, but is someone we have wanted to be a safe place so we create a fantasy in our minds that they are.
Sensitives have powerful ability to hold a lot of pain. They have powerful ability to take on the pain of the world. They have powerful ability to ignore when they hurt in the face of another’s hurt.
So, when you are faced with a family member telling you, in essence, that you are a devil – or whatever the worst judgment could be in your world – how do you handle it? How do you move through the pain caused when another’s words that they wholeheartedly believe to be true and is in alignment with their constructed truth are actually contradictory to your own truths? How do you resolve that dissonance?
For many years, I chose to ignore this pain, but, honestly, I have carried the pain caused by my biological family construct for so long that there is no more room to hold pain where they are concerned. So, when something new shows up, like this, I overflow. I respond. I process.
This looks like me writing, like I am now. This looks like me reaching out and embracing the other hurting Sensitives to let them know they are not alone. This looks like me crying. A lot. This looks like me going into meditation with my Guides to command a clearing of the energy. This looks like a lot of quiet, thoughtful, deconstruction of the conversation so I can learn from it and decide how I will do it differently in the future. This looks like me feeling the pain of years that I have chosen to remain numb. And this looks like me choosing to speak out about it.
You are not here to hold all the pain. You are not here to be another’s punching bag. You are not here to be a dumping ground for all the shit that unaccountable humans are not willing to hold themselves.
You are here, my Dear Sensitives, to BE Light, Love, Joy, and Peace. You are here to stand up for you, for those who are in alignment with you, and to do so with honor. You are here to live a life that is as pain free as possible. You are here to clear the space, rather than take more on. You are here to experience your life and be accountable only for your experience.
Anything other than that, it is time to let go of. Transmute it with Light and Love and return that energy to Source. It is time to be free. It is time to BE.
Let the pain of others lies be that catalyst to set yourself free. You cannot change them. You cannot help them to see the Truth. And you cannot stop them from spewing their shit at you.
But you can choose what you do with it. And you can choose to eliminate their input.
It is your divine right.
Choose you. Choose Love.
I see you. I hear you. I feel you.
You are not alone. And I know that with every fiber of my being.