The things religious institutions choose to focus on never cease to amaze many of us.
You get involved hoping to be formed a certain way, galvanized and empowered to change the world... but a lot of it just ends up diverting your attention to things that should be non-issues. A lot of it actually distracts from personal growth and societal change. There's a common value system in church which puts a premium on inconsequential, individual beliefs, and neglects the pressing issues of our time.
It's not just the direct abuses of church that hurt us. It's also the stagnation of our forward momentum – all the time wasted focusing on things which keep us from living completely embodied and engaged. If Christians spent half as much time fixing the world as they do singing at the ceiling and feeling unworthy, we'd live in a very different world.
Our freedom isn't merely a detachment from the thing causing pain. It's freedom to live wholly, to channel our passions fully, and to work towards creating the kind of world we'd like to live in. When we aren't stifled to the very core, we can see this clearly. The Source we once felt so distant from... is us. It's always been with us.
You can spend a long time feeling like you will lose your spark if you leave, but it turns out that isn't true.
The spark is within. And you take it with you.
ABOUT THE AIRING OF GRIEF:
The Airing of Grief is a podcast featuring conversations and correspondence about spiritual de- and reconstruction.
There are some great podcasts in production which tackle specific church and theology-related issues at the core of any given episode. And while many such issues arise in our calls and written correspondence, The Airing of Grief itself is not an issues-driven podcast. Instead, our particular focus is the human experience. We look for conversation more than interview, and our themes are derived from the personal stories and perspectives shared by our guests.
Our ultimate aim is the re-congregating of those who might otherwise feel disenfranchised, cut off, or alone. In processing experiences of religion and spirituality, we hope to learn that we all remain connected, and that there is a strange new community of others who are rooting for us, celebrating us, and sharing the burden of our stories. Regardless of where anyone might land on the spectrum of belief and faith, we recognize a common bond forged in our seasons of pain and disillusionment. As the old saying goes, “A joy shared is doubled, and a grief shared is halved.”
And our desire is to craft a safe place for that. We hope to cultivate real estate for the resonance and empathy which is found when we have the opportunity to invest in one another’s experience. There is empowerment in speaking the truth of our stories – not only for those sharing, but those listening as well.