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Having a faith crisis can be difficult and lonely. It’s not easy to leave your church and tell your family — especially if you feel like you’ve been betrayed by your beliefs.

But a faith crisis can also be graceful. It doesn’t have to be a road filled with anger, bitterness, and resentment. And it can actually bring you closer with God too.

In this episode, I’m sharing how to have a graceful faith crisis and why it’s okay to ditch bad beliefs that are no longer serving you (even though it’s a tough decision).

Here Are The Show Highlights:

  • How to leave your faith (without feeling guilt, shame, or resentment) (14:16)
  • Why raising your kids both with and without religion will make them smarter and more successful (18:31)
  • How “my way or the highway” reasoning with religion manipulates you with fear (19:28)
  • The oddball reason why God might prefer atheists over strong believers (26:31)
  • Why it’s okay to leave your church or faith if it’s making you miserable (27:40)

If you want to radically change how much control you have over your emotions in as little as 20 days, you can go to https://thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow and sign up for the Choose Your Own Emotion course.

If you or somebody you know is looking to drop the ‘F’ Bomb of freedom in your life and break free from addiction, depression, anxiety or anything that’s making you feel flat-out stuck, head over to https://thefreedomspecialist.com/ and book a call where we can look at your unique situation and give you the roadmap you’ve been missing.

Read Full Transcript

It's time to rip the cover off what really works to ditch addiction, depression, anger, anxiety, and all other kinds of human suffering. No, not sobriety. We're talking the F-word here: Freedom. We'll share, straight from the trenches, what we have learned from leaving our own addictions behind, and coaching hundreds of others to do the same—and since it's such a heavy topic, we might as well have a good time while we're at it. [00:27.6]

Bob: All right, welcome back to the Alive and Free Podcast. Today, I want to take you through a journey about faith crisis. This happens quite frequently with people, you know, midlife later in life, whatever. And the reason this is related to what's going on is because your ability to experience life heavily is dependent on how you believe in the standards are set for yourself and all kinds of other stuff. And there's a lot of people that go through a faith crisis because their faith didn't save them, or because it didn't turn out that that what they thought was their faith was their faith. And those are beliefs. Now I learned to deal with and release core beliefs, like things that you believe about yourself and about the world, but all beliefs are built in the same way. And so I wanted to take a moment and talk to you about what to do in a faith crisis, if you're in a faith crisis. [01:22.4]

Or what to do, if you like are just having some struggles inside of a faith and how to understand and help people who are going through a faith crisis. So that way that this is no longer, like it's not a personal attack anymore on you or anything else, but this can be an opportunity for you to simply grow and go in a way that's useful for you. Okay. So what happens usually with a faith crisis is this, what I've seen. People grow up believing a certain thing that this is the way the world works. And at a certain point, something in what they expect doesn't show up the way they want it to, they get offended at church or some part of the church organization gets exposed for something, or they find out some information about the church's history, or they have an experience in their own life that just seems to negate the belief that they have. So often a big thing can happen in a person, starts to have questions, doubts in their mind about what's going on in life and about what is really true, okay. [02:21.4]

And when that happens, often it gets tied to the church organization itself, right. And so the first thing I would have you kind of look at is, is it a faith crisis? Meaning it's a question about your religious affiliation or is it just a truth crisis, meaning you don't really understand the way the world works anymore. And that the very teachings of the church or the religion don't make sense anymore. That distinction is critical. Sometimes, for instance, I grew up being raised in the Mormon faith, and there's a lot of teachings inside of that church that are purely cultural that are purely, these are beliefs that have been handed down over a few generations that have nothing to do with what Jesus taught or anything else, it's just the way that we work. And there's teachings in the church that have, for instance, The Word of Wisdom inside of the Mormon faith teaches it's section 89 of The Doctrine and Covenants. And it prescribes that you eat fruits and vegetables in their time and season that you eat meat sparingly and not at all in except in times of famine or winter, which means it's not prohibited to eat meat, but don't just gorge yourself on it. [03:25.2]

