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Author Topic: Overcoming personal skepticisms and childhood guilt  (Read 3071 times)

Serenjai

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Re: Overcoming personal skepticisms and childhood guilt
« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2014, 06:20:52 am »
Quote from: carillion;153811

I sometimes think it's just the pure loneliness of the unpopulated road we are drawn to that causes us such discomfort.


 
I hadn't thought about this in that way.  Thanks for your reply!

BrighidsAura

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Re: Overcoming personal skepticisms and childhood guilt
« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2014, 12:56:35 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;153225
"God", whichever god, is very possible that inner voice within you. Let it express itself, let it explore, and let it hold onto the things in your past that touched you. Because this is your journey, not God's journey, not Aphrodite's journey, not Ganesha's journey.  It's yours and not anywhere near over. Don't lose sight of that in favor of what some possible deity may think or feel. Do it for you, not for some idea of the divine. Because you'll find the divine inside, and not in some feeble imitation which you may think is the appropriate method.

 
This!

Beautifully said.

Arthurine

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Re: Overcoming personal skepticisms and childhood guilt
« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2014, 12:11:43 am »
Quote from: Serenjai;153221
Hello :)  I am a long time lurker and would like to start by saying thank you for all the invaluable support and information that I have found here over the years.

To give a little background, I was raised in a strict Christian household.  My parents were (and still are) missionaries to India.  I even went with them to India on a missionary trip when I was 13.  This was an unexplainable wonder and joy to me for so many reasons but also became a catalyst for my religious curiosity, much to my parents dismay.  There was a moment on that trip when we had stopped at a store and I wandered into a small Hindu temple next door to it.  I was enthralled, it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and so different from anything I had ever experienced.  I felt things when I stood there.  My dad came to find me and I was reluctant to leave.  He scolded me quite harshly for this and actually looked embarrassed because I wanted to stay and look around.

I had many books about Greek and Egyptian mythologies growing up (which were considered "safe" because they were fictional according to my parents) and became even more fascinated with learning all I could about other religions once we got back from India but all my research had to be done in secret.  

I had never felt any kind of connection to my parents faith and resented them and it very much.  Since the Christian religion had been so forced upon me since literally birth, it has been extremely hard overcoming that way of thinking. Even though I don't believe (and never have) what they do, any time I have tried to set up my own path I feel blocked by so many years of Christian influence.

I feel very drawn to Ganesha, Aphrodite, Hathor and Thoth.  I have read so much about them all and continue to do so.  I have had a small altar for a while and I have loose rituals I perform.  I find it beautiful and comforting.

But there is always a tiny voice in the back of my head that is saying, "This is wrong, there are no other gods!  It's Sunday morning, why aren't you putting on your church shoes!"  It weighs me down and is so discouraging.  

I know this is probably something that will never go away but I feel that it hampers any real personal spiritual progress that I long for.

Have any of you dealt with something similar?  What helped you overcome it?

Thanks so much for reading this longwinded ramble.

 
Welcome and congrats on leaving the lurker-closet! It took me quite a while as well. :ashamed:

For me, guilt has always come in larger doses than it should. My anxiety has always caused me to blame myself for anything and everything whether I want to or not. It's taken me 8ish years of therapy to stop feeling so much dread every time I go against the way I was raised, even in a small way, and this is even with having very liberal parents.  

What I would advise is therapy or just talking/typing to a good friend about your feelings on the matter, in addition to a lot of reflection. Find quiet places to meditate on the issue and journal about your feelings and convictions. Getting feelings like that out on paper can be so beneficial; it feels less like they're setting up camp in your brain and more like you're releasing them, layer by layer.

Best of luck and any time you felt like talking you can feel free to message me. :D

--Arcadia

   With any luck, I\'ll grow up to be Nanny Ogg.    

