What does it mean to have compassion for those experiencing deconstruction (especially if that's oneself)? Part of being an empathetic witness to others is seeking to hold a curious, open posture—one that is willing to learn, to listen, to explore. As I have journeyed alongside many in their spiritual lives, I've noticed many of those naming an experience of deconstruction describe themselves as being in a state of anguish, betrayal, confusion, anger, fear, disorientation, and sometimes depression. As they journey through the experience of deconstruction, they find themselves wrestling in all arenas of experience (interpersonally as well as intrapersonally, with the structures around them as well as the context in which they live). However, the communal (church, ministry, jobs, communities) and interpersonal (friendships, marriages, families, support systems) arenas are often the most fraught. Communities and relationships that depend on previous ways of belief become problematic, painful, and sometimes unsustainable. With disorientation comes loneliness, self-doubt, rejection, loss, and grief. These social, emotional, and physical experiences of deconstruction are no less important than the reorientation of a person's thoughts around faith and meaning. In fact, they are the very rubble that can either support or wound the seeker—sometimes concurrently.

Posted by Anam Cara Abbey at 2023-01-12 13:47:00 UTC