Current research indicates that animal protein generally is probably a good thing to have in your diet, unless you are going to have some serious supplementation, right? So that seems to jive and, you know, no strong drinks, no hot drinks. Alcohol is for the cleansing of wounds, not for the belly and so on and so forth. And so what has been what has been promulgated as the actual teaching of The Word of Wisdom culturally in the church is we don't drink alcohol. We don't smoke tobacco or chew tobacco, which in The Word of Wisdom; it just simply says that that's for the healing of wounds of cattle with, to be used with skill and whatnot. So it's not for human consumption kind of thing. So we don't drink, don't smoke or chew tobacco. There are no drugs, right? Illegal drugs there. And that's not in The Word of Wisdom texts. That is just an add-on and then no coffee and no tea is there as well. [04:20.8]

Now coffee and tea are considered to be hot drinks, maybe strong drinks are liquor, but that's what they're talking about with hot drinks. And then other people can interpret that to mean caffeine and so there's a group of members that look at Coke as, and monster energy drinks and five-hour energy as somehow in, not in accordance with The Word of Wisdom. But what the teachings are is just the scriptural text and then everything else around it is just cultural. And sometimes someone can get on your case about caffeine and it can feel like, Oh my gosh, I can't believe that church does this, that and the other. And it's not actually a true teaching of the church. So if you're having a faith crisis around something that's being taught first check is that actually what the religion teaches or is that just what the culture around the religion teach? And if that's the case, you might just be like, Oh, okay, that's cultural. And I wouldn't just throw the baby out with the bath water, just because of a cultural discrepancy. It might be uncomfortable and whatnot, but I wouldn't just do that if you really believe in the core teachings of that faith. [05:17.4]

So Rupert Sheldrake was a scientist. He grew up somewhat religious, I can't remember the Anglican or I don't think it was Presbyterian. I think he's Anglican, but he grew up in that way. He's a, he's an oldest scientist now still alive. He's written a number of books on morphic resonance and like the strange thing that the 10 dogmas of modern science and, you know, some of the things he's broken down, a lot of scientific stuff, right. And he grew up and he became a scientist and it was just understood at the time that you, the book is Science Set Free. It's a great it's, well, what I read of it was a great book, you know, some really incredible inquiry into science, but he grew up and it was just like, no, this is the way science works. You basically are atheist if you're a scientist, but he didn't like doing experiments on animals cause there was just something in him that just felt that it was inhumane. So he concentrated most of his science in the botanical world research, he was associated with the Royal Academy, he numerous awards. And over the course of his life who was just accepted, he was a material scientist, you know, atheist, whatever. But then he went to India and he started to have a couple of experiences and ended up going to an Ashram there, was a Christian ashram, ashram. [06:30.9]

And he was having all of these like incredible experiences and meditation and spirituality that was like changing his view of life and the world. And it was having all these incredible experiences. And then he went to a Christian on which sounds like a paradox, right. And they started, they started with some mantras, they were chanting mantras and then they went into like some other Catholic services and he went up to the head guy afterwards and he asked him, he's like, how can you do this? Like he's and the guy looked back at him. He said, the word Catholic means universal. So how can we call ourselves Catholic if we're not willing to accept all truth. And so he was left in this quandary of like, okay, cool. I've found some things that have changed my life, but they don't jive with anything I was brought up in. And it's pretty said, look, you were raised Christian, just, I would say, I go find it in Christianity. Like don't give up on what you were taught because it's the easiest place to go is to go back to what you were taught and find home there because you don't have to learn a new culture, a new way of thinking a new way of breathing, a new way of moving a new identity inside of an entirely different movement. [07:30.3]

