May 9, 2019 at 9:51 pm #293149
Warning: this is long. I’m sorry. Don’t feel obligated to read this. I just sometimes feel like putting what I feel like out there, maybe looking for answers. But I also don’t think there is an answer for me.
I’m not even sure how to describe where I am. I’m mostly confused and lost. Like I don’t know anything. I don’t know how much to share or if there even is a point to. Except that I am looking for some kind of answer or information, that might not exist. Not the “feel good” kind of answers, but maybe something that will help me accept my consequences, go through them with the right attitude, and try to have the right kind of relationship with God.
I believed i nor came from a religion that emphasizes meditation, seeking joy from within, and karma. During a semester in college, I was meditating pretty regularly. I was so happy with life and God. Maybe because I felt like God loved me because he was answering all of my prayers: I got into the college I wanted, I got a best friend exactly like I had always wanted. As a side note, I used to enjoy dressing up and wearing heels.
Despite being so happy, for some reason, I started to turn my focus outwards. Spending too much time with friends, worrying about school and studying. That summer, I went to study abroad, which was completely unnecessary. While I felt I gained confidence in how to be around other people, not getting lost and figuring out my way with a map, it worsened my being outward instead of inward.
Then towards the end of the next year, my friendship with my best friend was falling apart. I had stubborn chalazia in one of my eyelids that just wouldn’t go away despite how much I prayed for it and tried to treat it. It felt like God wasn’t listening to me. He was taking away everything He had given me. Why? I’m now realizing that I have a manipulative personality. I got upset with God, stopped talking to Him, told Him I could prove that I can be happy without Him. Maybe as a way to get Him to give me what I wanted. But who did I think I was fooling?
I continued being overly social with people. And this led to me having an affair with a married man. For some reason, I thought I was just helping him not feel too bad about himself and prevent him from cheating on his wife because I know he really loves her (she has been being distant with him). But eventually, we just became too close. Even so, I thought it was fine. All the things I used to imagine God telling me as expressing His love for me, or ways I’d love myself, or ways I kept my mind open to if God wanted me to have an intimate relationship with someone (I had felt called to be single since a kid, but thought I should keep my mind open in case I was wrong?), this guy would say and do for me. I thought, maybe this was meant to be? (I know, what was I thinking???). At a church service, the monk was once talking about intuition. But then he said to be careful, because deep desires and temptation can feel a lot like intuition. So you have to search to figure out which it is. And that’s when I realized that this person was perhaps a deep desire or temptation or test. Not someone that was meant to be in my life in this way. I never wanted to get married to him or anything, but just be there to support him. And that was sufficient for me. And he would try to help me with stress and emotions, too.
I ruined my health probably because of the guilt but not being able to listen to my conscious, along with stress from joining a PhD program and working full-time. I started losing my hair, which made me more depressed. And I’ve been upset and depressed over something so vain for about 5 years now. I know it’s so vain, but I just can’t seem to make how I look stop affecting me. I’ve gotten to the point where I realize this hair loss and the other health but more aesthetic issues were all smaller lessons or attempts from God to open my eyes to what I was doing: which was being overly social; making my happiness dependent on outside things like how I dressed, wearing jewelry, etc.; plus, now I had sinned very gravely. Despite understanding this on the good days, I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel. A part of me feels like I deserve feeling miserable, so just accept it. But then I feel like that is vain (so many people have much much bigger issues like fighting for their lives), so it shouldn’t be bothering me. I feel like I shouldn’t pray for it because I did this to myself and it could be my karma, so what can God do about it. But even so, I sometimes pray for full hair again. I have tried to focus on becoming a better person, but now I feel like what is the point now? It’s not like I’ll get anything back or anything will improve. I don’t know how to pray. I don’t know what kind of relationship to have with God. How to feel submissive to Him, to surrender to Him, to realize I was the one that has been wrong all this time.
I don’t know if anyone out there can even help me with this. Perhaps I should look for the answer within, if there even is one. Maybe I know what the answer is, but don’t have the strength to accept it fully. My ego is way too big, apparently. How do I get rid of it?
