years ago when i started to drop the virtual barrier that has always been there in my head, i noticed that i went out in field service, telling strangers to read magazines i myself couldn't be bothered to read. so i stopped offering mags in field service and not long after that i stopped taking part in this life saving work.
Why I am upset with myself for my atheistic beliefs
" .but i am very similar...only difference is im not sure if you have kkids but i have two daughters, im 27, and thats pretty much it haha"
36 two kids LOL
" so i stopped offering mags in field service and not long after that i stopped taking part in this life saving work"
Hofer my last 5 months were a joke. I was the FS overseer and I never took a magazine to the door. ROFL
The MAIN reason you should believe in anything is that it is demonstrably TRUE, AFTER it's PROVEN to exist.
Belief in anything SHOULD follow an examination of evidence that's needed to believe in it, and NOT before. Belief follows examined evidence: it's why courts hold trials which presents evidence, the jury deliberates, and THEN comes to a verdict. They don't announce a verdict BEFORE the trial, based on their "gut reaction" if they feel the suspect 'looks guilty', etc.
Putting carts before horses is sloppy thinking that is amazingly prevalent in society, and the MAIN reason people continue to believe is classic trans-generational propagation of error, AKA an 'appeal to tradition' (eg "it was good enough for my pappy and grandpappy, so Xianity is good enough for me!"). People are indoctrinated to believe in Gods from an early age, after having been immersed in a culture that encourages belief in Gods, and it is forced down children's throats.
One good reason to adopt a more-skeptical approach is simply to avoid cluttering one's brain with utter nonsense conspiracy theories, pink unicorns, Gods, UFOs, etc.
You're a confusing guy, at least to me. You're conflicted. You're certain. About religion, about God, now about spirituality. Because someone else affirmed your beliefs, you're an atheist? So why were you a jdub-- what struck your chord then? I guess Im wondering about consistency. What's your constant? Do you find yourself in others, even if you find yourself in the rejection of the other? Who defines you? ... i don't know... just some thoughts. ....
I was very much the same as you, I had a hard time forcing myself to do those things that the Watchtower considers spiritual. Once I left I realized it was because of the disconnect between what I thought I believed and my own inner spiritual compass. Knocking on doors to tell people they are in the wrong religion and will shortly be destroyed never, ever, felt right.
Once I left I was able to align my actions with my true beliefs, and now I do feel spiritual, in a way I never was while on the JW merry-go-round of meetings, service, study, etc. For me, being spiritual means taking care of my family, giving love and support to my friends, and other people I meet, giving back to my community and working at my creative business. It doesn't involve lip service to any religion necessarily, although for some that is their life's work. You also do not have to believe in God to be spiritual.
So don't beat yourself up because you couldn't make yourself do something that your inner self knew was not the right course for you. Spend time figuring out what would make you feel spiritual and do it. It's a journey, answers do not come overnight. I believe we each have something to give that is unique to us, our life's work. If you set out on that journey, you will become spiritual and whatever you do you will do it willingly and enjoy it.
Losingit... Good thoughts
I am on my way to purchase some sulphur for my front yard. Those questions will take lots of time and I plan on answering. Give me an hour
I understand what you're going through right now. Hang in there, and don't be afraid to ask these questions and think about these things. This is you growing.
Confusedandalone, your story is very interesting to me. While I have never been a JW, I grew up in church, had developed a "holier-than-thou" attitude toward "non-Christians", and ended up living a life far from what I preached. It wasn't until I really and truly developed a relationship with Christ that I realized what a profound hypocrite I was. It is only now that I am non-judgmental towards those who believe differently. The irony is that in the past I lauded my beliefs over others without any humility at all while now I realize that I am by nature exactly the same as everyone else and humbly grateful for the grace I received through Christ.
It sounds like you have simply discarded the facade of JW religion and kept your core identity, it has remained. If there is anything to be upset about, it is maybe that you WERE a hypocrite for a while by PRETENDING TO BELIEVE in all thing JW. Now you are not. IMHO, you should be happy for this transformation. It's definitely an improvement.
It is interesting to me that while I was a hypocritical elder going through the motions doing everything everyone expected of me, they all (pretended?) to love me. But now that I am a real, honest, authentic person, almost none of those former "friends" will have anything to do with me. So be it.
