The Art of Defining Me is my personal story and journey from being born and raised into a cult environment in which I finally was able to escape. My books and challenges are the process and journey I took to learn how to live in a world I was raised to fear as evil.
I'm 56 years old at the time of this post. Going back to my childhood upbringing, there wasn't internet back then. I was raised in a very small town where pretty much everyone belonged to this same cult. Everything was filtered through the cult teachings.
If the "Prophet" spoke, it was as if God himself was speaking and no one questioned it. Teachers, judges, law enforcement were all apart of this religion. History was taught through the religions beliefs. The only book store in town was owned by the religion. We were taught only to read church approved books.
My home environment was very strict in ensuring we were abiding by the "Prophet's" word. Only the church approved newspaper was allowed in our home. The church owned news channel was watched.
In this very controlled environment, I was taught about the world that was evil. I was taught that this religion was the one and only true religion of God on the face of the planet. I was taught to fear the world as being evil.
I was almost 50 years old, when I finally left this cult environment. What was normally learned throughout a normal life, was in many instances a new experience for me. In order to learn how to live in this world, I had to break myself down thought by thought, interaction by interaction and learn how to define myself as the woman I desired to be, based on the new knowledge I was exposed to.
It has taken me over ten years to go through these processes, that I am sharing in 30 Day Challenges. One may question the terminology that I use. Cult and brain washing. It is up to each of you to determine what words resonate with you. For me, I stand by my right to use those words as they accurately expressed my view of my experience.
I share with you the good, bad and ugly of myself. I give you the raw emotion of my experience and the long-term ramifications. It is up to you to determine if my story resonates or has value for you. I simply share.
It is my hope and intent, that as you read my story that you will find hope of overcoming. That you will find strength to know, that you too can overcome obstacles and challenges that are placed in your life. That you will find your voice, to share your story.
It is not my intent to criticize any religion. I simply share my experience. Others may have had a different experience and they are welcome to share theirs. I am not associated with any religion. I do however, study religions. I study them in order to understand the people inside the religions.
I believe that each person and every event in life gives an opportunity to learn and grow. I desire to have knowledge of the various cultures and religions, so when I meet individuals we can find commonality.
It is one story at a time, that our metaphorical shields of hope and our swords of truth shine bright. I invite you to stand by me, with your metaphorical shields and swords raised. Side by side, we join to help those who are not able to join. We give them hope, that they too can overcome.