Also, I noticed that there have been 3 or so recurring life lessons that I keep trying to learn but somehow still haven’t. It feels like I keep trying to make changes, but they’ve only been temporary. Like masks or clothes I put on that then come off. I’ve wasted my life until now. I feel like God had given me everything. He did whatever He could to prevent me from making the mistakes I did. My mom was intuitive and very much tried to teach me to be inwards instead of focusing on having friends. She even once said that I should become strong otherwise I’ll have an affair with a married man. I didn’t believe her then. But now I see that God gave me everything I needed to succeed in this life. All I had to do is not mess up. But I messed up, and I feel like I’ve ruined everything. I have nothing to look forward to anymore. Even if I become the person I was supposed to be, it’s because I messed up. Not because I obeyed God and my parents, or out of love for them, or for the sake of being a good person. So, there’s just no point anymore. It won’t mean anything anymore.May 10, 2019 at 1:31 pm #293201
All words are symbols and the word ‘God’ is a big is a big one – meaning that when we unpack all the attributes that the word points to it can be overwhelming. Mostly we tend to mistake the map for the territory or the word as being the thing is only points to.
When you use the word God what is it you picture? Something outside yourself, something withing, both? Many approach god as if he/she/it is a alien being with powers to punish and reward – I don’t recommend that approach
We are bigger the big and smaller the small….the human being is not merely a drop that can merge with the Ocean, but a drop that also contains the Ocean. Every divine attribute is latent within the human heart, and by the cooperation of human will with divine grace these attributes can be awakened and manifested.
We human beings contain within ourselves the potential to experience completion, to know our intimate relationship to the whole of Being in such a way that we reflect this completion through ourselves.
My favorite form of prayer is listening.
“You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen. Joseph Campell”
If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”― <span class=”authorOrTitle”>Joseph Campbell</span>May 10, 2019 at 1:58 pm #293205
I love reading interesting stories, and yours really got to me. I know how it is to feel lost, and this post is great for sharing and helping others.
I am no monotheist, but I would like to share some insights about your thoughts and feelings. Myabe they would help you see things from a different perspective.
If you see it this way: Do you think God wants us to be misarable in this whole life? Probably not.
As time passes by we grow, we change and evolve to become better versions of ourselves. Maybe you miss the person you were before. Don’t be so tough with yourself. Your feelings are ok, let them be. We are all humans, it’s just our nature.
You say you are trying to become a better person, that´s great. And you should do it just for yourself.
Life is just about ourselves. Just about who you are right now and who do you want to become. Seriously, fell in love with yourself, then you’d be able to see the real beaty of life: when you manage to project all the love you have within you and share it to the world. I mean that’s like heaven to me.
About the relationship with this married man: it´s true, desire often makes us blind to reality, but you could always learn from it. Don´t let it drag you further., feel guilty if you have to.
Accept it, ask and pray for forgivenes, then, just move on. Don’t get stuck thinking God doesn’t love you anymore, or worst, that you don’t deserve his love! Deep inside I’m sure you know the way. Trust me on this.
My best wishes to you and hope to read you soon.
Billy.May 14, 2019 at 10:37 pm #293815
Hi, sorry to hear about the troubling thoughts you are having. I dont have all the answers but I think I can help a little. The very fact that you have these thoughts and feelings show that y ou regret some of the things that happened. And, yes, Gid does love you! He (or however you view God) espee loves us when we admit our failures. Then we can start fresh and move forward! While being yourself is always best, I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting friends or people to love. We are all important. Of course what others think about our looks or job or education isn’t very important. But caring for others is good. I believe in God. Maybe He appeared in various ways to various people, I dont know. But whiever He is, He wants the best for us. Move forward. Start fresh! You are worthwhile. Find inner happiness and also feel free to care for others. One shouldn’t cancel out the other. It is hard and sad to lose others but someday we will be together. I am sending you good thoughts and a spiritual hug! Take care!May 15, 2019 at 7:18 am #293837
That is a long explanation, so I have first broken down the pertinent observations you made into point form for easier processing:
- When you went to study abroad, you worsened toward being more outward, and less so inward.
- Relationship with best friend falling apart. Why? You have a manipulative personality.
- Need to understand relationship with God.
- Deep desires and temptations can feel a lot like intuition.
- Overly social personality resulting in affair with a married man.
- The relationship with the married man was possibly a deep desire, temptation or test. And also for emotional support for yourself.
