The Thrills Of Life (Before vs After being a JW)

by TastingFreedom 8 Replies latest jw friends

  • TastingFreedom

    Life most of the time seems fairly monotonous, tedious, repetitive. Sometimes you feel uncertainty, not knowing what is going to happen. Other times, you know exactly what is going to happen and you feel peace of mind.
    Today is one of those days for me. You have a sense for things to come in the future and it makes you feel fully alive when you get surprised with pleasant news.
    I wanted to share that with the community here.
    There has been uncertainty about my budget at work and we just heard that for 1-2 years we should be fine with some of the existing tasks.

    In any case, this has gotten me thinking. How was our life before and after being Jehovah's Witnesses?
    It seemed before everything was predictable, you knew exactly what was going to happen.
    You had a fixed schedule and plans every day, week, sometimes even for the entire year, and you even knew what was going to happen for your entire life, even after death. Everything, for the most part, was predictable. Of course, there was still some room for bad surprises, like death, job circumstances, but you still pretty much knew what was going to happen if you did everything you were expected to do as far as the bible and what Watchtower provided as spiritual food (At least you were told that).
    Everybody knows what is expected to happen and you sort of expect things to go a certain way.

    After leaving a cult where most people live such a structured way of life, where you have very precise guidance for everything you do, there is really no room for surprises or spontaneous things to happen.
    Not to say that your life becomes chaotic after you stop being a Witness, but at least from my own personal level, I give more room for being spontaneous and sometimes discover things that are quite surprising. You start getting out of the routine and finding joy even in mundane activities.

    I guess uncertainty can give you a sense of risk, even possibly pain, but if you don't risk, there is no chance to know if you will gain something. The odds of discovering pleasant things are much higher when you try new things. Yes, sometimes even by trial and error, but it's not doing so blindly. You have intelligence and pretty good indicators, including experience and critical thinking. So, even if the uncertainty is not always a good thing and may even create anxiety, you can be surprised by unexpected things that are better than what you had in mind and that my friends is the pleasure of life, that is the journey of life, giving yourself space to maneuver to be surprised by new experiences that will make you a better person and find new joys. I will rather have uncertainty and being surprised than being a robot and knowing how to predict everything that will happen in my life. Sometimes you will be surprised by amazing new opportunities, people, and other things that otherwise you would have never have come across. Life is great!!

    I prefer to be a human 1000 times with fears, uncertainty and sometimes anxieties over a robot that is predictable.
    That's how I intend to enjoy the thrill of life, with its ups and downs!!

  • ziddina

    You said it, Bruddah!!

    I vastly prefer my post-JW life. The JW life was constrictive; like wearing a steel-boned Victorian girdle on my heart and mind.

    I'll take a little - well, in my case, a LOT - of chaos, over the rigidly regimented life I had under the Watchtower's thumb...


  • TastingFreedom

    Zid: Your heart and mind were constrained or chained down. I felt just like you all of my JW life, until those chains were broken, and I felt and allowed myself to learn who I am, to feel and to be human (when I became weak, I actually became strong and free).

    Robots don't have emotions or feelings, wait... The Dubs (like robots) seem to have emotions but repress them. They are told to ignore their identity, their self being. Therefore, they are not allowed to feel, to cry and lose hope because it's a sign of weakness (lack of faith); they are trained to deny their emotions and to follow a strict rigid, disciplined way of life. They are told that they don't matter, they are worthless, their value comes ONLY from whatever God thinks of them. But wait, you never feel like you do enough for God. Not only that, you are afraid he will destroy you in Armageddon, and then you have guilt....

  • mamalove

    With risk of sounding super corny, that LeAnn Womack song, "I hope you dance." That is what sums up life outside of JW's. You can dance. You can do it all if you want. The control is gone, and freedom to be your own person without constraints is there. It does take time. But it is well worth it.

  • Little Mac
    Little Mac

    Man, that really is insightful and interesting. I like the way you broke that down. I am coming out now, on Dec. 12th it'll be one year since my brother broke the truth to me about the truth. My whole life, in my estimation, was to almost minimize all of my own accomplishments, would be joys, ordinary fun, and dreams. I put on this dutiful persona towards everything, the kingdom hall talks and service, my own schooling and then work, and that left me with sort of a hollowed out view of fun in general- because I looked around at everyone outside having fun and thought- well thats foolishness or whatever.

