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(***First of all, our deepest apologies for last night’s botched Hangout. Stay tuned. We’re going to reschedule it right away. We’ll let you know when.)

Okay! This is a subtle point I’m going to try to make. Stay with me.

When I left the church there was a distinct feeling of ostracizing myself, alienating myself, separating myself, removing myself. I was now outside the organized church. I had to come up with an alternative, even if it was a private and personal one.

But along with this feeling came something else. I noticed that the feeling of being disqualified, invalid, illegitimate, even ashamed, tried to creep in. I knew instinctively and immediately that this was wrong and unnecessary. I immediately thought of a helpful analogy:

I am a Canadian living in Canada. Even if I travel to Australia, I’m still a Canadian. Even if I move to Mozambique for the rest of my life, I am still a Canadian. I am no less valid a Canadian than the old lady who never left Penobsquis, New Brunswick, Canada.

Remember who you are. You are not disqualified. Don’t be ashamed! You are perfect just as you are where you are. Be courageous and confident because you carry your identity with you. You haven’t left it behind.

One of our members articulates it well in her post The Shaming Voice In My Head. Thanks for that!