What we're about
I have to admit, the name of our group is slightly misleading but catchy! Almost all of us lose our religion at least once or twice and maybe every day, during our lifetimes. Not losing our religion means to stagnate, to refuse to grow, to not change and adapt and evolve as the world changes and evolves. To not lose our religion is to one day accept a set or statement of beliefs and then hold on to those beliefs without challenging them or revising them for your whole life as through they are a fortress.
You see, a religion is an instituted set of rules and guidelines and beliefs that differentiate you and your group from other groups. It’s about marking out your own territory. Western religions in particular have been about marking out that territory and then making the declaration that this territory is the true territory and all other territories are false. But then we keep growing and changing. The world keeps growing and changing and coming closer together, by the way. We find ourselves looking at these beliefs and realizing that they really don’t make sense for us anymore. We either choose to stick with them no matter what or move on, revise, and grow up!
I really like how Brene Brown introduces the word ‘spirituality’ in the above quote because it speaks to my story and my truth in ways that institutionalized religion does not. The key word is connection: connection to each other, connection to a power greater than all of us, connection even to ourselves and to that central element of love and compassion that is at the heart of each of us. That’s very different from religion.
All that being said, what is the purpose of “Losing My Religion: Exploring Spirituality in Changing Times?” It is about breaking down barriers. It’s about breaking down barriers in a safe place. I want us to create a safe environment where people can share their stories and learn from listening to the stories of others. It is not about creating an environment for criticism and therefore disintegration. It is instead about creating an environment for appreciation and therefore integration. I am interested in creating a safe environment where people can grow up together and separately as they so choose. It’s a place, in other words, to connect. In the process, we will take a look at some of the writings on developmental stages so that we can see how we have journeyed so far in life and where that journey may be taking us in the future. We may challenge ourselves individually to look beyond our present stages and start to name the ways in which we feel compelled to move into greater maturity in our lives.