It’s Okay — Necessary, even — To Talk About You Deconstruction
Leaving religion is not a source of shame, and being able talk openly about it is important.
It’s okay to talk about your deconstruction, and it may even be necessary to do so. You’ve freed your mind from the shackles of religion, but then what do you do? I’m going to lay out some simple reasons why it’s important for you to discuss your deconstruction.
Before we get into the why, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page. What is deconstruction? According to the Cambridge Dictionary, deconstruction is “the act of breaking something down into its separate parts in order to understand its meaning, especially when this is different from how it was previously understood.”
When applied to one’s religion, this simply means to look at it critically, from the entire concept of religion down to individual religious text passages (scripture) and rituals (communion, gathering weekly, and so on). It is the act of taking a hard look at, and then tearing down, the framework that someone else put around us.
It’s important to know why you do anything. I remember being a kid and doing nearly everything on impulse. My parents would ask why, and I rarely had an answer. Now I know the why might have been undiagnosed ADHD, but that’s the benefit of hindsight. Knowing why you left (or are in the process of leaving) religion is a must, simply because everyone is going to ask.
Not only will all your family members, some friends, and even a few trusted colleagues wonder why you made this change, you’ll need to be able to look in the mirror and be honest with yourself. Ultimately, leaving religion is a very personal decision. It’s not one you can just shrug your shoulders at, because that lack of resolve and reason will lead you back to religion or perhaps into the arms of another cult.
Communication is a part of any relationship, so when your mother asks why you don’t go to church (or temple, mosque, etc.) anymore, you should have an answer. The way to get to that answer is to think and talk about your own personal deconstruction journey.
I did that, and it really helped. First, I just thought about what I was doing and why…