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By Jennifer ~

Living the Christian life is highly stressful and mentally unhealthy, to say the least, because Christianity like all other religions is based on fear. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” is the very first thing one learns as a child. “Better not lie, or God is going to punish you – with hell fire!” The longer I lived in this state of fear, the more my mental health suffered. Anxiety began to rule my life. Sixty years of abuse was enough. Quitting church attendance was the beginning of my salvation.

It came in the form of Dr. Lissa Rankin’s, The Fear Cure. This book helped me unfetter myself from my fear-inducing religious upbringing and memories of past dangers I had experienced. I could tell my poor fucked-up amygdala (the part of the brain that detects fear and prepares the body for fight or flight,) “It’s okay, Christianity has been a bad dream. There’s no need to fear anymore.” The Fear Cure has also helped me dispel limiting beliefs arising from childhood, and generational fears foisted on me. Lissa Rankin has reconnected me to my wonderful, love-worthy, creative self.

I mentioned The Truman Show in my previous blog. I can so relate to the final scene in the movie where Truman sails his boat to the horizon and discovers the sky is fake. He ascends the stairs to the door above, takes a bow and sets himself free from the movie set, the only reality he had ever known.

Another key figure that has aided me in my healing journey, is Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn. I discovered him on You Tube, and this encounter has been the beginning of my true awakening. I like the fact that Dr. Kabat- Zinn’s teaching on Mindfulness is based on solid scientific research. Kabat-Zinn is the creator of The Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

I’ve purchased a number Dr. Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness Meditation audio books, and putting his method and teaching into practice has greatly reduced my anxiety levels. With what I’ve been through, it’s small wonder I've been so incredibly out of touch with my own mind.

I’m immensely excited and grateful to be living in an era where such giant strides have been made in medical science, particularly in the realm of neuroscience. I am fascinated by studies about the brain, its plasticity and its ability to adapt to positive input. It’s great to have my brain back!

Engaging in the here and now is a much simpler and less stressful way to live, rather than living a life of pretense and fear in La-la land. I am reconnected to nature and comfortable with finding my place in the vastness of the universe without being afraid of it, or its perceived maker.

Moment by moment, the universe unfurls before me in vast bodies of knowledge across all academic disciplines. To this end, it’s ludicrous to limit myself to only 66 books of disjointed, barbaric, Iron-age literature. The “evidence of things not seen” has no place in modernity. Let’s hope the paradigm shift from religious superstition to science and reason happens swiftly, for the sake of our survival.