I can make my situation worse and more distressing by using negative religious ways of coping that focus on themes of punishment and guilt. For example, I can hold the belief that God has abandoned me and is punishing me for wrongdoings of my sins; continually ask “why me” questions for which there are no answers; plead for miracles and God’s intervention and defer responsibility and actions to God; relinquish to a higher power; have a “Spiritual Struggle,” a “Soul Wound” and experience “moral injuries,” feel guilty, ashamed and responsible for failures and losses. I can have a falling out with fellow congregants or with my clergy. Doing these things will increase my emotional pain and reduce my resilience. Instead, I can choose to use positive religious ways of coping (Also, see Action #86).
Negative Religious Coping:
“My higher power failed me.”
“I’m too bad to be loved by a higher power.”
“How could there be a God given what I have seen?”
“God can’t protect anybody.”
“God isn’t fair.”
“I had a relationship with God before this traumatic event. After it, I never will again. I think He is a figment of man’s imagination.”