For those of you following along with this year’s theme, section 9 focuses on “religion” from the twelve categories of shame list created by Dr. Brené Brown. Her research on shame-resilience and vulnerability demonstrates for us all, how and why to live a wholehearted life.
Where do we even begin with this category. Actually the idea of “religion” is quite neutral and simple: the service and worship of God (or name of your choosing). It’s we humans who have given it all its power both negatively and positively.
For each of us our childhood experiences with religion can vary anywhere from having little exposure, if any, to the other end of the spectrum where it was all encompassing to the point of being controlling, obsessive, oppressive, and/or excessive…even to the point of causing harm to others in the name of religion and/or God.
As adults our attitudes towards/against religion are mainly based on said childhood experiences. Some of us tend to change our minds as we enter adulthood and start to question our faith or lack thereof. Some may even question if God really exists. While others go on spiritual quests to find the meaning of their existence on earth. And still others are so confident in their faith/religion that they find peace and comfort in the religion of their childhood.
As you ponder (and color) this month’s section of the 2013 Mandala of the Year, consider your answers to some, or all, of these questions:
- Did you grow up in a religious household?
- If yes, what role did it play in your everyday life? How did it help? What, if any, were the downsides of growing up in a religious household?
- If not, do you feel like you missed out on being part of a religious community?
- Did you grow up attending a faith-based school?
- If so, what was that like for you? Any positive effects? Any negative effects?
- How much is religion a part of your life today?
- Do you belong to any particular religion or faith group?
- If you practice a particular religion, what do you like about it? what, if anything, would you like to see changed?
- Do you believe there’s a difference between being religious and being spiritual?
- Have you had any exposure to religions other than your own? If so, which ones? How was that experience?
- Do you still practice the religion of your childhood?
- If not, do you belong to another religion?
- Do you consider yourself an atheist? why?
- Do you consider yourself an agnostic? why?
- How important is your religion/faith to you today?
If you think of any other questions that would be helpful to add to this list, please enter it into a comment below.
Be sure to download/color the September 2013 Mandala of the Month.