One of the most distressing experiences we can have is to be rejected or judged by our own tribe.

Our need for belonging and connection is so strong, that it makes it incredibly difficult to ask a question or express a view that might cross a boundary and threaten our place in a community. 

This is the pain point of many spiritual misfits. We have a deep God-given need for community. We also have a deep God-given need to be authentic and honest. When these two things come into conflict we can find ourselves in a really dark place. 

There’s this moment in the gospel of Luke where Jesus is talking about how John the Baptist didn’t eat or drink and was accused of being demon possessed. And then Jesus himself, is accused of being a drunkard and a glutton because he’s constantly partying with the wrong people. 

Sometimes whether you take path A or B you’re still going to be misunderstood.

I take great hope in this: if John the Baptist and Jesus had scathing critics from within their own tribe, and yet kept faithfully walking the path they felt called to — maybe we could do the same? 

My deep hope for you is that you would find genuine community and permission to be honest and authentic. I believe that’s what God invites us to participate in and to offer to others. 

But at certain points along the way you may need to seperate yourself from the judgments of others. You may need to remind yourself that their rejection does not equate to God’s rejection of you.

I remember as a kid being taught that I was never alone because God was always with me, even if I was the only one in the room. That was a reassuring belief as a 5 year old. Now, in my 30s it still is. 

Here are a set of affirmations for when you find yourself misunderstood or rejected by your own tribe. You are not alone, and you have not been abandoned by God. 

Click here to listen or use the podcast player below – episode title: “Affirmations – when others misunderstand or judge me”

Sara M. Saleh on Palestine, liberation and poetry Spiritual Misfits Podcast

Sara M. Saleh is a human rights lawyer, community organiser, writer and the daughter of migrants from Palestine, Egypt and Lebanon. She has many very impressive achievements to her name including being the first poet to win both the Australian Book Review’s Peter Porter Poetry Prize and the Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize, which she did back to back in 2020 and 2021. Sara’s debut novel Songs for the Dead and the Living is out now (link below where you can buy).  Sara is one of the voices that has been a helpful guide for me in recent weeks as we’ve seen the Israeli government cause enormous levels of destruction and loss of human life in Gaza. This conversation is really helpful for decoupling anti-zionism and anti-semitism and understanding why it’s so dangerous when these are conflated. It’s so obvious, as you’ll hear throughout this conversation that Sara holds a fierce commitment to any group of oppressed and suffering people, while striving for solutions that do not simply flip who is oppressing who. The way she speaks about liberation is so generous and beautiful and just. We talk about the limits of identity politics and the deep solidarity that can be found in shared values — and there’s just so much wisdom here. Listen deeply, share widely, and take whatever actions you can — great or small — in the direction of justice.  Sara’s website: ‘Songs for the Dead and the Living’: Sara on Instagram: @instasaranade‘A guide to Palestine for beginners’ (this is a fantastic doc): to the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network: up to our mailing list: our online Facebook community: the pod: us an email: Spiritualmisfits@outlook.comView all episodes and access transcripts at:
  1. Sara M. Saleh on Palestine, liberation and poetry
  2. Noah Small on the nature of God, love and kindness (a little episode with big heart)
  3. Radhika Sukumar-White on lament, suffering and inclusive community
  4. Michael Frost & Shane Meyer-Holt on the other side of 'mega'
  5. Mikali Anagnostis and Gabi Cadenhead on Gen-Z spirituality and Marion St

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