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Identity loss

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  • This topic has 8 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 6 years ago by Evan.
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  • #101690
    Anoniem
    Participant

    I am undergoing a crisis. I have been a Christian for all my life, but always felt there was more to spirituality. I started studying religion, and found that I was right. Unfortunately my Christian friends and family did not take well to my curiosity, and I was disowned and abandoned. I feel a little lost, not knowing where I fit in now. I can not be a Christian anymore, and even though I feel drawn to Buddhism, it is almost impossible for me to change my religion, since my community is Christian, and everything around it is based on Christianity. I can not stand them anymore, they say one thing and live another. I cant stand the double standards. I don’t fit in in this harsh capitalistic society. I am not coping. I just want to sit on a mountain and meditate. Even a trip to the groceries store is a challenge for me. There is absolutely no compassion from these so called Christians. They drive in their big cars as if the road belongs to them, they curse and throw signals and Sunday they praise the Lord for all their material things! I am a married mother of 2, and the only thing I know is Christianity. It is not easy to pack up and leave to another country, in search of what? I don’t even know what I am looking for. How do I protect myself and my children from these people without being judgemental, and how do I cope in this competitive, money driven environment, when all I am seeking is peace and spiritual growth?

    #101695
    Inky
    Participant

    Hi anoniem,

    Go online and find out where the Buddhist temples or meditation centers are. Or go on Meet Up and find a group of like minded people. Or start one!

    Also consider Judaism, Unitarianism, or Quakerism.

    Even if something’s fifty miles away, I would still go and make a day of it once a month, even if it’s to clear your head.

    I think you are just surrounded by jerk-y people. In my church no one acts like that. Not that they’re perfect. Not at all! But to be disowned/abandoned? You might as well move! Move to a place near a city. California or in the North East would be great. You CAN live simply and happily in the States! Believe it!

    Good Luck,

    Inky

    #101696
    Anoniem
    Participant

    Thank you for your reply Inky,
    California sounds great, I am from Johannesburg, in sunny South Africa though!
    But I will keep on searching, so glad I found this site, it is helpful already!

    #101704
    anita
    Participant

    Dear anoniem:

    No need to do anything at this point, is my humble evaluation of your situation. Let it all settle before making any decisions. It is not easy to experience such a change, a change in core beliefs. It is like an earthquake of sorts happening in your brain. So you have to wait, let things calm down, let the dust settle.

    And you don’t have to choose another religion. It is possible to live with no religion at all, with no church, temple, or any “special” place. All you need is peace and quiet in that most important place in the world for you, and that is, that short distance in between your ears.

    So please take it easy, go on with your life and let the dust settle. No need to pretend you are a Christian, no need to move, to search for a replacement religion…

    And please do post anytime.

    anita

    #101718
    UnconditionalPeace
    Participant

    Hi anoniem,

    I agree with anita that there is not necessarily any need to change religions. Christianity is not defined by its followers; the fact that some Christians are judgmental (even toward fellow Christians!) and the fact that they occasionally do nasty or immoral things (and sometimes in the name of Christianity!) doesn’t mean that it’s a bad religion. I guess Christianity just isn’t enough for these people to get them to behave responsibly. If the lesson you get from Christianity is to love and respect everyone, then I’d say you may not have any spiritual crisis at all.

    I consider myself a syncretist; while I am Jewish on a practical level, I incorporate aspects of other religions into my personal spirituality. This may be something you could consider (though it doesn’t sound like it would help you in dealing with your friends and family). Every religion has its limits; for example, I became dissatisfied with what I perceive to be my religion’s condoning of violence in the name of God. Yet, Judaism still appealed to me on a practical level because it helped give me a mindful, meaningful, organized life. So I use my original religion to organize my life on a practical level, while deriving a sense of inner and outer piece from faiths like Hinduism and Buddhism. There’s nothing wrong with treating religion like a buffet, taking what you want from each one. As long as your beliefs make sense to you.

    #101796
    Anoniem
    Participant

    Thank you everyone, I do feel calmer about the situation now. It felt like I was grasping at straws, and that my solid foundation was crumbling at my feet. I definitely lost my spiritual balance, with no support system or safety net. You guys managed to put things into perspective again. Thank you for helping me to get back onto my feet.

    Unintentionally I have been taking from various religions what resonates with my soul, and moulded it into what I now believe is my new identity. And then, I read this the other day: “My spirituality is unique to myself. I make no apologies for not fitting into a spiritual box. I create my own magic by allowing what I choose to celebrate in my life.”

    I guess there are other like me…
    Thank you xxx

    #101867
    anita
    Participant

    Dear anoniem:

    I very much like your quote about not fitting into a spiritual box. You are welcome and please do post anytime.

    anita

    #105425
    Tamara Nicole
    Participant

    So heres the the thing with Buddhism. I have been practicing it for quite a while now (not the easiest thing to do because you have to change your whole mindset) but its totally worth it. Now I also believe in God. I am not a buddhist by religion, i am just a practitioner. You can do the same thing! I still believe in my God and i still can live the life of buddhism. I read tons of books and none of them say you have to abandon your original beliefs! best of luck to you! 🙂

    #105437
    Evan
    Participant

    Hi Anoniem,

    Welcome aboard 🙂

    For me there is so much to say on this topic that books are indeed already filled with ideas and opinions….. So I will skip most details and share my understanding.

    Most religions and belief systems all point to the same thing. Something the brain/mind can not understand because thought is itself a form, and the messages all point to a formless.

    The religions/beliefs all have a framework around them, which enables a certain language to be shared, so the messages can be transfered without having to reinvent the communication level – over time, distance, cultures, etc….

    Regardless in what belief or religion you follow, the purpose of these frameworks is to enable you to realise who you are. Follow your heart, as that is the path to a greater understanding of yourself, and discovery within that all religions, belief, philosophies, traditional stories etc point to anyway.

    There are a thousand paths that lead to the same door. The most important part of this, is that you are walking on one of them.

    From Aikido – seemingly unrelated, you can feel the truth within the words….

    Morihei Ueshiba – The Art Of Peace

    The art of peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the art of peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here for no other purpose than to realize your inner divinity and manifest your inner enlightenment, foster peace in your own life, and then apply the art to all that you encounter.

    Best

    Evan

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