Serenjai

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Re: Overcoming personal skepticisms and childhood guilt
« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2014, 06:01:33 am »
Quote from: Arthurine;154263
Welcome and congrats on leaving the lurker-closet! It took me quite a while as well. :ashamed:

For me, guilt has always come in larger doses than it should. My anxiety has always caused me to blame myself for anything and everything whether I want to or not. It's taken me 8ish years of therapy to stop feeling so much dread every time I go against the way I was raised, even in a small way, and this is even with having very liberal parents.  

What I would advise is therapy or just talking/typing to a good friend about your feelings on the matter, in addition to a lot of reflection. Find quiet places to meditate on the issue and journal about your feelings and convictions. Getting feelings like that out on paper can be so beneficial; it feels less like they're setting up camp in your brain and more like you're releasing them, layer by layer.

Best of luck and any time you felt like talking you can feel free to message me. :D

--Arcadia

 
Thank you so much for this lovely response!

Kahina

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Re: Overcoming personal skepticisms and childhood guilt
« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2014, 10:21:37 pm »
Quote from: Serenjai;153221
But there is always a tiny voice in the back of my head that is saying, "This is wrong, there are no other gods!  It's Sunday morning, why aren't you putting on your church shoes!"  It weighs me down and is so discouraging.  

I know this is probably something that will never go away but I feel that it hampers any real personal spiritual progress that I long for.

Have any of you dealt with something similar?  What helped you overcome it?


I haven't felt guilt so much as bitterness about Christianity and its associated faiths. Anytime people start talking to me about God, or telling me that I'll 'eventually' believe just upsets me. Even when it's expressed in a benign manner, I just get upset. I've heard about it for a good portion of my life, and I don't care for it.

Having gotten into witchcraft and training my psychic prowess kind of flies in the face of what I've known, being a skeptic and having dealt with Christianity. While I effectively practice feeling good about what I do, I still have to rewire some of my thoughts. The whole God/Satan, good/bad and heaven/hell dichotomy makes it difficult for me to take a more nuanced approach into spirits.

Just know that unlearning will take time. You are doing great by just exploring what you're interested in and practicing. Over time, that inner voice you'll hearing will diminish as you gain the knowledge and faith to continue forward. I know it's hard (because you want that to be gone now), but these things do require some patience. So far, though, it sounds like you've taken a great start!
"be careful, you are not in Wonderland. i\'ve heard the strange madness long growing in your soul, in your isolation."

Serenjai

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Re: Overcoming personal skepticisms and childhood guilt
« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2014, 11:58:59 pm »
Quote from: Kahina;154321


Just know that unlearning will take time. You are doing great by just exploring what you're interested in and practicing. Over time, that inner voice you'll hearing will diminish as you gain the knowledge and faith to continue forward. I know it's hard (because you want that to be gone now), but these things do require some patience. So far, though, it sounds like you've taken a great start!

 
Thank you for the encouragement, it means so much.  :)

cartowheel

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Re: Overcoming personal skepticisms and childhood guilt
« Reply #21 on: July 30, 2014, 11:41:09 am »
I'm going through something similar right now, actually.

I'm a born and raised Catholic, but in a very relaxed and liberal Christian family.  My parents never forced it on us, but I did go through years of religious education until my confirmation at 16, which was similar to your influences from your parents.  I was always fascinated with other religions and gods/deities, but was always too afraid to explore them until an Eastern art history course in college last year, where I learned about Buddhism.  

Since then, I've developed a theory that all gods/deities exist and have existed in harmony with each other, since no one really, truly knows anyway.  After developing that theory, I've embraced Buddhism, as well as keeping my Catholic faith (after all, Buddhists do not worship a god), and began practicing witchcraft.  I'm even trying to reach out to other deities, specifically Hermes and Aphrodite without worshiping them the way I do the Christian God.

The way I see it, if God were not okay with me branching out and educating myself, why would these things be in my life right now, right?

I also don't talk about my faith very much, to anyone, except my fiancee, who shares similar beliefs (she's Christian, but doesn't believe in organized religion, and also practices witchcraft, almost mixing Pagan in there), and a friend of mine from college who is agnostic, but interested in other religions.  My town is very small, has six churches within walking distance of each other with different branches of Christianity, and our local pizza place had "honk in you love Jesus' on their sign at one point, so being outward about my faith is not a good idea.

