Do you remember what the Society said about the ressurection, how it would go? That those who survived would in turn help the first ones ressurected, the last in - first out thing...the most recently dead would be the first ones ressurected, and they in turn would help the ones who come out next by getting them situated and updated and preparing THEM to help the next batch out and so on. Well, I see it that way for those of us leaving the Organization. I think since there was a group here to help US when we left, I feel it is necessary to in turn help those who left after we did. Getting them comfortable in their new role, and then perhaps it will be our turn to move on. But keeping that support going is very important...over 200,000 people leaving every year, my friends, they need us. Ive been out 5 years now, and I never felt this "need" nor the compunction to help people come IN as I do to help them coming out.
Dont be in a hurry to push people to move on. If you are ready to go ...then you go with our blessings. The rest of us will follow in due time.
That guilty feeling does lessen through time. I remember the first year I stopped going, it was horrible. The depression and guilt was so strong that suicide was often on my mind. I felt like I lost everything, and I just couldn't go back, not after my experiences and the learning about the flip side of things.
Support is so key at a time like this. Looking back I saw how difficult it was for me, exactly as you described. But here I am further down the road being true to myself, and much happier for it.
It does get better. People told me that in the beginning too, and it was hard to believe. But it does, really.
Hang in there,
It's interesting but when I run into witnesses around town, they either do not see me or does not confront me in any way. I suppose that can change, but at this point I'm ready for it.
Casper, my first thought to you is why do you feel guilty? Try to get to the root of the feeling, the thought behind it. If you're going to be to yourself anyway you can in fact understand such things better if you want to spend some time at it.
The reason I posted the thread about current spiritual practice is because I see that many do want to continue to have some kind of spiritual life. I don't know if the scientific, rational thinkers would include themselves in that description, but it is one possible choice. If you do choose to continue seeking some kind of spirituality, then my advice is to honestly seek, don't judge yourself because even by the JW belief system it is God that judges. Judge instead the paths you consider and do so with discernment, and I'm sure I'm not alone in offering my support.
I was touched and concerned by your post. Thanks for putting it out there.
You bring up about a zillion concerns at one time, sounds like you are overwhelmed! Here's hoping you can hang in there and deal with your problems ONE AT A TIME, since that's the only way we can rationally approach them anyhow. Concentrate on one problem, and if you feel able to, post your concern on the board, and others who have dealt with your concern will be glad to share advice/consolation. (Other ways are available, such as e-mailing those here you know and trust or going out to the chat room when you see someone you'd like to talk to out there.)
Anyhow, I'll address the one that seems most important, "Will God do me in?" That question is common as we make a change to a new way of life, and we don't have the organization there as a so-called security blanket. I kind of think of it this way: The scripture in Corinthians where Paul wrote "Where the spirit of Jehovah is, there is freedom" can help. You said you felt boxed in when trying to live by the rules of the organization. Probably because a lot of the rules are man-made, therefore anti-freedom. Upon leaving the organization, you can stretch your wings of freedom and YET still love & obey Christ and his father. God won't strike down those who in their heart cannot respond to the commands of men. God knows you don't need such restrictions.
Just my thoughts, Gopher
LovesDubs I really appreciated that post. I do think that we need to support others wherever they're at, and of course people will "move on" in their own time.
I guess maybe a better way of expressing this is that we are now taking responsibility for ourselves and our decisions. Regardless of our current thinking on religion I think we can agree on this point. I don't think of myself as being one against the organization, but one that has moved beyond it in a way.
You All are Great,
I guess I am feeling so guilty because...well, for one...we are
so conditioned to feel "GUILTY" if we don't do this, or don't that.
Do More..etc... you know the drill...!!!
Plus I have my children to consider...they were born and raised in the so called truth. My 13 year old..doesn't understand, and wants to go back to the Hall so bad.
When I do go out...they seem to be everywhere...they hug me, plead with me to return, the pity looks..and on and on. I don't know what to say to them. Some of the elderly ones were soooooo good to me, and
I feel like I am turning my back on them. Losing best friends also
hurts. I have NO REAL concrete gripe againt the teachings..just with
the mind control of the Org. So tired of the rituals and rules and
do this, don't do that Bull.