You think about it, you and I were brought up in certain religious or a religious atmosphere and if we decided to just jump ship, you're not just getting rid of the problem you think is in your ship. You're introducing a whole new problem of, now you have to figure out how to engage and integrate an entirely different world and paradigm and worldview from a different tradition than you grew up in. And so if you're just having a few cultural differences, my suggestion would be hold on, make sure that you sort those out and recognize them as, Oh, this is just something that's been passed down. None of the people telling me this have, have really seen that, that's just the truth. All they've seen are, Oh, these are what people believe is true. And they're certainly living that way, but that's not actually the teachings of the church. Okay. The second things that I would say is, okay, cool. What if it is a truth crisis, so to speak? What if it is a, the teachings that I've been raised in no longer make sense to me. [08:27.5]

Now, for me, this happened a little bit ago for a number of years, I'd been disgruntled inside of church meetings and organizations, because I would go and I had learned so much in my life through martial arts and through studying Buddhism and Taoism and shamanism and energy healing and alternative forms of therapy and all of this, trying to figure out my own depression and anxiety and addiction and stuff, which nobody had an answer for inside of Christianity except to pray and how hopefully Jesus will take it away and go to a 12 step program, which didn't, it was helpful for certain things, but it didn't work. And so I, I was sitting there like dealing with this year in and year out, going to these meetings and listening to people say things in church that I just thought were the stupidest things on the planet. They weren't founded in scripture. They weren't church teachings. These are just things that these people felt good about and pretended were truth because it felt good. And I was tired of going to meetings because I didn't want to just sit there and listen to other people ramble about stuff that was not helpful in my life, but I also felt attacked. I also felt like I was in the wrong for seeing things differently, exploring outside of the church environment and finding something that really worked. [09:38.3]

There was some belief that I picked up that if I, I picked up anything outside, even though the church claimed that all truth is, is ours, like any truth can be found anywhere, embrace it still culturally and inside of the meetings, I still felt like if I introduced anything that was outside of approved texts, that in some way, shape or form, I was committing some grand sin. I was endangering other people and myself and my own eternal wellbeing was called into question. And I just like, I was having a hard time with it. And so I'd stopped going from time to time. But most of the time I would just sit there in the back and I would do my own thing. I would study or read and whatnot, but there was a lot going on in my head. I had learned things about God, and if you haven't listened to the episode, ‘Finding God likes, I think it's episode three. That's just a baby like of some of the experiences that I've had, where I started to experience things that at first were only associated with the church, but now outside of the church. [10:37.4]

What I thought were spiritual experiences, Oh, I have a priesthood power and so when I give a person a healing blessing, I feel this certain zing inside of my body, that certain kind of energy. But then I started feeling that outside of priesthood blessings, and I started feeling it five times, 10 times, sometimes 20, 30, 40 times more intensely outside than inside a priesthood blessing. So then I was like, well, wait, is the priesthood thing a real thing? Or was it just me all along? And was it, is there something else that's more powerful. I had met some of the leaders of the church that were high up apostles and, and they seem to me to be really well-intended beautiful Holy beings, you know, there was definitely an air of kindness and gentleness and love about them. And then I met Sadguru and I've never met another human being like that. Like his presence alone just shred me to pieces in certain circumstances, not all the time. [11:30.3]

And I had some experiences with him that left me completely without any defense against what my mind was saying was like, Holy cow, maybe this guy is Jesus, come again. And I, how did I miss the memo, that it was like a black Indian dude from India. You know, what am I going to do? What if my okay, what if he says, follow me and my wife and kids are like, wait a second, that's not Jesus and stuff. Like, how can I follow him? And, Oh my gosh. And I had all these worries. And while I was worrying this in the back of my mind, he like somebody else asked him a question and he scans the room and he says, you know, a lot of people think Jesus, when he comes again, it's going to come to Missouri. He said, some people think this, and that is the Mormon faith, right? That is a belief of theirs. That his second coming is going to happen in independence, Missouri and whatnot. Everybody laughed, you know, a bunch of Indians in the room. They're all laughing because they think it's a joke, but he's like, no, seriously. And he said, just so you know, I'm not that guy. So I'm the only one in the room that would have come from that background and known that. [12:27.6]

