So as you DA'd, were DF'd, faded, or just mentally let go of everything you believed for so long, did you experience this weird transition phase of an "identitylessness"? I think this might only apply to people who were "strong" in the faith. As a strong witness, im sure those of us who were really took to heart and mind the things that we learned and counsel that the society produced. The bible and the publications were our point of reference for literally everything. So when you let go, what becomes your point of reference? What do you hold onto internally as guiding principles that influence your everyday decision making? What things helped you and what didnt help you to come to a place where you were able to function in a way that you felt satisfied with while still maintaining some sort of compass? I guess Im asking, internally, what replaced the WBTS teachings that had guided you for so long?
Anyone Else Ever Experience This?
I guess Im asking, internally, what replaced the WBTS teachings that had guided you for so long?
I returned to the Jesus of Nazareth with whom I'd become acquainted in my childhood.
He was waiting with open arms.
Just as Syl, before the Witnesses introduced me to the management of the FDS I had strong faith in the reality of a loving God and the ministry of Jesus.
I was born a Catholic and then became a conscious Christian when the JW door-to-door work caught me. I was attracted to the love that would not kill other humans. But the rigid idea that God only "talks" to us through the FDS became more and more ridiculous in the light of the Scriptures themselves.
I believe the Scriptures are a tool that God uses even though their value is greatly diminished if we insist that they are to be granted unerring accuracy. The difference in the God we infer from the OT and the NT speaks alot to this idea.
This web site has been helpful to me in clearing out the dead wood of indoctrination. But the cynical view of faith might prevent a seeker from being open to a wandering forth to meet God even devoid of the religious pressure of the FDS.
I am just going on with my life and I completely trust that God wants me to relate to him--I remember the simple precepts for relating to God and man through Jesus' sermon on the mount. And by remembering that most of Jesus' followers through the centuries likely have been illiterates,I try not to impose needlessly complicated theological overlays on my own understanding.
I figure that if God is there and I am really listening, I will be just fine.
I too felt the emptiness at first, I tried to fill it with reading the bible on my own. I did this for some months and then deceided to give it all a rest.
I got involved with a voluntary group and that helped me to see how ordinary people get on with helping others without having to be prompted by religion, or duty. It was a great help for me, I see people and the choices they make much differently now. The bad mistakes are often a result of bad chances early on in life, people are generally very good.
I think that if you surround yourself with positive people, get involved in community projects etc, you will find that your own inner compass will start to swing in the direction you should go. I am not naive, there are some rotten apples, but don't let that throw you off course. They are there, but so what? No one says life is easy, but there again it is not all doom and gloom as we were taught to believe.
When you face a decision that your Jw mind set would baulk at, then ask yourself why you have that reaction, is it reasonable, informed?
I have found that my boundaries have become much bigger and more open to things I would previously have closed my mind to, it is very enriching, slightly scary but quite an experience. For example I attended a christening for a baby of a lesbian couple last year, it was a lovely experience, and I do not call my self religious anymore. Still the opening of my mind and heart is almost like a spiritual experience in itself.
Hope you find your way, my motto is, "Be true to yourself"
Absolutely. As a born-in, my main frame of reference was still the Bible. I found that I learned so much more just from reading it, and its message was a beautiful one--one more about love than about fear or condemnation.
I also realized...if indeed it is our rational mind that freed us from the WT, then why can't that same rational mind analyze situations and make logical decisions? The emotional tailspin of finding out everything makes that very hard at the beginning. So you're bound to make mistakes until you sober up to the need to face life as it is and not as the Society told you.
I think the teachings of Jesus are pretty good ideas to go on. His example, too, was significant--he operated outside of the religious system of his time, and it was there that he touched the most lives, did the greatest good. As I pondered this, I had an interesting thought yesterday. One of the most profound speeches ever given to man, the Sermon on the Mount, wasn't given in a temple, a church, or a Kingdom Hall. It was done by a man standing on a mountain, or sitting, or whatever he did, just talking. That being said, Jesus came to show us that we don't need visible stuff to worship God. The temple and all the stuff you could see--out! Wherever you found a place to speak to God, or to worship him, that is your "organization" right there.
If you don't want to go that route, you can always think of other stuff, like has already been mentioned by others here. Hope things turn out well for you.
Everyday of my life. Some days you feel like you can overcome it, some days it's unbearable, some days you don't eventhink about it. It'll take you a while to decide what you really want to do and how best to fill that void. One thing that I still struggle with is the fact that God does love me no matter what. So, when I can I try to at least find some comfort on that fact.
So as you DA'd, were DF'd, faded, or just mentally let go of everything you believed for so long, did you experience this weird transition phase of an "identitylessness"? I think this might only apply to people who were "strong" in the faith.
Yep... As I moved away from the JW lifestyle, I found myself kinda rudderless as I moved around in new circles, trying to find the real me. It gets better over time, but sometimes I still feel like an outsider looking in.
And I agree that it probably affects those of us who were more entrenched in the JWism than those who were more on the fringe and never really fully indoctrinated.
I like the movie Cast Away with Tom Hanks. It's not the perfect analogy but as he lived on the deserted island, removed from the world and he created his own universe; when he returns to normal society, you see the discomfort that he feels. He may be back, but since he has experienced such a life changing event, he will always look at things from a different perspective. But yet, he learns to keep going, to see what each new tide brings.
The same for us. Since we're basically cult survivors, we'll always see things a little different than those who never exprienced what we did. In some ways, it makes us stronger. In some ways it makes us more enlightened in certain aspects. But with that, comes the awkardness of being on the outside at times. But yet we continue on, to see what each new day brings and to enjoy the things we never took the time to enjoy as JWs.
The elders told me Jehovah/God would leave me when they disfellowshipped me (unjustly)....it terrified me, but I kept on praying through the very difficult time that followed and I found that He hadnt gone anywhere at all.....in fact He stayed closer than ever....and from that point on I knew that it was going to be ok....
I did feel the loss of...well, myself. Being born in, I was pretty much raised to do one thing - preach the word of God (the GB). When I left I realized I didn't know how to do anything else. To be perfectly honest, I'm still struggling with finding something to do with myself...I still have not completed my education.
As for morals, well, even when I was a JW, I never understood the concept that people would only be good if they were afraid that God was watching, waiting to swoop down and punish them. I can be a good person by myself, without the threat of imminent death!
As for religion, I have none and have never been happier! I understand it's draw for other people, but I don't have that draw myself. I'm agnostic, if anything. I honestly have never been happier than when I let go of all religion. And through all the terrible things I've been through, I haven't been tempted to turn back to the belief in God. :)
I'm not sure if any of that was what you're looking for lol. I am seriously sleep deprived!
As i got older,having been born into it,the hypocracy was so clear and obscene to me,that I just couldnt deal with it anymore.the replacement? Music! Music is real,makes me feel great,never lies,I can make it,or listen to someone else making it,and its free.And when it hits,you feel no pain!