Deconstruction. What does that mean? We don’t see deconstruction in every day life. The closest thing might be ground zero, an imploded building or a bunch of computer parts pulled out. What is deconstruction anyway? I think we all hear about this word a lot and I haven’t seen many able to reconstruct after the destruction, hmmmhmmm I mean deconstruction is done.
It is very destabilizing when people begin to take away long held beliefs that once provided a firm foundation to your identity. Everything comes into question. Questioning these things coupled with shame that usually originates from the church, makes it difficult to distinguish what we really believe anymore.
With my clients we talk about holding on to those aspects of faith and religious life that still feel authentic. Not just those things you “make yourself believe” but those concepts and beliefs about God that feel real and essential. Deconstruction can often feel like you are tossed from doubt to shame to anger to bitterness to doubt again, then grasping for hope and finding it is ill-fitting for the present version of yourself.
One thing that has seemed to help people walking through this time is to ask,
I know there is a lot you don’t know- a lot of uncertainty. Take away the shoulds. Let yourself express those beliefs you hold now.
I’ve never encountered someone who couldn’t come up with at least one belief that remains. Even if it’s more ambiguous than it once was, or more gray. It’s ok. You can’t should your way through deconstruction. You have to let yourself be right where we are.