Who am I?
It seems to tackle the most pernicious problem, I have to start with a question.
For example, why does a problem seem to be pernicious?
I grew up in a hyper-religious household and given a name that revolves around being a something far greater than any human should bare.
Barnaby — Son of comfort, consolation, or encouragement.
Below is the mindset of my mother when she named her last child of six.
“Because you symbolize the Holy Ghost, the comforter of God, Satan was trying to destroy you but Jesus has other plans for you.”
I don’t mind the following encouragement after that quote and I understand my mother was writing this out of an innocent place.
I don’t agree with the symbolization and I don’t agree that a person should bare such a divine standard.
My entire upbringing revolved around being the one to lead people to the kingdom. I was communicated over and over that, I was set apart to be a bring a message; to lead the “lost.”
I never saw myself as myself and I constantly deprecated to appease a wrathful Judge. I never thought I was good enough and I always had a language of being a burden on people in the midst of high success.
I want to share that I grew up in nothing more than a cult. It is led by a charismatic leader who had a vision from god to transform the New Haven area for the kingdom.
He shouted out one day:
“I want to know what you can do with one man completely sold out to you!”
I recently read a book called Cults and New Religious Movements: A Reader and it’s extremely enlighting. As I back in my hometown, I have been going through a reconciliation period and, by grace, have some closure to the large labyrinth of my past.
I hate people who prey on children and families in the name of faith. It’s akin to a salesman selling snake oil. It’s pseudo hope and it only ends ups being gravel in the mouth after being reaffirmed it’s steak.
I was conditioned that I was devived, set apart, and everything was evil. I needed to be sure to be used and accepted. The lens I wore was that of seeing an evil force all around us. It could be why I see my problem as pernicious.
I absolutely agree it’s sick and twisted for a person be subjected to an intangible torture.
Perfection was the only path to travel on and it has taken years to unravel that. I have learned that perfection is an illusion and I’ve to destain the word.
Through the Gospel, I am able to forgive Cornerstone and the toxic environment that I grew up in.
I am constantly forgiving my parents. I hope I will be a better father than mine and I hope to find a wife that will be a better mother to my children.
As I reflect on my childhood, I saw the defense from predators in that congregation was not built well. I’m not talking about anything sexual in my case. I’m talking about predators of the mind and those who use tools to manipulate and control young people. My father and mother did their best with what they knew and had in the wheelhouse of coping mechanism.
It seems impenetrable to forgive my mother and father because of the serious emotional neglect that took place. I don’t like the neglect we all went through and lack of affirmation for faulted broken human beings. I find myself being devoured by anger, bitterness, and this idea of not allowing people to get close to me. I fear I may disappoint and not meet expectations. I’m slowly learning a lot of people feel the same way.
At the end the day, I’m thankful for my parents, the weird cult we grew up in, and the man that I am today. My parents created six amazing human beings who are incredibly intelligent emotionally, extremely self-aware, and ambiguous.
I’m slowly understanding what joy, contentment, peace, love, reconciliation, self-control, and forgiveness means. In addition to applying every waking moment.
I can safely say now, out of my free-will, it’s because of who I follow, Christ. I can only point back to Him for the glory we will all give him whether we want to or not.
I hope this allows you to start a reconciliation period in your life with your past.