    Now that I'm a father of two young children and am trying to let go of that thinking- I see them playing, looking forward to a favorite show, talking to each other about wrapping a present for someone and they're genuinely excited! I'm trying to learn from them!! I'm trying to allow myself. I don't want to view everything from that old point of view anymore, I more!!

    Now with the holiday, we're quasi-celebrating it this year and maybe next year we'll be alright. But I can appreciate why holidays are there in the first place- people need breaks, and reasons for giving, excuses for get togethers, parties, this way people have an excuse to all do it at the same time. It also teaches kids to wait for a special day to get something special. Without it, you end up having to buy stuff for them all year everytime you go out.

    I think what you said about mundane things bringing pleasure is true, that when everything is expected to go a certain way, then those little joys in life are overlooked or downplayed because you're waiting for that BIG event to happen i.e. paradise earth, great trib. what ever. So that's where we can learn from the little guys who are finding joy and happiness in the little things.

  • flipper

    TASTING FREEDOM- Very well written my friend ! Great thread. I have always enjoyed a quote from a well known psychologist whose books I read as a teenager and just recently last year. Frederick Perls in the book " Gestalt Therapy Verbatim " stated, " To suffer one's death and to be reborn is not easy. " Of course he is talking about the way we view life. As witnesses we suffered the temporary death of our authentic human emotions because we were told to bury OUR needs or desires and to ONLY promote the WT society's interests. So when we exit the witnesses it's like a whole new way of living or thinking in which many suddenly wonder " What the hell do I do with the rest of my life ? " because EVERYTHING has been suppressed within us , emotions, thought processes, etc. it takes a little work to get away from the mind control in which we were trained to diss ourselves !

    But once we get reborn, though not easy - it brings peace of mind, freedom of thinking again with our WHOLE mind , and a re-connection with our emotions which helps us see life in a crystal clear mode. At least- that's been MY experience in the last 7 years I've been out of the witnesses. I hope many more will feel the freedom of mind as well! Peace out, Mr. Flipper

  • WTWizard

    I remember the year before I became a witless, and I used to enjoy a variety of things like music, TV shows, video games, and the like. Usually, I would walk several miles once a week to play video games, plus I had a Commodore 64 with a grab bag of software. And a nice collection of music.

    Then, after I became a witless, life revolved around that. I would be wasting my time in field circus, and going to boasting sessions. The things I liked to do were cut out or sharply reduced to make room for this waste of time. Instead of spending money on a record, I wasted it on a $15 call book that took packs of "sheep cards" that were $2.50 per 100 sheets. Instead of going on a walk to the video arcade, I would go out in field circus. There was barely time to do necessary things. And needless to say, things were centered on being self-righteous (I can't even tolerate these sun-worship lights and music).

    Once I quit the witlesses, I found the Internet. I "wasted" $850 on a computer (and antivirus software), that "should have been spent on field circus". I gained back most of the songs I lost because of the witlesses, and compiled them onto mini discs and MP3 playlists. And now I have plenty of "sun-worship decorations and music" to enjoy--which I do, rather than dreading them.

    While it isn't exactly paradise, it is nice to know I will not be wasting my time going from door to door, or to the Kingdumb Hell, every day. Better to go online and take "trips" there than going from door to door, the same places every time, and reciting the same crap to every householder.

  • TastingFreedom

    Flipper: What you said here so eloquently and your 7 years out are solid evidence and confirmation to many of us that being truly reborn to be you even with the uncertainty is worth a lot more than an everlasting life (that doesn't exist) being a slave for a publishing corporation.

    WtWizard: I love the poetry in how you write, especially "Kingdumb Hell"

  • leavingwt
    I prefer to be a human 1000 times with fears, uncertainty and sometimes anxieties over a robot that is predictable.
    That's how I intend to enjoy the thrill of life, with its ups and downs!!

    Agreed. At FIRST it's a little scary, but then it becomes invigorating and refreshing. The thought of returning to the cult is unfathomable.

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