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The Important Things

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The Important Things:

When former members of a cult decide to move on, focus is important. It is emotionally overwhelming to think about transitioning to a new life, and fond memories of good times weigh heavy on the mind. Without submitting to the cult's authority, many of those memories would never have existed. As their new non-cult life pulls them forward, thoughts of recreating these scenes of cult memories hold them back. Yet they are aware that the life they once lived could never be recreated. Even if they returned to the cult, the reasons they left cannot be forgotten.

Still, there is fear that these cherished memories can be, will be, or even should be forgotten. Many people are uncertain how much will be lost should they find release, and worry that when they "let go", fond memories will be lost as bad memories become distant, or that memories created in their new life might replace memories from cult life. Former members must learn to focus upon what is important to them and avoid trying to focus on everything as a whole. Some memories are important and should be cherished forever. They should not be forgotten. Even some of the unfavorable memories have importance as reminders of where they have been. Not all memories are important, however. People, places or events that seemed greatly important in the cult sometimes seem trivial after leaving. Because they were valued for so long, it is difficult for former members to let go.

Most importantly, former cult members must listen to their heart. They should not focus on what they were told to be important, or what cult members pressure them to feel important. They should focus on what they feel to be important. Core values remain much the same after leaving a cult, regardless of the influence the cult had on supplemental values. If a former member listens to their heart to let go of something they feel to be of little value, it is probably because they never fully valued it to begin with.