I want more definite answers. I want to know the Truth. I want to know what to believe. I still want to be 'hardcore' about SOMETHING. About ANYTHING.
Do we just start swearin' and smokin' and drinkin' and carryin' on at this point? I don't want to celebrate Christmas. I don't want to be 'bad'. I don't even know what 'bad' is. I am so confused and angry now.
Headisspinning - Although I don't have children, I am having the same exact thoughts as you. What do I do? Do I go out and enjoy life, have sex with women, celebrate Christmas and birthdays like everyone else? I don't want to though. I would feel dirty, unclean, ashamed. It's all been so deeply ingrained in me - the guilt, the fear. Like you, my head is spinning, and I feel like the world is spiraling out of control.
Headisspinning and doubtful: I felt the same way as you both do, as I know many others on this site did. Don't expect to find the answers immediately.
I spoke to a counsellor about this shortly after I left the religion. I told her that all my life I had known this "truth" - that there was going to be a paradise, I was going to live forever, my perception that I had a relationship with God - and suddenly that had been ripped away from me. I didn't know what to believe, I didn't know who I was - I'd lost my husband, my family, my friends... I was having a major identity crisis.
She likened my situation to an anchor, stuck solid for a lifetime, until something comes along to knock it out of the mud. Now, she said, you are like an anchor swinging about, looking for a new place to land. She told me that the key to who I am lies in my past. "Think back to what you know about yourself," she said, "think about the secret dreams and aspirations you have had, think about the things you are passionate about that have NOTHING to do with this religion. Those things will start you on your way. But do not expect to find your identity overnight. You need to accept that this is going to take time."
So that's what I did.. I thought about the things I had secretly aspired to - university, a successful career, helping people, being part of the community... and that week I joined a charity organisation and started to spend time as a volunteer... I picked up a position that will lead me right into a great career path, and a couple of weeks ago I was accepted into university.
It's a nice, fluffy, fanciful notion that we are going to live forever in a paradise. Lovely but not reality. Reality is right here, and there are some great things to experience. Things that you might never have experienced had you kept your blinkers on and not questioned this "truth". Give it some time, you'll find your way, and you'll never look back!