I was raised under the Catholic church's traditions and beliefs. There was a lot to fear, to feel ashamed of, to feel impure about, and to ask forgiveness for. I don't even know when any of this started, this dense cloud of heavy self-judgment and lack of validation was always there.
My soul was so oppressed and my body so uncomfortable, like walking around in clothes that clearly don't fit you - and I truly didn't fit in that box, feeling unhappy in that model, and craving freedom of self-expression.
Fast-forward 25 years I find myself the most comfortable in my skin I have ever felt, with a confidence in myself and in my gifts that I only dreamed about. I accumulated thousands of hours studying and practicing a few different religions and general spirituality. I craved roll models to show me the answers, and I found admirable souls, but the greatest gift to free and find myself was the recognition that the temple is not outside, but inside of me.
I don't need to go to a church or a temple to find connection with the Divine, although when I chose to go I still have a blissful time. I now know that I can go inward and connect with my own sacredness, and appreciate the Sacred Temple where my soul lives.