I feel like I just want to give up on religion all together *updated see post 42* - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 49 Old 04-02-2010, 04:06 PM
 
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If you are still headed in the direction of Christianity, my first piece of advice would be to stop trying to find "religion" and just start seeking God. It does not take a certain type of building to find God. Do you have a bible? I would open it up and start reading. And if it is a church community you are seeking, I would suggest finding a non-denominational community type church. At my non-denom church, you will find people who grew up baptist, catholic, lutheran, episcopalian, etc. It's not at all about the religion of it all, it's about a bunch of people seeking after God. It is so easy to get bogged down by religions and denominations when you can nit pick at how each of them differ. IME, non-denoms are bare bones, tell me about God and tell me about the bible.

Good luck on your journey

Heather-- I'm a <>< SAHM of two fabulous boys 8/05 and 2/07
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#32 of 49 Old 04-02-2010, 06:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
I'm sooooooo frustrated right now. I just want to throw in the towel on religion completely.

I grew up without religion at home, but I have been on a spiritual quest for as long as I can remember. But I can never seem to make it work. I don't know if it's that I just suck and have no ability to commit to anything or if it's just that I hate limiting my options.

The second I start to feel at home and comfortable spiritually I'm drawn in a whole other direction. I am a classic Gemini constantly thinking, always wanting to talk, able to argue both sides of an argument even if I don't even believe the other side. I never manage to truly believe anything for very long. At the moment when I believe something, I truly do but I can't maintain it because there is always another side to consider and then I run with that. I can't turn it off. I'm ready to just give up.


Be where you are at Ard. It is okay. It is good to be honest about where our hearts are.
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#33 of 49 Old 04-03-2010, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been thinking about everyones posts, and I talked some more with dh. I agree that I should give myself a break in trying to make every religious truth make sense and focus on connecting with God and just being. So I'm going to go back to Church and just be while I'm there.

I'm still really sick ( it starting to move into my lungs so I'm hoping it doesn't turn into pnumonia) so I can't go to Easter service tonight which I'm really bummed about because I was looking forward to finally experiencing it. Crossing my fingers I don't give it to dh.

In the meantime I'm going to read the Bible.
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#34 of 49 Old 04-04-2010, 07:59 PM
 
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IIRC, you were looking at converting to RCC? If so, there are a lot of theologically heavy beliefs that can be hard to wrap your head around, so don't beat yourself up about it. My SIL and her husband just converted last night and were telling me about a man in their class who will be going through RCIA for the third year. He's a scientist and just has a very hard time with some of the theology, but I admire his persistence in continuing and his honesty in saying "i'm not ready yet."

Prayers and s for you.
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#35 of 49 Old 04-04-2010, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks cherrybomb, yes I think I understand a theological teaching and then something happens and I no longer get it at all. It's been one step forward two steps back.
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#36 of 49 Old 04-04-2010, 10:54 PM
 
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Thanks cherrybomb, yes I think I understand a theological teaching and then something happens and I no longer get it at all. It's been one step forward two steps back.
I was in RCIA with a man who was in his 5th or 6th round and he still wasn't ready. I agree with CB, it is good to take your time. I think Sister Rosalind Moss (great conversion in adulthood story) also took almost a decade to officially convert and now she is Mother in a new religious community forming in St.Louis!

Happy Easter Arduinna - I thought about you during Mass today!

"Hey, I've got nothin' to do today but smile." - S & G
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#37 of 49 Old 04-05-2010, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Charbeau
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#38 of 49 Old 04-05-2010, 10:19 PM
 
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One thing I wonder is if you have found the - I guess I'll say the method that is most important for you in your connection to God?

I think we all connect through different parts of our humanity - some through the senses come to the Divine, some have an emotional connection. Some people are mystics, some (like me) connect through reason. We all have all of these facilities and need to learn to use them, but one or two are usually stronger than the others.

But sometimes we don't seem to supply what is needed for us to make spiritual progress. We might rely to heavily on our dominant method and neglect the others. Or in some cases we even neglect the dominant one if we have never had the support to learn to use it well.

So I am thinking - when you try out a religious path, what does that mean? Prayer, emotional investment, physical or mental disciplines, study (and what kind of study?) Perhaps a different approach might give you more to explore.

On a totally different note, religion is a bit like being in love. At the beginning, hormones keep it interesting. But eventually you will have dry or difficult times, when you have to decide to maintain the relationship, even though it may feel like a chore, or simply uninspiring. And there is value added just by that commitment itself .

 I like the mind to be a dustbin of scraps of brilliant fabric, odd gems, worthless but fascinating curiosities, tinsel, quaint bits of carving, and a reasonable amount of healthy dirt.
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#39 of 49 Old 04-06-2010, 12:26 AM
 
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One thing I wonder is if you have found the - I guess I'll say the method that is most important for you in your connection to God?

I think we all connect through different parts of our humanity - some through the senses come to the Divine, some have an emotional connection. Some people are mystics, some (like me) connect through reason. We all have all of these facilities and need to learn to use them, but one or two are usually stronger than the others.

But sometimes we don't seem to supply what is needed for us to make spiritual progress. We might rely to heavily on our dominant method and neglect the others. Or in some cases we even neglect the dominant one if we have never had the support to learn to use it well.

So I am thinking - when you try out a religious path, what does that mean? Prayer, emotional investment, physical or mental disciplines, study (and what kind of study?) Perhaps a different approach might give you more to explore.

