Updated: Dec 14, 2022
While holidaying in Tasmania, I visited the MONA (Museum of Old and New Art). The Tasmania Travel Guide describes it as Australia's largest private museum and one of the most controversial private collections of modern art and antiquities in the world.
Wandering around for two hours, I found myself agreeing with Tasmania Travel Guide, finding some of the installations confronting, intriguing, nightmarish, bewildering, or challenging.
One art piece was a large poster on a wall that stated:
The Oxford Dictionary defines “enemy” as a person who is actively opposed or hostile to someone or something, or a thing that harms or weakens something else.
So, this poster was making an interesting (and for many people, a confronting) point.
Many readers will know by now that I spent quite a few years of my life fearing and trying to appease and please a God conjured from the King James Version of the Bible. This God demanded I worship and obey him. I finally gave up the struggle and decided to just live the best way I could, harm no one, appreciate nature, and no longer try to second-guess an imaginary and judgmental eye in the sky.
Seeing that poster in MONA reminded me that when I was a member of the cultish religion I’d grown up in, the God I prayed to daily was my enemy. He harmed and weakened me because I feared I wasn’t good enough. I failed to develop autonomy. I wasn’t being myself in the world. I was like a puppet, my strings pulled by a God who was hostile, said my heart was the most deceitful thing on the planet and outlined his plan to dispose of me in an eternally cruel way if I didn’t do what He wanted.
Let Go of Limiting Beliefs
Some beliefs aren’t worth keeping. If you find, like I did, that your beliefs about yourself or God are harming or weakening you, it’s time to get rid of them. Why carry enemies around with you all day, every day?
If this describes you, too, you might find it helpful to follow the steps below, which I created in order to help people assess their beliefs.
5 Questions You Can Ask to Help You Know If a Belief You Have Isn’t Worth Keeping
Write down your belief.
Now, ask yourself these 5 questions:
Does this belief make me fearful?
Does this belief make me feel guilty?
Does this belief make me feel powerless?
Does this belief give someone else authority over me?
Does this belief lock me into the past or the future?
Like most people, I’ve believed a lot of stupid things. One example of a belief that wasn’t worth having but I constructed my whole life around it is this:
For many years I believed Christ was going to return in 1975.
This belief made me fearful (I had to obey God or I wouldn’t be saved at Christ’s return).
This belief made me feel guilty (I had to please God 24/7; pray every day; pay tithes etc).
This belief made me feel powerless (I believed I couldn’t change the world, only God could).
This belief gave someone else authority over me (God; ministers; men; husband).
This belief locked me into the future (my life revolved around the future, not the now).
Question All Your Beliefs
Use these questions for all your beliefs and soon you’ll realise that life works better when you have no beliefs at all!
And you’ll have no god as your enemy.
With love, Marlane