I'd rather have a few people love me for WHO I am than be surrounded by a bunch of fakers that give conditional affection based on WHAT I (pretend) TO BELIEVE.
Check out this thread, you may find it helpful:
"Because someone else affirmed your beliefs, you're an atheist?"
No. I have for years literally since I really started to read the bible in my early teens thought wow god is cruel/wow the bible seems inconsistent / wow none of this makes sense anymore / wow I dont reaalllly believe this - yet I kept doing it because hey that is what we are suppose to do. JUST KEEP DOING IT. I had no choice because if I didnt I would have been a poor homeless person so I kept do it for years. I pushed my true feelings to the back of my mind for years because I figured that is just what you have to do. So when I came here I wanted to hopefully hear others who left JWLand and somehow found a way to get past the other stuff... the logic... the obvious. Instead I heard people saying the same things that I thought regarding the absence of GOD and iot made me so mad I literally wanted to punch thier teeth to the back of thier throats...
I did not want to hear on this board or anywhere the very truths that were in my mind that I did not want to accept or dwell upon. Doing so just made me upset and basically have to deal with my "demons" so to speak. It was not comfortable... it was not enjoyable it was painful.
"So why were you a jdub-- what struck your chord then?"
I had no choice... I was born in. I was told at 17 I had to be baptized before leaving high school or I would have nowhere to live upon graduation... so I got baptized. I had no way to get a decent job or go to college because it was not allowed so I decided hey maybe I can learn a trade(toilet bowl cleaning / garbage man /' furniture maker were the places I worked) at bethel. SO I went. I got there and realized omg it is even worse than I thought so I left. I came back home and got in trouble and had to continue in dubland until I finished my schooling otherwiose I would once again have nowhere to live. I met my sexy wife at my kingdom hall when she was visiting and honestly I would have become a Catholic or anything else for five minutes of her time LOL. Little did I know she was just in dubland because she felt guilty. HAd we mentioned this to each other earlier things would have been easier.
" I guess Im wondering about consistency. What's your constant? "
As a kid my only consistency was the borg. It was literally borg or die enforced upon me by an extremely overbearing mother. As I got older fear and lack of education opportunities prevented me from doing ANYTHING. However after leaving Bethel and getting to school I was financially able to do things without being dependent upon anyone else. I was free... to a degree. However, the emotional connections and friendships I would lose and the entire family I would lose prevented a full departure so I continued to wear the mask. My constant now... MY family . My wife and children and extended family from herr side.
"Do you find yourself in others, even if you find yourself in the rejection of the other? "
I have never been one to be truly defined by others. I was always a JW because I had to be. I bnever wanted to be and was never a good one. Just appeared to be. I never really followed rules I just put on the facade. In my alone time I tried to fully establish who and what I wanted to be but I was always constrained by that religion and the power it held over my world... my small small world that I was trapped in because of my upbringing. Coming here and being able to see people who walked similar paths that I had and then altering thier paths to thier truth and they turned out fine gave me the nudge / dropkick I needed to go ahead and jump into the pool. I was an adult.. meet that challenge head on and go through it.
"Who defines you? ... i don't know... just some thoughts. ...."
I am in the process of defining myself at the age of 36. I always knew what I wanted to do and what I wanted to be, I did as much of it as I could without being caught. However if you can't do it 100% you aren't really doing it I guess. Now there is no fear for me to do it. No fear to be me. I have to open myself up and allow myself to be me. I spent 30 years constantly checking every move I made and every word I said because PEOPLE WERE WATCHING. I had to live up to a certain standard. I had to be a textbook JW because hey that is what my family was supposed to be. My mom, my dad, my brother they were loved by everyone. My sister who never took to the truth was seen as slime by everyone we knew and was the topic of awful gossip for all the years I have been alive.(She just recently got baptized :( ) I didn't want to be like her.
Now I realize I have no choice but to truly find myself. Busiiness wise I have done and I am currently doing what I want. Personality wise I am getting there. Realizing no one is really worried about my every move. Religion, I have no need for it. It is a hindrance to me and always has been. The idea of a GOD that I must subm,it to or pay back in some way has become a repugnant idea to me. I can finally accept this fact about myself and not feel like an ungrateful shrew.
I typed alot... Jeez