Deciding to leave a faith community can really feel like you’re pulling the rug out from under yourself.
It can cause grief, a sense of loss – of the community, and also part of your identity.
Here are some things that have helped other people:
Be patient with the process, and patient with yourself during the process.
Connect with other people.
Connect with a therapist (hi! it me). (See also: drariellemarston.com).
Most importantly, connect with yourself. Take some time to find out what your needs are apart from the group you left. What do you like doing, because it’s interesting, relaxing, rewarding, or just silly and fun? Find ways to do more of that. And if your fun things involved the group you left – uh, cry about it if that’s what comes up. Leaving a community is like a group breakup. No wonder there’s anger and sadness and wondering ‘what if’ but also relief, and then maybe guilt for being relieved?? Grief is a constellation of emotions and thoughts, and it doesn’t always make sense. It can be helpful to treat big feelings like upset kids who are suspicious of us – the more we can just hang with and get curious about weird/dumb/annoying/inconvenient/heavy emotions, the more relieved we are of them, and the more they begin to make sense (or the less we need them to make sense).