How to believe you deserve to relax

by rebel8 14 Replies latest jw friends

  • rebel8

    I was brainwashed to believe you generally shouldn't relax much.

    • Demons can enter you if you meditate or even relax your brain too much for one second. Always be on guard.
    • Scriptures criticizing laziness were repeated often. "Be kind to yourself" and all that.
    • You need to strenuously exert yourself for jehoopla and you're worthless if you don't.
    • Most forms of fun were extinguished. Don't do fun charity work, it shows weak faith in jehoover to solve the problems of the world. Don't like music, it has demonic lyrics and backward masking. Don't dance, it leads to immorality. Only kingdumb smelodies and bible games are worthwhile. blah blah blah
    • The purpose of fun is to rest your body so you can get back at that pioneering. That means you need to budget your time for relaxing and limit it.

    As irrational as that all is, I still have a hard time totally relaxing. I start to get antsy if I've got little to do for >1 day--on vacations, I need a schedule and need to fill my brain up with interesting things. If I just lay around, I find it hard to concentrate at work, and I want my mental edge.

    I am trying to figure out if this is just how I am (authentic self) or if I actually believe I do not deserve to relax too much. I suspect it's a little bit of both.

    Anybody else experiencing this?

  • freddo

    A very good and thought provoking opening post. I agree entirely.

  • schnell

    I can thank meditation for helping me through what I was learning as I was fading.

    I can thank meditation for helping me to stay calm and see things honestly.

    I can thank meditation for helping me to be alert and in the moment, rather than "lazy", aloof, or unaware.

    I can thank meditation for helping me overcome internal demons (a psychological metaphor) like fear and doubt, rather than filling my mind with whatever they think wants in there.

    Jehovah's witnesses live for a future time. You cannot be mentally here and now if you are so frantically concerned about the future.

  • midnight

    Yes I can relate to this I felt guilty for relaxing, guilt for some hobbies , guilt guilt guilt should be doing more , slaving etc

  • schnell

    I admit that every hobby or artistic endeavor was poisoned by scripture and guilt as well, though this is not unique to JWs. "Religion poisons everything," as Hitchens said.

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Hi, Rebel8:

    I rarely post here due to ongoing PC problems, but your thread is too good to pass up. Hope I make it.

    Yes, it's been hard learning to relax, to take time to fix a good meal, to stare aimlessly -- w/o guilt -- into space, to take long and meaningful naps, . . .

    When I was an elder/pioneer, paying a mortgage, and raising my children, I had every hour of the day scheduled. I may've allowed a little time to sleep . . . I only now am trying to recall how I managed. You piqued my interest and retrieved "lost" memories.

    Now, semi-retired, I have lots of free time and I schedule it enough to feel somewhat organized but certainly not like in the old JW days. I sometimes feel caught between having a life of meaning and one of spinning off helplessly into oblivion.

    Well, my tiny offering might end up posting.

    Best to all my friends here.

  • Iown Mylife
    Iown Mylife

    Everybody needs to get in their staring time. I watch the backyard from the kitchen table, the bird feeders have lots of beautiful birds. Also the squirrels are so funny, the way they play and dig around for hickory nuts.

    Here in north Georgia we had snow warnings last week. Friday night was going to be cold and snow was expected. So that afternoon as I watched the back yard, suddenly i saw a squirrel with his mouth full of brown leaves, climbing way up a tall tree. I guess he was reinforcing the insulation in his leafy nest in the tree top. I had never seen that behavior before! Being a jw i never had time to see those things. I thought to myself, Well that is the forecast straight from the squirrel's mouth, it's gonna be cold and we better believe it!

    Since leaving the JW cult I've learned to ask myself: I have some discretionary time here - what do I have to do, what do I want to do? That thought helps me prioritize.

  • longgone

    So glad you brought this up rebel8. I can fully relate. I've struggled with this as a born in and still am as I'm fading. (Eight months now, yay!) Meditation has helped me immensely, epecially at first. What you said schnell mirrors my own experience.

    The GB tries to make just about everything have some tie to the demons! I'm surprised we were allowed to brush our teeth. Surely they could have fabricated a connection somehow. 🙌

  • scratchme1010

    Anybody else experiencing this?

    Not experienced, but I remember all the nonsense about demons possessing people over closing their eyes too long and similar nonsense.


    Lovely topic ..................a massive alternative to some recent postings on the forum !

    So in the target rebel8 and the rest of you!

    I too have gotten into Meditation and Mindfulness practice - Very necessary post the deep depression I was in for 30 months from 2010 onward.

    I am also privileged to be living very near the sea and can go swimming* every morning - "they" say its great for the Vega Nerve system.

    Nevertheless I continue fight off a lot of anger toward the movement which I have to work hard at to overcome.

    *Dalebrook, Tidal Pool [Cape Town]

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