And then he says, I'm not that guy. And I'm sitting here going, wait, is he reading my mind? And then he proceeds to talk about, you know, when Jesus was there, he said, follow me, but he really only managed to get about 12 people to really follow him. All the rest of them came in droves because they wanted healings or they wanted miracles and they believed and they felt it was great. But then they left even to the point where he looked at his disciples and he's like, will you also go away? Like what's going to happen? And it wasn't working out so well. And so he managed to get, you know, 12 people to follow him fairly consistently, a few other disciples, Judas obviously turned coat. And that was it. And he said, if Jesus came today and said, follow me, everybody would run to the bank to get their money, or they'd go and grab their possessions. You know, there'd be long lines at the bank and long lines at the grocery store with everybody preparing. So all that will be left as the hippies and the homeless people. And the hippies don't want anything to do with Jesus because that's not their religion or their faith. So all you're left to do with homeless people. And how many of them would actually follow him. [13:30.6]

He says, look, you don't need to do anything. And he was answering the lady's question as much as my own. He says, just follow me. And that's what he said. And it just, I was like, Whoa, what? Like, it answered questions in my mind that I hadn't spoken out loud. And the experiences I had were so profound and so deeply moving and changed my perception of reality in so many ways, to the point where I was feeling the breathing of plants, oxygen, leaving them and entering me and me breathing out and the plant breathing that in and this symbiotic effect, I was feeling the life just reverberating from the walls and the carpet and from everything around me, these processes of life that even to this day, I still feel that a certain extent. And I was feeling such love and intimacy with all of creation and seeing past all these things and recognize that I didn't know who God was. And at a certain point I was looking at it and I was like, look, this faith that I grew up in it's in order to be a part of it, I am declaring that I believe certain things about Jesus, certain things about God and certain things about the nature of the church. That it's the only true church and whatnot. And I don't believe those things and I didn't want to lie anymore. [14:42.1]

And I didn't want to be dishonest with myself and pretend to believe something that I didn't believe. Maybe one day I would come to believe it again, I don't know, but at the time I didn't. And so, as I thought about it molded over, it made sense to me that it was that I needed to sever my relationship with that church being no longer being a member. And of course, you know, my family treated that, like it was a death blow to them. Like I had, you know pissed on the family traditions and, you know, throwing them out the window, that wasn't the reason I was doing it at all. I was super grateful for all of my experiences and I haven't thrown any of them out the window. I simply see them from a different perspective now. And, you know, with my wife that was really hard and that has been such a beautiful negotiation to be able to create a relationship that has just been between two people and allowing the belief of those people to be something that isn't, that doesn't have to be a certain way for me to be happy and for her to be happy. [15:38.2]

And it's been a beautiful, sometimes very difficult situation, talking with my kids, being in a neighborhood where most of the people are predominantly members of the faith and recognizing what goes on inside of that. And so all of the things that have come with leaving the church, but one of the most, the biggest things that I've seen with faith crises, and this is the caution I give you. I listen to a lot of stories, leaving the faith in all of them, almost all of them were people who were bitter, who were angry, who were upset and had tons of resentment. And since leaving had not really left it alone completely, hadn't been able to fully set it down. So in an effort to choose a life that was happier for them, they ended up choosing a happier life with this extra resentment, which was causing trouble and they couldn't stop talking about it sometimes and pointing it out to other people and going on tirades against the church and everything else. And all I did was something different. [16:31.3]

If you or someone you know is looking to drop the F-bomb of “Freedom” in their life, whether that's from past trauma, depression, anxiety, addiction, or any other host of emotional and personal struggles, but they just don't know how or wants some help doing it. Head on over to thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow and check out some of the things we've got in store for you or book a call so we can look at your unique situation and get you the help that you're looking for. [16:59.2]