- Overstep the boundaries of what you initially thought was to support him instead of also having an intimate relationship him. Guilt related to intimate relationship with a married man.
- Stress and deterioration of health from relationship and a full plate of work and studies.
- Upset and stressed over loss of hair for 5 years and consider yourself vain.
- Realizing relying on the external to find happiness is a fallacy.
- Because you sinned, you believe you deserve to be miserable.
- You think that your issue on this is not worthy compared to larger issues humankind are going through.
- You feel you don’t deserve to pray for a resolution because you did this to yourself and its related to karma.
- You tried focusing on becoming a better person, but ask “what is the point” because you don’t know how the situation will improve.
- Your ego is too big, Not sure how do you get rid of it.
Based on the observations you have made, would it be fair to say there are common themes? Namely,
- You possibly have a manipulative personality, too large an ego, lacking introspection of yourself, misunderstanding if your desires/temptations are intuitions. And an uphill battle to improve yourself.
- Guilt from having an affair with a married man, causing your physical and depression to deteriorate.
- Questioning your self-worth because your issue is not important enough and a fatalistic attitude because you don’t know if the situation will improve.
- A need for a deeper understanding between you and God.
The following are my thoughts, opinions and suggestions based on personal experiences. Just a caveat that I may be wrong or there may be more suitable approaches that can help you resolve your issues quicker.
Based on your comments, it is obvious you conscience and thus a moral code you live by. Likely a framework based on an Abrahamic religion. In trying to live up to your moral code, you have run afoul of it.
Firstly, I can empathize with the emotional and physical turmoil you are presently encountering, as I have had challenges both emotionally and physically in my past.
So jumping right into the issues at hand, it is my opinion that one works hard to live by their moral code, but rare that one always attains it from the start. I see it as more of a work in progress that one strives to attain fully in the future. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Almost none start out being a Saint. Many people work earnestly with learning, practice to grow in hopes to become one. Even then, very few can attain this perfection. Think of a moral code not as a Law that must be met today, but that you work hard to improve yourself to strive to achieve one day. This gives you bandwidth to work on being a better person, to transform and change over time to be better.
The guilt you have seems to be unforgiving, lasting 5 years now? It has caused you long term physical and emotional suffering. As an aside, the hair loss may also be another sign. A sign that there is a lack of harmony in you that can potentially lead to more serious physical issues? Your body may be warning you to change how you are dealing with this issue. Do you think you may be punishing yourself for the affair you had (I assume it’s in the past now)?
Repentance can be a powerful tool. Do you feel you have repented enough? Do you think it may be time to forgive yourself? What’s done is done. We can only move forwards. We can only learn and be better for that experience.
Also, forgiveness is a powerful tool. You may want to forgive yourself of your mistakes. We are only human.
By not letting go of the past, isn’t it a form of attachment? This attachment has manifested in deteriorating physical health and depression. If you continue to struggle with this attachment, you may want to understand more about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Or different spiritual traditions have guidance on non-attachment, such as Buddhism. It may help to free yourself. A qualified health professional can help as well.
I’m not sure if it’s related to the guilt you are holding, but I sense that you can be too hard on yourself. Blaming yourself for your predicament, and not allowing yourself to overcome your guilt. This has led to you feeling that you haven’t changed and developed. And even worse, that there is no point to it. Another very powerful tool I suggest you can use is Love. Love yourself in all aspects! Tell yourself that you deserve happiness, health, prosperity, stability, harmony, etc.
You have blamed yourself for something you consider a serious sin. Does it mean you can’t move forward anymore? You are working towards bettering yourself, studying for a Phd, and working full-time to support yourself and possibly others. As you work hard to improve yourself in those areas, why not also be open to look inside to forgive and love yourself?
To answer the 3 questions you asked in the second paragraph, for the first, I think you have more than accepted the consequences, since you have been punishing yourself for years. You have been judge, jury and jailer. Metaphorically, don’t you think you have done your time?
The last question you posed: “having the right relationship with God”, that will require a separate post. I will provide a follow-up post on my thoughts to that question and Point 1 (in common themes) as I believe there are inter-related.
And lastly, regarding my suggestions, throw away what you don’t think is useful, keep what resonates. Let me know your thoughts.