Yes, I would like to feel peaceful and have some kind of spirituallity, but...have been made to feel Jehovah hates me for
not wanting to play the "Numbers Game". I want to pray to someone..
but Who....if Jehovah won't listen..???? I just want to be "ME" and
enjoy the creation, be a modest, kind and loving person without all the "Dictatorship". If I want to do something they would look down
on.... It should be my choice, not a Mandate.
Thanks for Listening,
My perception is that newbies need a lot of support. It is unfortunately a common occurance that people inclined to become members of micro-minority elitist fundamentalist religions will leave one and get right back into another one as bad as the one they left. It's just human nature. These folks need a lot of support, or they're going to be back in some other frying pan somewhere.
Something else I've noticed is that many, if not a majority of the folks I see posting here, believe in some version of the concept that JWs constitute the one true religion, badly administered. And so through some unknown, un-named process posting bitter messages here is going to affect a change in the WTB&TS. It's not going to happen. And why is that?
As a religious organization becomes institutionalized, as have the JWs, its power for good is curtailed, while the possibilities for evil are greatly multiplied. Some of the dangers of organized religion are: fixation of beliefs and crystallization of sentiments; accumulation of vested interests with increase of secularization; tendency to standardize and fossilize truth; diversion of religion from the service of God to the service of the church; inclination of leaders to become administrators instead of ministers; tendency to form sects and competitive divisions; establishment of oppressive ecclesiastical authority; creation of the aristocratic "chosen-people" attitude; fostering of false and exaggerated ideas of sacredness; the routinizing of religion and the petrification of worship; tendency to venerate the past while ignoring present demands; failure to make up-to-date interpretations of religion; entanglement with functions of secular institutions; it creates the evil discrimination of religious castes like elders, ministerial servants, and ordinary publishers; it becomes an intolerant judge of orthodoxy; it fails to hold the interest of its young people and gradually loses the message of salvation for which it was brought into being in the first place.
Does this describe Jehovah's Witnesses? And it describes Mormons, Moonies, Catholics, Baptists, and you name it.
And yes, newbies on this site should be, in my opinion, helped to realize this and avoid getting back in something just as bad as what they left. And help, too, to realize that there is no chosen people. God loves all his children - even the erring ones.
That's enough from me.
For now I would say keep praying, just know that praying to Jehovah is not even the same as being identified as a Jehovah's Witness. (as we know that was not always used in a descriptive way) I didn't have any issues with the teachings when I left either, and I also had some reservations about the statistics fixation. As far as what you can do with your daughter, you can continue to support her spirituality as well. Basically you'd be doing the same thing for both yourself and your daughter, focus on the personal relationship with Jehovah.
Sometimes you go through a dark night of the soul, I myself felt the holy spirit left me at one point. However, if you do know that it is a lack of love you can keep things in perspective. Seek out new associates, some are bound to be kind and even spiritual persons. I was probably by myself a little too much. You want to distinguish between the sense of belonging of being in a social circle from true agape, and certainly kindness as well as family love. Strive to give the same to others, and you should have a fairly gentle transition. After all, isn't love what it's all about?
ROTFLMAO Loves I love the using there own illustrations and resonings back on them hahhahah!!!! ohhh ya we are here to help in the 'spiritual ressurection', we were dead when we were JW's but have been made alive as apostates hahahahhah!!!!!
For your comments, I understand what you are saying and it
makes alot of sense. Love is what it is all about, and
there were alot of times that I felt and still feel that the
Org. put that aside, for it's own benefit.
If I could just get over the "HUMP" and feel God would listen
from time to time....it would be easier. I guess I am stuck
on the scripture that says... that Jehovah won't leave us, we
leave him, and in effect that is what I feel I have done.
There are alot of loving people out there, I have relatives
of different faiths and also people that I have met, who have
always seemed so much more loving than the JW's. That often
bothered me. To me it is a very lonely feeling, to try and
face the daily worries of this world without a higher power.
I agree with "Francoise" about not jumping into another org.
of a different faith. I don't want to belong "per-say" to
anything right now. I want to re-claim my Brain...LOL.
Oh, by the way.....Haven't heard from the Elders in over a YEAR..
found out today...they are planning a "VISIT" with me this week.
?????????????????????????? I have only been posting on this site
for 4 days, What gives.. is this Divine Intervention or just