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.