I'm not sure how much help that was, but I hope it was a little insightful.  C:
« Last Edit: July 30, 2014, 11:46:26 am by cartowheel »

veggiewolf

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Re: Overcoming personal skepticisms and childhood guilt
« Reply #22 on: July 30, 2014, 12:34:18 pm »
Quote from: cartowheel;154345
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Serenjai

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Re: Overcoming personal skepticisms and childhood guilt
« Reply #23 on: July 30, 2014, 11:56:39 pm »
Quote from: cartowheel;154345


Since then, I've developed a theory that all gods/deities exist and have existed in harmony with each other, since no one really, truly knows anyway.  After developing that theory, I've embraced Buddhism, as well as keeping my Catholic faith (after all, Buddhists do not worship a god), and began practicing witchcraft.  I'm even trying to reach out to other deities, specifically Hermes and Aphrodite without worshiping them the way I do the Christian God.

The way I see it, if God were not okay with me branching out and educating myself, why would these things be in my life right now, right?

 C:

 
These are some interesting points to consider.  While I don't have a Christian faith to keep, I can certainly work towards being more accepting of my past and trying to have everything work in harmony.  That seems less stressful than fighting it and having anxiety about it.  Thank you!

anonymus

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Re: Overcoming personal skepticisms and childhood guilt
« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2014, 12:48:02 pm »
Quote from: Serenjai;153221


Sorry I don't have much in terms advice just wanted to express sympathy for what your going through; my mother did not take my apostasy from Christianity very well, and she still does not respect my decision. If you need to vent feel free to message and I'll be more than happy to listen.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 12:48:49 pm by anonymus »

Serenjai

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Re: Overcoming personal skepticisms and childhood guilt
« Reply #25 on: July 31, 2014, 04:27:51 pm »
Quote from: anonymus;154395
Sorry I don't have much in terms advice just wanted to express sympathy for what your going through; my mother did not take my apostasy from Christianity very well, and she still does not respect my decision. If you need to vent feel free to message and I'll be more than happy to listen.

 
Hey there, thanks very much!  I am sorry to hear about the troubles with your mother as well.  I have been very frustrated in this regard because even trying to start a conversation with my parents about my beliefs, if any, is met with anger, tears, and accusations of "how can you do this to us?!"

I don't really expect acceptance but I'd like to at least be heard and man, has that aspect been hard to deal with.

My inbox is always open for you (or anyone!) who needs a safe space where they can be listened to!

Harvest Moon

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Re: Overcoming personal skepticisms and childhood guilt
« Reply #26 on: July 31, 2014, 07:00:07 pm »
Quote from: Serenjai;153221
I know this is probably something that will never go away but I feel that it hampers any real personal spiritual progress that I long for.

Have any of you dealt with something similar?

 
(First post - :) )

For myself, it was the idea of feeling a FEMININE presence, versus the masculine God I had shoved down my throat by Seventh Day Adventist parents that proved difficult. Over time it's gotten easier, but at first it just felt plain wrong-as though I were committing adultery!  Did you experience this?

Serenjai

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Re: Overcoming personal skepticisms and childhood guilt
« Reply #27 on: July 31, 2014, 11:59:57 pm »
Quote from: Harvest Moon;154401
(First post - :) )

For myself, it was the idea of feeling a FEMININE presence, versus the masculine God I had shoved down my throat by Seventh Day Adventist parents that proved difficult. Over time it's gotten easier, but at first it just felt plain wrong-as though I were committing adultery!  Did you experience this?

 
Yay, first post!  I can very much relate to this.  I've never really thought of God in masculine/feminine terms but I greatly struggled with thinking of the Christian God as anything but vengeful and well, kinda mean.  My parents whole religion is based on "putting the fear of god" into people and it always just rubbed me SO wrong.  When I tried to stop thinking in those terms, it felt absolutely foreign and still does occasionally.

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