Firstly, I hope that you all are well during this challenging time. I found this site today actually, because I was just looking for support. I would like to share my story and hope to connect to any other individuals who have similar stories and maybe we can just support one another on our journeys.
My family was very religious and the practice of Christianity goes back generations. I am of African American decent and so religion and church in general played a huge part in my ancestors lives, post slavery. It gave the black community a safe space to socialize and just have a sense of peace. Unfortunately, what many of them did not understand and still don't is that Christianity was forced on them and their original African spiritual practices were stripped from them. So fast forwarding to my Grandmother and Mother, they continued the traditions of going going to church and reading the bible and believing that the only way to salvation was through the blood of jesus. In the 90's though my mother left the traditional black church and joined a church called " The International churches of Christ." Now I could really go on and on about that church but to keep it simple.. They believed that they were the one true church, and had their members believing that they had to share all of their sins with their leaders before they could be considered able to join the kingdom of god. So yes, my Mother joined that church and then my grandparents did as well. I was born in 1995 and so was raised in the church from birth to around 7 or 8. Fortunately, my Mother had a wake up call and realized the toxicity of that church and removed my family from it but my Grandparents remained members and are till this day.
After my Mother removed us from that church we spent years basically church hopping. She was trying to find a new church home for us, but we never truly settled anywhere. As for how christianity affected my childhood, I grew up thinking that having crushes on boys was wrong, I couldn't listen to any music with bad words, I was told that I was a sinner and the only way I could be good was if I gave my life to god and asked him for forgiveness and many other things. Finally, in 2014 my mother and I found these Youtube videos exposing christianity and it's lies. From that day on we have never looked at christianity the same way again.
As of now I am now on my own journey trying to find what I believe and agree with and what I don't. I found Yoga in 2016 and that truly has opened my mind to a whole new understanding of life itself. Unfortunately, I had to move from my home with my mother and step-father due to their issues causing me emotional and psychological trauma, to live with my still devout christian Grandmother. She is who I am quarantined with at this time, and It is very difficult at times hear her on the phone say things like, " people need to wake up and come to god during this time" or " People just need to repent from their ways and not turn their back on god". It just angers me because she and her friends act as if they know the truth and everyone else is beneath them. She says "they are the ones that are called" and as a person who is now receptive to all philosophies and ideas about life and the higher power and afterlife, having to be with someone on the total opposite side mentally is challenging. Currently, I am finishing my associates degree and have a plan to move in 2022, so I know this is temporary and I know that her ways are just based on ignorance but I can't sit back and say that to encounter that type of energy consistently isn't draining.
I am grateful to have yoga and meditation as practices to help me cope with my current circumstances and I am grateful to have found this website and hope to connect to others trying to adjust to a life free of constraints from a psychologically traumatizing philosophy.
All the best,