We can’t talk about how to deconstruct your faith without talking about the urgent need for setting healthy boundaries. Why?
Because toxic relationships and systems THRIVE when we have zero boundaries. When people start questioning and changing their beliefs, it sends little ripples out into their community. People will notice you’re shifting and if they haven’t done their own work, your shifting beliefs will likely threaten their sense of safety.
So all that pushback you’re getting probably has very little to do with you and everything to do with people’s insecurities and fear of change.
It’s SUPER important for you to set healthy boundaries so when people start pressuring you not to change, you’re better prepared for the blowback.
Here are my 4 top tips for setting boundaries while deconstructing your faith:
Give yourself permission to draw the line where you need it to be in this season. What do you need right now? Do you need more alone time? Do you need to just vent out your fears, emotions, and confusion without anyone trying to fix you? It’s a lot easier to figure out what you need when you’re not feeling pressured by other people. So give yourself space to figure out where you need to implement healthy boundaries while you are deconstructing faith.
Determine upfront who has earned the right to be in your inner circle. One of the hardest things about deconstruction is that not everyone will be supportive while you question. Even fewer people are willing to do the work they need to do to come with you on your deconstruction journey.I teach my clients to imagine a bullseye where the closer a person is to the center, the more trustworthy they are with our deepest doubts and feelings. People you love but aren’t safe may still get to be in your life, but they probably need to be pushed out a ring or two so that you still get to feel safe in your most vulnerable moments.
Craft your “no thanks” and “back the eff up” responses right now, before you ended them. People with shitty boundaries are not going to be great at honoring yours so it’s important to have figure out what you’re going to say when people try to push right past them. It’s also impossible for people who are trustworthy to honor your new boundaries if you don’t communicate them.So craft two different sets of ‘canned statements’ that you can pull out of your pocket when you need them. One to tell the trustworthy people what you need right now and a second to shift (or end) a conversation with someone who isn’t able to support you while deconstructing faith.
Carve out extra room and energy to build these new muscles and recover after flexing them. Setting new boundaries and enforcing them is exhausting. Seriously, it will wear you out especially if you’re surrounded by people who have something to lose when you becoming healthier. It is perfectly normal and healthy for this to feel hard in the beginning. It’s also perfectly normal and healthy for you to feel physically and emotionally exhausted while flexing your new boundary muscles.It is crucial to build in time to care for yourself, rest, and find things that nourish your body. Gentle movement like yoga, stretching, and exercise will help your body process the hormones and neuro-chemicals that are released during stress. Taking a nap or curling up in a comfy chair with a weighted blanket will feel like a great big hug. There’s no perfect way to do this. Listen to your body, trust what they say, and drink lots of water to nurture yourself through this season!
Let’s be honest, keeping the same beliefs would be easier than deconstructing your faith, but it would require you to once again shape and mold yourself to other people’s expectations-which rarely works out well for you.
The bottom line is that you deserve to be surrounded by people who honor your boundaries and support you the way you want to be supported.
Toxic religion thrives when there are no boundaries, so creating the ones you need is the most powerful way you can shift yourself towards a healthy spiritual life. So deconstruct away!!!! Just make sure you’re setting healthy boundaries so you’re not wasting a bunch of time and energy managing other people’s fears!
This Week on the Podcast: The author of those beautiful words, Angela J. Herrington, a fellow deconstructing mama of FIVE and a faith deconstruction coach, walks us through how unhealed trauma informs our ability to trust ourselves. We walk through how difficult and necessary it is to be on this journey to heal ourselves and the beauty that's on the other side of that healing. Listen in as we take the water slide that leads to life (and not the slippery slope that we are often warned of). Angela's heart comes alive when she holds space for others on their deconstruction journey. If you're longing to ask questions about faith, God and what you believe, WITHOUT BEING JUDGED, Angela is the person for you. She is feisty and thorough and if you want to get a "free coaching session along with us, this episode is exactly what you need to spend your time doing! We sighed and said "YES" more times than usual, which says a lot for us. Talk about peeling back some layers that we didn't know were there. WOW! Hope you listen in!! You can find Angela at the following places: Website: www.angelajherriington.com Facebook: Angela J Herrington The Faith Deconstruction Cafe
Our Private Facebook Community Don't forget to sign up for our private and exclusive Deconstructing Mamas community on Facebook for those of you who want to move to the next level with us via our PATREON platform.
At this level, for as little as $3, you can ask questions, experience a safe and welcoming community with others who are deconstructing and receive special surprises along the way from Lizz and Esther.
We've been doing this for a couple of months now and it's been more than we could have imagined. We love it there and think you will too! Head to this LINK to sign up!!
Lizz and Esther are Contributing Authors in the Coolest Book (with the Coolest Cover)
Deconstructing Hell is set to release late this year and takes dead aim at one of the most destructive doctrines of Church history: the doctrine of eternal suffering for the non-believer.
Lizz's chapter is titled, "A Gospel of Hope" (Jesus doesn’t need hell; how the love of God alone can provide an attractive hope) and Esther's chapter is titled, "Pushed by Fear or Led by Love?" (raising children with a gospel of value and dignity vs. fear). We are joining 14 other authors, and cannot wait for this much-needed resource to be in your hands! We are thankful for Chad Bahl for putting it all together for us! Check it out more HERE!
Many of you have been asking us about what Bible would be best for elementary children (ages 5-9). We have been on the lookout and came across one that Esther bought this past week and gave a look-see through. The best thing about it is that is simplifies the stories, but also that the whole idea behind it is to ask the child an open-ended question that doesn't require them having a right answer, but more of a conversation starter. It still has some troubling things (according to us), but it may be something that would be of value to you. Let's face it. The Bible is a very tricky book and we believe the most important thing you can do with it with your kids is to help them to hold it with curiosity and wonder, not with dogma and black-and-white thinking. And as Brian McLaren said in our podcast episode with him (LISTEN HERE IF YOU MISSED IT), "keep the end goal of faith expressing itself in transformational love in mind." CLICK HERE TO ORDER IT.
We want to again remind you that we are so glad you are here. We wouldn't be the same without you. You will always find GRACE for where you've been and who you are now, and SPACE for who you are becoming and will be.
Carry on, our new-found friends. Welcome to the twisty-windy, full -of-adventure faith path that's laid out before us all. Love,
Lizz & Esther P.P.S. SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER HERE!