You know I learned from all of this experience, how to dismantle beliefs. And so once I realized it was time, I just spent three days. I took all the beliefs that I had grown up with and I examined each and every one of them and allowed those to dissolve that no longer rang true to me and all the resentment about the church disappeared, the hatred, the frustration with how my family was acting and behaving. And it's understandable. I mean, it was a big blow to them, they didn't expect it. I mean, they might've expected it for some time, but it's still not what they wanted and they still are loving people. I mean, my sister was hilarious when she responded, she was like, what? It's not like we're going to love you less you moron, you know, dork, you know? And I'm like, well, that's great, you know, and it's just, you know, there's a lot of variables involved and having a faith crisis in deciding to leave a religion or a faith, especially one as tight knit, as the Mormon community where there's so much neighborhood involvement and interaction and so much definitions around what's possible for you and what your eternal wellbeing is going to be if you left the church. [18:08.8]

And all the stories about leaving the church, meaning that you're now going to have a miserable life and all the talks that have been given that I'd heard and all of the pre-indoctrination that said, Oh, now that you've done this thing, now you're going to hell and your life is going to be bad. And I simply took the tools that I knew and learned and use them to dismantle all the beliefs that would, that would keep me unhappy. And what's been, the result is this beautiful experience where I get to support my life, my wife, in her religion. And I get to help her and support her and going to church and reading scriptures with the kids. Well, I get to share with my kids, my life and my kids now get multiple views on life and they get to make their own choice about it without being persuaded, that this is the only way. And when they're enticed by both sides, that's what really creates agency. It's even in the book of Mormon, which is one of the books of scripture, of the Mormon faith. [19:03.9]

And secondly, via chapter two, where Lehigh on his death bed is trying to teach his sons and he tells him that basically agency, your ability to make a choice comes from being enticed by both sides. Enticed, not scared of one side and enticed by the other, but enticed by both sides. Meaning you can look at it all and see the value and the detriment of either one. And then you can make a conscious choice. But if the only thing that's been presented to you in life is No, you either are this way and this is the only way. And if you do any other way, you're going to hell or you're going to die or something bad is going to happen, or your family going to suffer. Then you're not actually given a choice. You're not actually using your agency. What you're using is fear. You've been manipulated by fear, not with bad intentions. Parents do this with kids all the time, but you've been feeling fear and shame and guilt have been used to manipulate you into behaving the way that your parents wanted you to behave, because they believed that was going to be in your best interest. [20:03.6]

Every parent does this myself included and if you're going to do it, which every parent pretty much does, then my suggestion to you is at a certain point, you have to give your kids the ability to let go of those beliefs so they can make their own choice, which I have in the plans for when, before they leave home is to help them dismantle these things so that they can say, Hey, look, you're leaving home. You don't have to live by these rules. Like it's up to you on how life goes. And, and there's no compulsion to live this way. I don't want you to be afraid of life. I want you to like, be able to look at it and see what's there and make your own choices and learn something. And so what I did was I got rid of the fear. I got rid of the shame. I got rid of the anger and I got rid of everything. And I was able to just simply look and see what was there. And in so doing, I was able to make a choice that didn't have to create so much resentment and so much pain and so much anti-church feeling and the need to be like angry at the family. They love you enough that you're going to become a project and all that other stuff. [20:57.2]

So if you're in a faith crisis, here's what you do. First if it's just a culture crisis, just find another building to go to another, another congregation or something, or like really just deal with the fact that that's cultural and that's these people's opinion. And it doesn't have anything to do with what you believe the truth. But if it's a truth crisis, meaning your life. As you look at it, no longer make sense with the beliefs that you've been given. Then my suggestion is rather than I need to take this stand, to leave the church in order to be able to prove that I know and fight against it because fighting against it is just a fear reaction. It's I'm now afraid it's true, so I have to keep proving it wrong so that I can sleep well at night. I don't want you to live in fear. So instead, just take the beliefs that are eating at you and examine them thoroughly and dismantle and dissolve the ones that no longer serve you. You may find that those are just a few beliefs in your faith, that when you dismantle those, the rest of it's fine, and you can stick there and you can stay in the congregation and have a lot of great stuff there. [21:55.7]

