December 5, 2021 at 5:58 am #389383
Has anyone transitioned from one faith to a different belief? Can you offer any advice? All my relationships are of the former and I’m not quite sure what to say to them, especially as this could mean being shunned.December 5, 2021 at 10:38 am #389424
I’m not sure if my situation can translate to yours very well, or at all, but I grew up one way that conflicted with what I knew to be true (as opposed to a belief, or having blind faith). For over 40 years, it was something I kept to myself, including my struggle to find balance.
When I decided it was okay to be true to myself in this situation, it did create a couple new challenges but at least I wasn’t “hiding” any longer. I felt free. Felt I was finally “me.” If someone was going to turn their back on me, well, that would be their choice. I was still the kind, compassionate person I’d always been…just better and tolerant.
In the end, I overcame the fear of being myself, of being spiritual openly, and I learned tolerance, which I lacked just as much as any religious person I’d ever known. We all are supposed be tolerant and accepting, which is what being true to myself allowed me to do. If others shun you, how does this speak to being kind and tolerant, and are these people who should be in your life? They “should” love you, care about you, regardless.
Fear and/or superiority is often the culprit for chastising others, especially in a situation like this.
I think you have to decide which is more important to you at the moment…the people who might shun you or living your true you. Maybe it doesn’t have to be decided right now. Does it? Maybe down the line an opening will come along (the right time) for you to stick your toes in that water.
Also, people surprise us sometimes. I was pretty scared to let people know about me. Not one of my relationships changed. In fact, with a couple notable ones, it opened a new world for them, brought us closer.
Do you have experience in witnessing these people in your life shunning others?
There’s a quote from Black Beauty, which I’ll fail to recall verbatim, but in a nut shell it is something like: You may speak all you want about religion, but if it does not teach us to love and be kind to all people and beasts, then it is all a sham.
We all should be fortunate to walk that walk, but being human, we are works-in-progress. If you do proceed and find resistance, remember this is new to them…tell them not to fear you/be afraid, you are still the same loving soul, and ask them to walk the path of love, acceptance and tolerance that their faith asks them to.
Best wishes, traveler.December 5, 2021 at 1:12 pm #389437
Thank you for your kind reply, SSS, which I’m pondering now.
I’ve witnessed people being/feeling very uncomfortable around people with a different belief and wanting to challenge them. I suppose I do not feel ready to be challenged. So that leaves me with a dilemma of what to say, because I no longer want to take part in some of the same activities with people who know me and I am unsure how to extricate myself from these commitments whilst I process this.December 5, 2021 at 1:51 pm #389447
Do you have to offer specifics? Are you able to say you’re going through some things and just need to step aside. (You are going through something and do need to step aside, so while you are not telling the whole truth, you are not being deceptive with the intention to hurt someone.)December 5, 2021 at 2:00 pm #389450
Yes, thank you, I need to write it out I think, so that I have it clear in my mind. Perhaps a sentence I can easily recall and repeat. Inevitably people will ask and might invite me over to talk about it.
Thanks so much for helping me think this through!December 5, 2021 at 2:17 pm #389453
I don’t know if this is comfortable for you or not, but consider if asked to discuss it for you to say:
I’d really like that/I’d really enjoy that/that would mean a lot to me, but:
I need to have what I say respected/would appreciate respect/hope you can be respectful/would like to ask that you respect what I have to talk about, etc.December 5, 2021 at 2:31 pm #389461
Yes, that’s so helpful. I think establishing at the outset that I won’t be talking about certain issues and then being watchful.
What also comes to mind, is writing down a consequence for me if I were to discuss the issues I don’t want to. I think that will help too.
On reflection, I don’t think I want to spend lots of time with others of the original belief – at least not until I’ve processed more. I’m going to have to carry around with me a bit of paper with this on!December 5, 2021 at 2:32 pm #389465
Thank you SSS!December 5, 2021 at 2:47 pm #389475
Unless the plan is to share only what you need to and exit, the narrative isn’t completely in your control, so I wish you the very best in responding to unwanted inquiries. This clearly means a lot to you and you’ve given it much thought, so it’s likely you will be able to maintain your ground in a respectful manner. It’s harder to fight someone who doesn’t fight back. Be strong, be kind, and realize the tremendous courage it took to have transitioned out of a long-standing circle with independent thought (I’ll assume it was). So we know you have courage, lion. Show your strength and roar quietly.
I know you’re nervous and fearful, but I’m excited for you. Facing fear is freedom. Good for you.December 5, 2021 at 2:56 pm #389477
Thank you SSS, I’m very grateful for your kind replies here. Hopefully I might be able to post an update in the future. Btw, I am curious to know what SSS might stand for, but understand if you’d rather not share. I hope it is inspiring or positive for you.December 5, 2021 at 3:04 pm #389478
Ooooh, update. Yes, please.
(Red face) I always pick something meaningful, but when I first registered with this site, I was distracted and rushed with SSS. But that doesn’t mean I can’t make it meaningful now–cart behind the horse! Serenity, Serendipity (which I love), and…what?
What does likecrystal mean, if you care to share.December 5, 2021 at 3:33 pm #389490
Supportively, Sensitivity, Simplicity…… (I cheated here and googled a list of positive words beginning with S!
I must admit that I was rushing too when I chose my name. I was thinking along the lines of clarity.December 5, 2021 at 4:22 pm #389501
And so it is!
SSS=serenity, serendipity, and simplicity.
Awesome. Thank you.