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I tell everyone who is deconstructing, changing their beliefs, or losing their religion, or whatever: “Do it your way!”

Each one of us is a unique individual with our own paths before us. How we become spiritually independent will look different from everyone else. As it should!

I did it my way, and I’m glad I did! I think you should do it your way because you will be happy with the result.

Here’s my advice on how to do it (please tweak as desired):

1. Be ruthlessly yourself: I decided right from the beginning that I was going to be myself when I was finished deconstructing and I was going to be myself while getting there too. Of course, this has always been one of the strongest driving forces in my life. To be free to be me has always been important. Others will have all kinds of advice, warnings, and suggestions. Whatever! Just make sure you are yourself, comfortable in your own skin, and happy with the way you are.

2. Take as long as you want: This isn’t a race. Enjoy the process. I believe in process. I believe in progress. Look at it like an adventure. As painful as some of the journey was, I always tried to remember that this was a part of me getting to my goal. Like a mountain climber, there are tough and scary spots, but they’re all a part of the joy of reaching the summit. And that’s the point: eventually reaching the summit! On your own time. Enjoy the ride.

3. Use appropriate resources: I used anything and anyone I could get my hands on. I read good books that beckoned me further. I paid for a good therapist and good coaches. I wasn’t too proud to think I could do this solo. Even the most professional athletes have coaches. The most successful climbers have partners or sherpas. Psychologists have psychologists. Spiritual directors need spiritual directors. We need assistance too. Find it and use it!

4. Set your own goals: How do you want to feel? How do you want to be? How do you want to live? What goals do you have for your life? What makes you happy? What gives your life meaning? Imagine them, set them, aim for them, then shoot for them. You need to do all those steps. Let me fill those out a bit:

a) Imagine: Seriously, dream of your best possible life! Write it down. What do you want? Who do you want to be? Imagine it. If you don’t imagine it, it won’t happen.

b) Set: Once you know, write it down as a real goal. Don’t despair, “Oh this is impossible! I’m day-dreaming!” Write it down and say, “I’m going to do this!” Try to put a time on it. “By next year!”

c) Aim: Then really go for it. Make it something you are aiming for. Don’t write it down then bury your journal in your dresser. Actually say, “I’m going to do this. By next year, this will be me!”

d) Shoot: Now align things in your life to actually help it to happen. Work on yourself, overcome obstacles, put things in place, get agreement from significant others… do everything you need to do to take the steps to get there. Do the work.

I love watching you guys progress, grow, and become who you are. It’s powerful!

Enjoy the ride on the way to becoming who you are!