You may find that you need to leave it entirely like I did, and that's okay too. And that will present its own challenges, for sure. You may find that you just need to shift to buildings or distance yourself from it for a time and then you can come back and you're fine. Whatever needs to happen. The point of religion is that it builds you up. And if your religious experience is one that is tearing you down, then my suggestion is take a look at that and see what you need to do. Now, if you want help dismantling those things in a faith crisis, and you want my help specifically to do that, just shoot me, shoot me a message. Like send me an email at Bob@thefreedomspecialist with a subject line faith crisis. And I'm happy to look at that and see what that would take. If there's enough, people I'll do a workshop or something a one day thing, or we can do some individual coaching on it. It is, it takes some finesse. I took me many years to figure out how to do that. So that three days was all I needed, but, it's possible. It's possible to no longer have an emotional reaction or a fear or resentment when you've left a congregation. And it's possible to still be in a congregation and not have that too, which I did for a period of time until things didn't make sense. [23:05.1]

And what tipped the scales was I found some information out about the church that finally like certain things that I thought were bedrock truths no longer were. And so that's when I needed to examine it further and at that point, it made sense for me to leave. So wherever you are on your faith journey, if you're the type of person that is like, man, I'm just having a hard time at church because of how my life is. And I want to change my life, do that. If you're having a hard time at church, because culturally there stuff going on, examine that and clear that. If you're having a hard time, because the teachings themselves no longer make sense to you, then dismantle those in your mind. You don't have to believe what people have taught you. There's no requirement there. You can simply look at life and be there. At one point in time, you know, my wife was asking me because I was determined not to believe. [23:50.9]

A lot of people are like, well, what about faith? And I was like, what about it? You know, there's a bunch of different definitions in scripture. Many of them contradictory, and many of them make no sense when you look at them. And so if you look at faith, like it doesn't make sense to me. One definition in the book of Mormon was faith is that you believe in things which are not seeing what you're true. And I was like, great, cool. So let's say, I believe in things which are not seen. Every kid does this, every parent does this. We all have ideas about the world, which ones are true. So I only have faith, if the things I believe are true, but I don't have faith that the things that I believe are not true. All of them are invisible, so how do I know which one's true. I'm back in a circular kind of argument. And there's a lot of different definitions around faith and it can become problematic in a lot of ways when you, when you sit and think about it. And so if your faith is causing problems for you, if, if you don't have to believe anything. So my wife was asking me, well, what about faith? And I was like, okay, it's not that I don't believe it's true. I simply don't know. And I either know, or I don't know. And if I don't know, and I want to know, I'll go looking for it, but I'm willing to admit the limitations of what I know. [24:57.1]

I don't know how the cosmos is built. I don't know some grand cosmic purpose for this planet. Really? No, I know what I've been taught, but I don't know that for myself. I've never perceived that directly. I've never perceived directly a link between tithing and prosperity. I've never perceived directly a link between you know, Jesus Christ as a being, and being a savior of the world and being the only one. And I don't know those things, they could be true. And I may find that in a couple of years, I go back to the religion of my youth. I may find that, I really might, or I might not. I simply don't know. And I'm willing to stick with that. And that level of honesty for me has given so much power because I can simply say, look, I don't know. I mean, you might know, you might feel like, you know, that's great. But until I know that the way that I know that I have a hand, which means by direct perception, then I'll simply say, I either, I don't know. It sounds like it could be true, but I don't know. And she was puzzled by this. [25:52.2]

