I am enjoying my life, enjoying life without constant guilt. I can care about other people, even those with different lifestyles. I have let go of so much judgement toward other people & how they choose to live which is a huge weight off my shoulders. The beauty of life is that each human being is different from the others-- something a JW can't really appreciate being in their conformist tyrannical religion.
For those who have been out for 5 years or more.......
Yes, I feel much more relaxed about things now. Being a JW changes you in many ways, it's so much about guilt and fears, guilt that you are never doing enough to please God, fear of Armageddon. You sit through those hours of indoctrination every week and it has an effect, especially towards those who have those kind of tendencies to begin with. I wouldn't be surprised if there were actually changes to the brain of those people who have been in a cult like that. Once you leave it gradually wears off. It didn't completely go away, at least not for me, it's something I still have to work on, but what a relief to just enjoy life, to not judge people who aren't exactly like you, to live in the moment. Meditation helps, you have to teach yourself to think in a more positive way, to not judge, to be optimistic.
If you choose to get involved in this life and the issues affecting humanity and the earth there is more to do than you could fill in 10 lifetimes.
For sure..Before a co-worker approach you "my church is asking
for donation to help a family in El Salvador, their child needs an
operation to save the child life". Before oh no, Babylon the great.
So now you try to explain the reason why you can't help in saving a child
life. It is so much better when you make the decision based on a humane
decision. And when it comes to facing other JW's, "oh boy", bold, fearless,
right in their face...
I think life is so much better when you don't go against your conscience.
Phizzy: But it struck me that in the last two or three years, I really cannot be arsed to waste time on JW's. Apart from the inordinate amount of time I spend on here of course.
I was going to write a typical (for me) long-winded post, but Phizzy eloquently said all that I wanted to say, that and: I have become much more accepting of people and much less impatient.
Well, I left more than forty years ago. My world view is worldly. I assume positions of responsibility in my present church. Since I've lived and worked in upper middle class to wealthy areas, I encounter few Witnesses. When I see a Witness on the subway or train station, I am shocked. It hurts inside. I am having difficulty articulating my feelings. Memories flood back and they are not pleasant. I thank the Beatle gods that I left. After forty years I feel I should have more neutral feelings.
This forum makes the feelings more intense. I know the latest scandals. My problem was always with extended family members, grandmother, aunt, and uncle, in particular. I respected them. Their deaths brought me more freedom. They still loved me after I left. I believed I would be shunned. Eternal life on aparadise earth is an important concept. Of course, I never parotted how vile the Witnesses were. During my NT college classes, I telephoned home every time I read scripture in express denial of WT doctrine. I ran out of change for the public phone. My aunt would have to be admitted to a hospital for a breajdiwb if I told her my findings.
Under extreme stress, fear of demons returns. I can sleep with the lights off. Closet doors may be a jar. There are crosses in my home. Even strangers laugh at the notion that I was raised a Witness. I am proud that it does not show to others. My family knows how wounded I remain. It is interesting. When I was at death's door with chronic agonizing facial pain, my sleep was disrupted. Every night I had an impulse at 3 am to sneak out without my mom knowing. Get on a subway to Bethel. Wake someone up. Confess and beg them to remove the pain. One day I told my mom. Of course, my rational brain knew my plan was silly. My mom cried and remarked how could I give up everything meaningful in my life. I never made it out my front door.
I've been out twenty-five years. Except for the influence it has on some of my writing, I'm done with JW issues. My presence here is mostly about research on something that interests me (I go to a bunch of history sites for the same reason). As an example of how things have changed a couple of days ago my wife and I signed as witnesses to our daughter's marriage - to another woman.
I have been out 11 years.
have been DF for 3 years.
but while I was able to still
talk those first 8 years, I begin
to talk to my Grandson who was
13 at the time. And showed him
many things, the WTS had said in the past.
He will be 17 in 3 months and he came
to see me about a month ago. He was never Baptized.
He said he couldn't take it anymore. Yesterday
he moved in with my Husband and I.
I've been out twenty-five years and it's just a silly religion to me now. I live and let live, have gay and bi-sexual friends and am pretty relaxed about life. Only cruelty and injustice shock me. As jwfacts says if you can survive it all your perspective is a lot clearer, in fact I think I'm happier than most people I meet possibly because we have to work so hard for it don't we. I don't give up my happiness just because it's raining!
As an example of how things have changed a couple of days ago my wife and I signed as witnesses to our daughter's marriage - to another woman.
That's perfect JeffT!!!