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Faith in Ourselves

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Faith in Ourselves:

For all former cult members, a positive view of the world around begins with a positive inward view. Destructive cults may fit members with "dirty glasses" to view the world, but only after fitting them with dirty glasses to view themselves. They are manipulated into feeling unworthy or inadequate to the superiority of the central figure while believing the rest of the world is condemned. For many, this feeling remains long after escaping. Rather than focus on the world as the problem, or focus on themselves as the problem, former cult members must first examine their "glasses". Faith in humanity starts with faith in ourselves, and that faith must first be clearly viewed with accuracy. It must be the firm belief that even if we fail, we can forgive ourselves and try again, and it must extend to those around us.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, "The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong." Former cult members must recognize the power of forgiveness when reflecting on the absence of forgiveness in the cult, and how different the world would have seemed had the cult been forgiving of the non-cult world. Without realizing it, the cult had taken away their forgiveness, both for others and themselves. With forgiveness comes believing, both of which produce a positive outlook. To believe in others, we must first believe in ourselves.

For former cult members, this can be the most insightful transition as it gives them a better understanding of their former cult leader, other followers, and their inward pain. At the same time, it is a sudden realization that internal suffering of their own is starting to fade away. People who are forever disturbed about the condition humanity are usually suffering internally, either from mental illness or deeply-rooted problems. People who are positive about the condition of humanity are at peace with themselves.