On a totally different note, religion is a bit like being in love. At the beginning, hormones keep it interesting. But eventually you will have dry or difficult times, when you have to decide to maintain the relationship, even though it may feel like a chore, or simply uninspiring. And there is value added just by that commitment itself .
Wow Bluegoat. This is a seriously good post. As someone who is constantly going back and forth between, "Yay, I found it, this is it!" and, "Oh who the hell knows, I can't do this religion thing!" you have given me some food for thought.
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#40 of 49 Old 04-06-2010, 11:36 PM
 
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Arduinna, I am so there right now. I don't feel LDS at all anymore but I am still Mormon in my faith. Still I feel drawn to other paths at the same time. It's difficult. I am starting to really feel organized religion is overrated. A good thing, yes. It's great to have community but it seems that that's what folks hang their hat on, you know? To me being with God is like being with my husband- I don't want to have sex with my husband where all eyes can see and I don't want to be with God where all eyes can see. It's no one's business but mine and the Lords and it feels like organized religion requires you to put your faith on display- not only that but jump through hoops to prove your worth. It's too much for me right now. I feel love for God and Christ more than ever right now and feel so strong in my faith but I also feel so lost and like I am all alone in the world. There is always a point (if not many) in my day where I just want to yell "what's the point?!"

Ok sorry that became so mememememe. Just wanted to say you aren't alone and thanks for posting this!

Maggie, blissfully married mama of 5 little ladies on my own little path. homeschool.gif gd.gifRainbow.gif
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#41 of 49 Old 04-07-2010, 12:39 AM
 
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"It's no one's business but mine and the Lords and it feels like organized religion requires you to put your faith on display- not only that but jump through hoops to prove your worth. It's too much for me right now. I feel love for God and Christ more than ever right now and feel so strong in my faith but I also feel so lost and like I am all alone in the world."

Hi Mag,

Just want to say that I feel the same. I feel very strong, yet very alone and it makes me wonder if I'm not so strong afterall. So you're not alone either.
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#42 of 49 Old 04-18-2010, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok I had a little epiphany. I was rereading Called Out of Darkness by Anne Rice, about her return to Catholicism and found these quote quite helpful and enlightening.


Quote:
I think I can safely say I never put my dilemma before God. I never knelt down before Him and said, “Please help me with this.” I failed to perceive Him as a source of creative solutions to one’s personal problems. I failed to see Him as a Person of Infinite Compassion. My religious mind was an authoritarian mind, and once I found myself at odds with God, I couldn’t speak to Him. I couldn’t question Him. Instead I made decisions about Him. And they amounted to rejection of His existence, and a determination to face the world with a new courage which seemed right.
This is true for me too.

And on how she managed to come back to the church after 38 years

Quote:
In the moment of surrender, I let go of all the theological or social questions which had kept me from Him for countless years. I simply let them go. There was the sense, profound and wordless, that if He knew everything I did not have to know everything, and that, in seeking to know everything, I’d been, all of my life, missing the entire point. No social paradox, no historic disaster, no hideous record of injustice or misery should keep me from Him. No question of Scriptural integrity, no torment over the fate of this or that atheist or gay friend, no worry for those condemned and ostracized by my church or any other church should stand between me and Him. The reason? It was magnificently simple: He knew how or why everything happened; He knew the disposition of every single soul. He wasn’t going to let anything happen by accident! Nobody was going to go to Hell by mistake. This was His world, all this! He had complete control of it; His justice, His mercy—were not our justice or our mercy. What folly to even imagine such a thing. I didn’t have to know how He was going to save the un-lettered and the unbaptized, or how He would redeem the conscientious heathen who had never spoken His name. I didn’t have to know how my gay friends would find their way to Redemption; or how my hardworking secular humanist friends could or would receive the power of His Saving Grace. I didn’t have to know why good people suffered agony or died in pain. He knew. And it was His knowing that overwhelmed me, His knowing that became completely real to me, His knowing that became the warp and woof of the Universe which He had made.
So profound. I don't even know what else to say, but these two parts are a real help to me.
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#43 of 49 Old 04-18-2010, 04:37 PM
 
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I feel for you! I go through this too. I can argue anything from any side! but then I end up depressed.
that's when I realize I need to be seeking God instead of a religion. if I find a religion on the way so be it! Generally when your eyes are on finding God you end up where you are supposed to be.

(I realize this isn't as simple as it sounds especially if you are looking into faiths that don't believe in one God - but i suppose you could think of it as "truth" instead? I'm not sure b/c I have always believed in God regardless)

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#44 of 49 Old 04-18-2010, 07:14 PM
 
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Those are some very profound words.
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#45 of 49 Old 04-18-2010, 10:07 PM
 
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"that's when I realize I need to be seeking God instead of a religion. if I find a religion on the way so be it! Generally when your eyes are on finding God you end up where you are supposed to be."
--------------------
That's the point I came to as well. In 6 months I went from searching through Roman/Norse/Sumerian gods/godesses and various pagan/meditation ideas to the unfortunate point of being face to face with Jesus, as described in the New Testament, who stated that He was also the great I AM of the Old Testament. I say unfortunate because prior to that 6 month search I had completely written of anything to do with Christianity. After agreeing with myself that I would at least give it a try and see what happened, it came to be that this is the way I have found a closeness with God that I've never had before, and has increased over the years.
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#46 of 49 Old 04-18-2010, 10:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Those are some very profound words.

I know, they leave me completely speechless. Just reading them brings tears to my eyes.
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#47 of 49 Old 04-19-2010, 09:01 AM
 
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I might have to read that book, I can identify a lot with that as well. Very moving.

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#48 of 49 Old 04-19-2010, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Cherry Bomb.

I feel so relieved just reading them, like that I can let all the questions go unanswered and it will be ok now.
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#49 of 49 Old 04-19-2010, 07:42 PM
 
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Thanks for sharing that, Arduinna. I know I'll be chewing on that for a while.

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