What Happens When You Lose Your Faith? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 08-07-2010, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm finding it nearly impossible to believe in the mystical/magical/spiritual side of life these days For me, that's a big deal - my spiritual life has always been my center, my roots, my favorite part of myself.

I've been exposed to so much 'scientific' information, dis-belief, patronizing comments, and on and on. My faith is waning.

I don't want to lose my faith, but I also don't want to believe things that are not true.

Has this happened to anyone? What did you do about it? Was it a blessing in disguise? What came out of it?

TIA.

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#2 of 12 Old 08-07-2010, 09:00 PM
 
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There's plenty of wonder and amazement in the world to my eyes without believing in magic or magical beings.
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#3 of 12 Old 08-07-2010, 09:09 PM
 
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Hate to sound wishy-washy, but then, I'm UU.... Which faith are you losing? There are some where cultural observance and membership in the community is as important as inner belief, or more so, and others where inner belief is more important. Even within Christianity, to take the US majority example, the relative importance of inner faith vs. community ties varies by denomination and region. So what you would "do"-- if anything-- would depend on those factors, on whether you want to maintain ties to your religious community for social or cultural reasons, and on what you want the nature of those ties to be.

If you don't belong to a community and your faith has been more of a private thing, in the first place, then you don't have to do anything. Not that it isn't something to mourn, if you feel the need to mourn it, but it doesn't require a specific action on your part.

ETA: you also would probably have the option of joining a different faith community that you find to be more rational, if you want to.
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#4 of 12 Old 08-07-2010, 10:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BabyMae09 View Post
I'm finding it nearly impossible to believe in the mystical/magical/spiritual side of life these days For me, that's a big deal - my spiritual life has always been my center, my roots, my favorite part of myself.

I've been exposed to so much 'scientific' information, dis-belief, patronizing comments, and on and on. My faith is waning.

I don't want to lose my faith, but I also don't want to believe things that are not true.

Has this happened to anyone? What did you do about it? Was it a blessing in disguise? What came out of it?

TIA.
Wow, I'm so sorry you are going through this. It's a tough road to walk, to be sure. I don't know that I have anything helpful to say other than, I had very little faith my whole life because I was SO busy questioning. I knew all the "scientific" information and was constantly wanting to know how it all fit together. I was working so hard to understand, I didn't bother to feel.

So, yes, I lost (for a very long time) what little faith I had. And yes, it was a blessing. What happened is that I was forced to experience everything in a very different way and navigate my own path. By exploring it myself with no pressure I ended up with very strong faith, and that was an amazing gift. One that carries me every day.

That doesn't mean I don't like the science....I do. I just don't see it as being separate. Why does it have to be? I can give you several examples from both sides as to how the spiritual aspect and the biological aspect are really kind of one in the same. I remember reading The Biology of Belief and practically weeping because it showed in such simple terms what I knew deep down.

I know this doesn't change anything for you, but I couldn't read and not respond. If you just trust that everything happening IS for your highest good, trust and have faith that no matter where it leads you it's okay you will get through this. I guess the only advice I'd give you is don't put pressure on yourself. Crises of faith can be extremely powerful, and pretty amazing spiritual people have them too. You aren't alone.
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#5 of 12 Old 08-08-2010, 02:25 PM
 
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I have two types of thoughts, which rather seem to be in opposition. But I think it depends on what you mean by your faith.

The first is - maybe there is in fact something you should be reconsidering. You mention that science somehow is impacting your faith. What do you mean by that? If you mean your religious beliefs seem to be contradicted by science, why do you think that is?

On the other hand, if you think your religious beliefs are sound, but simply seem to lack trust in them, then what you need to do is pray to have it. The act of doing so is in itself an act of faith - I would say it is the substance of faith really.

But you don't get to get out of submitting religious belief to intellectual scrutiny because it happens to be religion. God gave us brains so we could understand what things are really worthy of our faith.

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#6 of 12 Old 08-08-2010, 11:29 PM
 
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My loss of faith was really just a matter of doing a lot of reading and reflecting and researching, to a point where I had to acknowledge to myself that it was time to be honest. I got to a point where I had to stop pretending that there is a magical being controlling the universe.

