I know personally how painful it is to be going through a faith transition during the holidays. It can feel so isolating, particularly if you are spending time with family and friends who still believe in the ways you used to.
It’s difficult to be confronted by your lack of certainty during a time that holds so much meaning. My faith tradition raised me to only feel comfortable with specific answers. It’s really uncomfortable to not have those specific answers anymore. It’s frustrating to have people around you keep trying to shove their answers down your throat. I know sad it is to feel like the people you love, well-meaning as they are, don't understand how you feel. I want to provide some support for you during this season because it sucks to feel spiritually homeless this time of year.
What this group is not:
This group is NOT a substitute for therapy. I'm a huge fan of therapy and have found it to be super helpful on and off during my deconstruction process. This group is not me giving you advice from any professional certification. This group is not me pretending to be an expert on anything other than my own life experience.
What this group is:
This will be a small group of no more than 8 women. We will find a time to connect once on Zoom to "meet" each other and share introductions. I will send out a survey asking for your preferred time to meet and we'll choose the time that works the best for the majority of us. I will also send out some questions to think about before the call you can feel prepared with what to share with the group.
I'll also establish a Marco Polo group chat where you can share as much or little as you want through the end of the year. Use it as a safe place to vent, process, cry, whatever you need, whenever you need, knowing that nothing you say will leave the group. Sometimes just saying the thing out loud brings freedom. This is a space to share honestly how you're processing the holiday season. If you don't have anyone IRL that you feel safe talking about this stuff with, I'm here. If you just need to talk to someone who isn't personally impacted by what's going on in your life, I'm here.
I will commit to respond to your Polos in the group within 24 hours. The other group members will be invited to respond and share as they have capacity and desire. Together we can set some ground rules to keep it helpful and respectful.
If you give me consent to share my experience, I am open to sharing what's helped me after close to 10 years of deconstruction. My years of working my faith out with fear and trembling have included countless hours of reading, taking online courses alone and with friends, listening to podcasts, engaging in progressive Christian communities and spaces, engaging in and learning from my in-person yoga practice and community, therapy, spiritual direction (ETC ETC ETC). This has helped me to land in a much more peaceful place over time. If you're not looking for advice or resources, I will just listen and affirm you. If that's what you need, I understand and honor that.
The universal message of the Christmas story is this: it is in the darkest time that the world begins again. You can still find hope in this season even if Jesus isn’t your reason right now (or maybe won't be ever again). Let's practice holding space for those hard feelings and sitting in the darkness together.
I want everyone who feels they need support to have access to it, so I'm offering this support group on a "pay-what-you-can" basis. Registration is only open Monday, 11/28-Wednesday 11/30 at 5pm PST/8pm EST. I'll send out an email to all participants on Wednesday evening to find a time to put the initial Zoom call on the calendar. I'm looking forward to it!