A story was released this morning that the beautiful and talented actor Glenn Close grew up in a religious cult. During her interview that appears in The Hollywood Reporter she declined going into details about her upbringing in the cult. She briefly mentioned it as she spoke about her father and his work in Africa. Ms. Close did not go into details about the cult because it wasn’t the proper time and place to discuss that part of her upbringing.
What I loved most about her comments were those surrounding forgiveness. In her words “I always thought, the way life works, the burden of forgiveness is on the child,” she says. “That’s the way it goes. Forgiveness is probably the most revolutionary concept there is right now in our world. Because without forgiveness, you just perpetuate what has been before. You [have to] say, ‘It’s going to stop with me.’ ”
That is precisely how I feel about my childhood in a cult. The beliefs that were ingrained in me, and the experiences of my childhood, profoundly affected my ability to have trusting and loving relationships as an adult. Like Ms. Close, I did not have professional therapy to help me work through my childhood beliefs. Apparently some of us have an innate ability to listen to our own healing process – at least that is what I have been told.
I like to think that we all have the ability to heal ourselves when we have the proper tools.
Every one of us has the ability to choose whether we see ourselves as victims of the past, or be victorious over it. Every one of us has the ability to see the past as a learning experience and move forward. Every one of us has the ability to free ourselves from the guilt, shame and blame with the power of forgiveness. Every one of us has the ability to view our painful story through the eyes of love and acceptance. Every one of us has the capacity to live a fulfilling and joy filled life. All of it is ultimately up to each of us.
Choosing to leave the past and all of its pain behind begins with recognizing that it stops with you.
I am thrilled that Glenn Close found the wherewithal to give us a glimpse into the extreme religious cult she came from and its impact on her life. She is one more voice in the forest of voices that needs to come forth if we are to create a more loving and less fearful world.
2 thoughts on “Glenn Close, Cults and Me”
Very well said Victoria. We are in the process of leaving the Mormon church. And although it’s not a cult to the extreme that the polygamists are, it still has cult like tendencies. My husband and I decided that if we were going to be able to successfully navigate away from it, we’ll have to do everything we do out of love. All of our actions, conversations, and attitudes have to begin and end with love. That way when we meet someone on the street or are dealing with family and friends, we will always come off in the best light and be the most help to others. I love how Glenn Close said, “It’s going to stop with me.” That can be applied in so many ways. I look at it this way: the cult’s influence is going to stop with my life. It’s not going to be passed on to my children or my grandchildren by me, anymore. Being angry about the things that we were taught, the anger is going to stop with me. It’s through the anger that they are still able to affect your life, still control you in some way. ” Every one of us has the ability to choose whether we see ourselves as victims of the past, or be victorious over it” You are so right! This is the choice, a victim or victorious, one is filled with happiness and the other with despair.
You are absolutely correct about seeing it all with love. Removing yourself from the Mormon church is a lengthy process that will try your relationships and attempt to try your resolve to follow your own path – this from my own experience. When your friends and family are angry with you for abandoning the faith, understand that it is only their fear for your eternal wellbeing that concerns them. It is their love for you, and their own fears, that cause them to act irrationally, if they do. See them with love and compassion for the path that they are choosing, and the lessons their soul needs to learn, and follow what you know is best for you. Just as there are 7+billion people on the planet there are 7+ billion paths to that which many call God. No one knows your path except for you.