It's been wonderful. As a pp mentioned, there's so much in nature that's awe-inspiring. It's terrific not to have to engage in the tortured rationalizations and suspension of reason that my prior religion required.
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#7 of 12 Old 08-10-2010, 12:43 PM
 
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I "lost my faith" almost 2 years ago. Back then I was a hardcore Christian. (please note that I am not saying anything bad about Christianity here - just my experience.) I went through some life experiences where, like you, I couldn't make the pieces of my faith fit with what I knew of life anymore. To me, that made what I was believing in, untrue. It wasn't that I was angry necessarily, or that I was being selfish (which are all things people told me), it was that the very logic of it didn't make sense in my mind, and I couldn't truthfully say I "believed" anymore because of it.

I think no matter what faith you "lose" it can be incredibly scary and crushing. I was like you in that my faith was one of my favorite parts about myself. It defined a lot of who I was and had become. I had to learn who I was all over again, and in so doing, found other avenues of faith that work for me now.

I'm still exploring it, but it feels good to really search for the truth. I agree with the other posters that science and spirituality don't have to live separately in all religions. It may take some looking around, but you may find that there is something out there that you feel does fit the truth. Hang in there mama. If you want to talk more about it, feel free to PM me.
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#8 of 12 Old 08-10-2010, 04:34 PM
 
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hey i am v. v. lucky with my chosen subject to study.

in anthropology i get a bit of both. i get the science facts AND i get the indigenous beliefs.

and i find there is no separation. in fact the science background has further strengthened my faith.

so when i stare at the world of moss through the electron microscope i cant help but believe i see 'god' there. in those tiny miniatures.

some of the top scientists are also some of the most spirituals (not necessarily organised religious).

as pp have said, when i lose faith - EVERYTHING turns into fear.

and yet questioning my faith is the best way to strengthen it.

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#9 of 12 Old 08-10-2010, 06:13 PM
 
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hey i am v. v. lucky with my chosen subject to study.

in anthropology i get a bit of both. i get the science facts AND i get the indigenous beliefs.

and i find there is no separation. in fact the science background has further strengthened my faith.

so when i stare at the world of moss through the electron microscope i cant help but believe i see 'god' there. in those tiny miniatures.

some of the top scientists are also some of the most spirituals (not necessarily organised religious).

as pp have said, when i lose faith - EVERYTHING turns into fear.

and yet questioning my faith is the best way to strengthen it.
what a lovely post, and I completely agree.
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#10 of 12 Old 08-10-2010, 06:48 PM
 
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It's interesting that I have stumbled on your post today, as I also just today stumbled on this research about pastors who have lost their faith: http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/o...ing-Clergy.pdf

I figure I'll post it in hopes that it helps you feel less alone...that in fact, there are people who have devoted their whole lives to ministry and find they struggle with their faith.

I'm pro-adoption reform, but not anti-adoption.
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#11 of 12 Old 08-10-2010, 06:50 PM
 
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my father is clergy and he still does...it's one of the reasons I have so much respect for the man.
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#12 of 12 Old 08-11-2010, 03:46 AM
 
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Losing my faith was the best thing that ever happened to me. I struggled to believe for years, because it's just what you DO. I come from a religious family, so the thought of turning away was really scary. However, I got sick of struggling, and just let things be. I now identify as a spiritual atheist, and it's SO freeing! I don't have to wonder why people here in the US get the pay raise they pray for, but millions of people die in third world countries. I don't have to sell myself short by chalking up my morality to a higher power. I don't worry about eternal damnation. Atheism/agnosticism sounds so depressing in theory, but it's so happy and simplistic; we're born, we live, we die, and after that...who knows? Personally, I believe in reincarnation, but I also accept that if there's nothing, I'm certainly not going to know.

I'm sorry if you were looking for responses as to how to regain your faith. There's such a stigma against non-believers, like we're unhappy and such; NOT true! There's nothing wrong with not being religious, so if that's where you feel you are headed, explore it without guilt or shame.

I found this video to be very inspiring, because even though I don't believe in a god, I'm a spiritual person. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2nfXfTg92E

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