She was like, I don't know how I feel about you going to church, if you don't believe it. And I looked at her and I was like, okay, cool. Do two things. One, do you believe that if I were not a member, you'd be happy for me going to church, no matter what, you just want me indoctrinated, but the moment I'm a member, if I don't believe, then suddenly there's a problem with me going to church, right? Suddenly like I didn't believe before. And I went and everyone's happy, but now that I don't believe, and I'm still going now, everyone's upset. Why is it that if I don't believe, but I'm still going, there's a problem, right? Most people would be happy that I keep going. But then at a deeper level, if God is really going to be, which one would God be happier with? A man who says his whole life, that he believes things, but doesn't act according to him or a man who honestly, simply directly admits, I don't know, but I'm still looking. Which one do you think would be more pleasing to a God? The one who is seeking so he can find. Asking so he can receive right. Knocking so it's opened or the one who is simply believing and has ceased inquiry. [26:55.4]

Most people with a belief just have a conclusion in their mind. And a conclusion is an end, not a beginning. Well, we know that this is how the world works. Do you, do you really know? Have you seen every last particle of existence, do you really know? And I would submit to you that perhaps being willing to let yourself off the hook of having to know everything and being okay with the fact that you're pretty ignorant and so am I about the way things work and that there's so much that we don't know can give you the power to make a decision about your faith, whether or not you want to stick or whether or not you want to go. But just recognize this as long as you're sincere in your efforts, whatever happens, it doesn't have to be a final decision just like with mine. Does it, I don't know what's going to happen in the next few years, but if it's become problematic address the problem, because all spiritual practices of all shapes, the whole point of them is to build you, to improve your life, to get you to the capacity where life becomes easier and easier and better and better and more fulfilling. And if the thing is not doing that for you and it's tearing you down, then that's an opportunity for you to look at it and decide what you want to do. [27:59.0]

And if you want help with that, I'm around. But otherwise, hopefully this is helpful for those of you who've been through faith crises and are trying to figure out where you want, you decide you want to stand. I it's, it hasn't been the easiest thing in the world for me, because I had to confront a lot of things. You know, confronting beliefs about myself was one of the hardest things I've ever done, confronting things, beliefs that were handed to me as if they were truths and recognizing the collateral that came with it and how everybody would think about that was even harder for me. Because I had to confront what it would mean if my family decided they didn't want anything to do with me anymore. If my wife decided, well, sorry, if you're not a member we're leaving. And I'm, we're going to have to figure out custody with the kids and all those things. Like I really had to confront all of these scenarios and then still decide what was going to be the best and happiest for me. And because I was capable of dismantling those beliefs, I'm not saddled with the resentment that I see so many people have. [28:51.2]

So if you have that, please find a way around it or reach out if you know, somebody who's struggling with that, just recognize that it's because they've still believe, but they don't know how to reconcile that with their life. And they're not doing it because they hate your guts. They're doing it because they're, they're struggling, they're in pain and they haven't figured out how to not be held to the beliefs that don't make sense anymore. And you can send them my way if you want, or you can love them back into the church if that's your approach. You can do whatever you want, but please recognize that it's their decision and your decision to ostracize them or kick them out or treat them poorly, or, you know, worry about them and all that other stuff is only you trying to fix them, which is just sending them the energy and intention that, Hey, there's something wrong with you now and that is not the case. [29:38.0]

There was nothing wrong with them. They are navigating life, just like you are. They've had different experiences and they are doing the best that they know how. And it's not your job to fix them, it's only your job to live and live well. And if you want to interact with other people, perhaps just love them as they are. And you might find that you have a powerful relationship regardless of what your religious stance is. So to all of you in this, in that like particular thing, it shouldn't be as big a deal as it is, but it is a big deal for a lot of society. And there is a way to do it gracefully and without pain and without resentment, it just takes the right kind of approach to be able to dismantle what's there. [30:16.8]

And that's it for todays “Alive and Free Podcast.” If you enjoyed this show and want some more freedom bombs landing in your ear buds, subscribe right now at wherever you get your podcasts from. And, while you're at it, give us a rating and a review. It'll help us keep delivering great stuff to you. Plus, it's just nice to be nice. [30:34.6]

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