" See ourselfs as others see us"

by The Rebel 17 Replies latest jw friends

  • FayeDunaway

    For a religion SO based on appearances and everyone constantly looking over their shoulder to watch their own back and to see who might be judging them at any moment....and being raised that way, yes, it's difficult to think about how old friends see us, and imagine they are probably shaking their heads. I know their perceptions are distorted but it does still bother me sometimes. I always tried to make everyone happy.

    I wonder if they maybe remember the considerate things I did, or maybe they just remember the stupid things I occasionally said. I'm removed from them physically, which helps me forget about them and move on. My family tho, I don't see them much anymore and that hurts quite a lot. I know I'm the child that hurt her parents, my brother is the one they adore now, his kids get their grandparents attention.

    But shoot of COURSE it was worth it.

  • Londo111

    Undue worry about how others view us could keep a person enslaved. All we can be is true to our conscience and be the best person we can be. I take it as a given that JWs, all my family and former friends, will think toward me the whole spectrum from ‘spiritual weak’ to ‘apostate’. It sometimes hurts, but I cannot dwell on that. I know that they are enslaved by indoctrination and if they really knew me and didn’t have the blinders on, they would have a different opinion.

    I can’t help but think of one of the Beatitudes, Happy are you when people insult you and harass you and speak all kinds of bad and false things about you.”

    As a JW, everything is gauged by appearances and how we are perceived by the JW community. It didn’t matter about your heart, not really, it mattered what kind of figure you put on a time slip, being seen at all the meetings, being seen obeying all the rules, written and unwritten (such as not having a beard).

    Sometimes it might be useful to step out of the situation and play “What If?” What if it weren’t the JWs, but another group that we were apart of? For instance, do I care how Westboro Baptists view me? Would I care how the Moonies, Mormons, Amish, Hasidics, Scientologists, Branch Davidians, People’s Temple, Heaven’s Gate viewed me if I left that group? It’s allot easier imagining this, because we have no emotional attachment to those groups, and even JWs realize those groups are nuts (even though they can’t see themselves reflecting in those groups).

    Likely from this objective What If, we realize that we would advise a former member of X group not to worry about how the people within that group viewed them, and that worry about how that group viewed the former member could be an impediment to their life and recovery. The last step is then to imagine we were never JWs, and objectively advise ourselves accordingly.

  • sparrowdown

    I have gotten to the stage were I don't care what or if they think of me.

    And yes, it was worth it.

    Now if I see them, I don't feel the need to either greet or grovel or to run and hide, I just go about my day not owing those SOBs anything.

    I paid my price for leaving and I'm done and I'm free!

  • millie210

    The Rebel
    I was lucky my wife's father who has spent most of his life as a witness, distributed magazines since he was a young man,and is still a witness, helped me when I spoke of my doubts by saying " you do what you think is right" .
    He always wears the same unfashionable clothes and has the same hairstyle from when I first met him. A true believer but a down to earth man. And even now I have left he never tires talking to me, and he never judges me. Not sure I would be outside without him.

    What an amazing man.

  • Xanthippe

    A) When I feel down about my family I just think about them expecting Jesus to kill eight billion people any day; lions becoming vegetarians ; and the whole world now being controlled by demons. Why should I worry how these mentally unwell people view me!

    B) Oh yeah it's worth it. I can read whatever I like. I don't feel like a second class citizen patronised by window cleaners every day because I don't have the Y chromosome. I can have a job, travel on my own and buy what I like and nobody questions my actions or calls me materialistic.

    Independent thinking is just a way of life now instead of a sign of 'spiritual sickness'. In fact when I hear that phrase now I just want to say as opposed to what, being a part of a hive mind like a bee or an ant? How weird.

  • Dumplin

    Rebel - you see yourself as upside down?

    (sorry, couldn't resist lol)

  • FayeDunaway
    Oh my god Xanthippe...you are so right!!
  • The Rebel
    The Rebel

    right way up down Dumplin.

    i always liked it when suddenly the quite brother rebelled. Like Bro ..... the congregations only success from the door to door, and a quiter witness you never would see.I never saw him show any emotion, occasionally when he gave talks he would visibly shake ( I admired the courage this obviously took) But his reluctance to speak, or be drawn into conversation on any subject I found perculiar, and I don't think anyone really new what went on inside his head.

    Anyway he became an immediate hit with me, when he left during a Sunday meeting, just got up strolled out and I have never seen him again.

    The Rebel.

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