I believe it is horrendously dangerous for people to go about their daily life without self-reflection. Why? Because without self-reflection one cannot ascertain the reasons why they do or believe as they do. And without a rationale, there really is no reason to choose one way above another in deciding a course of action, except for human social convention.
My personal reflections have come about over my responses, or should I say reactions to certain situations, I find myself in. If one cannot respond reasonably, then one's reaction is a give-away to "stakes" in the fight. And those stakes are stakes of identity, or wounds that must be healed.
One of the biggest challenges to me, is the issue of choice. Choice is necessary for indviduality, personal value and affirmation of one's ideals.
Children have need of safety and security because they are developing their identities. Without safe and secure environments, then, the child is left with anxiety about the dire neccessities in life and without hope to fulfill his personal identity.
Children grow, explore and develop their interests when adults support them, and even further their "discoveries". And interests that develop in childhood are interests that become passions in young adulthood. Passions lead to pursuits of life goals and education that end in a life given to that passion.
For the child, divorced families are challenged to meet the needs of safe and security, so he can explore and develop interests. These safety and security issues can be strongholds that deter the young adult from developing passions and pursuing goals later in life. And inevitably, an overly cautious, or overly reactive child can be the result of such an environment.
I have found that my own reactions and fear of being controlled has its roots grounded in my early childhood. When divorced children do not have any choice about the events that "control their lives", they feel helpless, insecure and unsafe. Thus, "God" enters in to "help" the child to defend themselves in an unsafe and insecure world. "God will work all things together", etc. etc. God's Providence is viewed as safety, security and assurance of "goodwill". But, these coping skills are not healthy past the point of childhood. "Self" is not developed when one has an unhealthy need for dependence.
"God" is used in place of seeking, pursuing, developing, and taking responsibility for oneself. And this taking responsibility is also a challenge for me, as I fear responsibility, because of the "perfectionism' of the adults in my life, as a child. Great anxiety transpires when I fear failure, so why tramp over that territory if there are so many pits one can "fall into"? Besides, no one 'needs" what I have to offer anyway? Who am I?
These messages are messages of self-hatred, and self-rejection. These messages were tempered by a religious coping skill. I believed that God loved me, personally. This brought me a sense of being valued, individually and specifically. But, my realization that no one is particularly special was not a new one, it was just put into a new frame. The new frame was one of a 'vast void' of human insignificance.
If humans have no innate significance, then the only way to significance is what one does. And what one does, breeds an atmosphere of competitive drive for success to be valued. It is the 'survival of the fittest" that define who gets on top. And the rest of humanity dries up under the sun of pointless absurdities that intrude upon their life with regular 'humiliations'.
The "survival of the fittest" leaves me with anxiety, because I have been "taught" that I was not "the fittest". This "view" has nothing to do with evolution, but it has a lot to do with my own self-concept.
So, what is the point? The point is that religion can de-value, as well as value "the human". And when religion intrudes upon the individual, determining and confining choice, then religion has ceased its value, because of its devaluation of the individual, as significance.
At the same time, when religion limits 'self-development' because of its zeal for absolute certainty about "God" who cannot be confined to our safe and rational 'solutions', then religion has stepped over and ignored the very purpose of its existence; Man.
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