Gay & Lesbian Faith & Spirituality

young man smiling

Faith and spirituality are an essesntial component of a human being's identity, possibly even more so for gay men and lesbian women.  You can't be a whole person by cutting off this part of yourself and trying to go foward without it.  Nor can you function properly if your faith or spirituality is muddied with negativity and judgment that doesn't take into account your whole self and your true nature. 

For those who have expereinced spiritual abuse, growing up in the church, or who have questions about how faith and sexuality work together harmoniously, or who would like to develop a spirituality of their own but are hindered by all the negativity they see coming from those around them, it's important that you work through these issues and questions.  Counseling is a great opportunity to explore these issues in a safe and gay-affirming environment, that allows you to go at your own pace and find your own way.  I would be happy to walk along side you on this journey.

"Every day people are straying away from church and going back to God."  Lenny Bruce

Gay and Lesbian / Faith and Spirituality

Today, one of the main issues facing our country and our world is the debate between those who see and understand the full equality and value of gay and lesbian people, as well as the whole LGBT community, and those who want to drag their feet and live in the past as long as they can possibly hold onto it.  Life changes, people grow, and things move forward; this is the very energy of life. 

True spirituality embraces others; it doesn't reject them.  Many who find themselves in the middle of this debate are lesbian and gay people who are also people of faith, or who would like to include the benefits of spirituality in their life, but don't know how to go forward, in the midst of so much negativity.  
"May we grow spiritually, unfold emotionally, learn intellectually, and prosper in wholeness of health and affairs."  Craig Carter, Your Handbook for Healing

"Everything is Spiritual"

If you haven't heard Rob Bell speak before, I urge you to listen to this excellent talk!
Watch the video here!

This is also an excellent article:

"Awesomeness is Everything: Why encountering vastness makes us more spiritual, generous, and content."  By Matthew Hutson, Atlantic Magazine, Jan/Feb 2017

Matthew Hutson's article in the Jan/Feb 2017 issue of the Atlantic talks about the experience of Awe as the esesstial component of all spirituality, and of ultimate wellbeing.  He writes, "Psychologists have described awe as the experience of encountering something so vast -- in size, skill, beauty, intensity, etc. -- that we struggle to comprehend it.  A waterfall might inspire awe; so could childbirth."

"Awe makes spiritual and religious people feel a greater sense of oneness with others.  Researchers found that inducing awe -- say, by having people stand in a grove of tall trees -- increased generosity, life satisfaction, willingness to donate time to charity, and preferences for experiences over material products."

"In an analysis of 56 astronauts' memoirs, interviews, and oral histories, the astronauts appeared to experience increases in spirituality and universalism -- that is, the beleif in an interconnected humanity."

If you are seeking a therapist that respects your spirituality, whatever form that may take, or you're looking for someone who can help introduce you to these ideas for the enrichment and betterment of your life experience, then you've come to the right place.  I would be happy to join you on your journey, where ever you begin and where ever you are heading. Please don't hesitate to call me at 805-868-0767. - Erik

Seeing The Light

Cutting-edge scientists are dissecting the near-death experience and battling over the evidence. Is it a newly discovered dream state—or are we immortal in some way? 

"Reports from the frontiers of medicine have made disagreement over survival of consciousness and life after death fiercer than ever. At a recent debate held in New York City, Moody said he himself was convinced that “at death, personal consciousness is taken up into a more inclusive state of existence”—in other words, it survives the body and exists as a force or energy in the universe at large." 

By Pamela Weintraub, published on September 02, 2014

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Erik Edler LMFT