NYC Psychotherapist Blog

power by WikipediaMindmap

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Spirituality: Are You Contemplating Your Faith-of-Origin in a New Light?

For many adults, especially during times of crisis, there comes a time when they contemplate their faith-of-origin in a new light. This often occurs after decades of having bitterly rejected a belief system from childhood. It's not unusual for people who are reevaluating their faith-of-origin to be surprised and confused that they're even considering returning to their childhood religion, not realizing that this is a common experience for many people at certain stages in their lives. What's even more surprising for some people is that their childhood faith still resonates for them emotionally on some level.

How does this happen?  Well, as you can imagine, this process is different for everyone. However, it often occurs during major life transitions or during difficult times. 

Are You Contemplating Your Faith-of-Origin in a New Light?

For some people, it can occur because they feel adrift in life without a spiritual anchor. It may be that there were aspects of their childhood religion that they miss. At a younger age, they might not have had the ability to overcome the challenge of holding onto what they liked and rejecting what didn't resonate. They took an all-or-nothing attitude. But now, either due to an emotional crisis, a life transition or a longing to feel a deeper spiritual connection, they're willing to revisit these issues with an open mind.

For many people growing up as children where they had no choice about participating in the family religion, rejecting their faith-of-origin was part of becoming independent from their families. This rejection was part of becoming an adult who could make his or her own choices in life. It was part of declaring themselves as autonomous individuals. 

As young adults, they might have felt that they closed the door on their faith-of-origin, never to be opened again. And yet, as an older adult, when they feel secure in their independence, there's no longer a need to take such an absolute stand, and they're usually surprised to realize that they're missing parts or all of their former religion. What once seemed to have no meaning to them now seems to hold some significance after all.

Contemplating your faith-of-origin can be a challenging process with many confusing feelings. It can challenge your sense of self and long held beliefs. It can also be a time of feeling newly inspired. It all depends on how you approach this process. With patience, empathy for yourself and a healthy sense of curiosity, it can be a time when time of spiritual and emotional renewal.

It's often comforting to know that many people, especially during middle age or later, go through this reevaluation process about their childhood religion. 

If you're willing to spend time contemplating what still remains true for you, what you want to keep from your faith-of-origin, and what you might want to let go of, you may find a lost part of yourself. You might discover that your childhood belief system is still intact in some form. 

You might find yourself reconsidering childhood beliefs in a new light with a more nuanced adult understanding. For many people, this gives new meaning to their lives and helps them to feel more emotionally integrated.

Spirituality is an important part of many people's lives. Whether they're reclaiming their faith-of-origin on their own terms now or they're exploring new beliefs, it can be an emotionally rewarding time if you can be compassionate with yourself, tolerate the uncertainties that are often inherent in the process, and allow this process to unfold in a way that's right for you.

About Me
I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist. I provide psychotherapy services to individual adults and couples, including talk therapy, hypnotherapy, EMDR, and Somatic Experiencing.

I have helped many clients to explore and reconcile their spiritual beliefs in a way that are meaningful to them.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 during business hours or email me.