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Old 11-11-2017, 11:05 PM   #38
Guest M
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Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 28
Default Re: How Many Are Former Members Of The Local Church

Harold, thank you for your kind words! And Ohio, for your welcome!

I think many people, especially if they are coming into adulthood from having been raised one way, eventually find a different spiritual path that works for them. Or, in the case of many Christians here, a better home and source of Christian spiritual wisdom. Although I'm writing from a place of pain, it is old pain that just never got expressed.

I'm actually very happy now, in the present, and I love my spiritual path. I do not see it as merely a reaction against Christianity. (It takes a LOT more than that to come from a monotheistic view of God and enter a polythiestic one!!!) What I have gotten from it is an extension of my opportunity to explore my relationship with God from a completely different paradigm. I had gotten all I could from the old one...a flipped perspective can be very valuable. And I value things about Christianity. I don't see these spiritual paths, or others, as completely oppositional to each other. I know that's a hard sell. LOL

That's okay. I just say this to say I am happy with my path, it is rich for me, my relationship with God never stopped...only changed, but it has been seamless in my experience. It feels that way because I followed God, like many of you did, where I found God's familiar presence. I let that guide me instead of what others told me. Anyway...sure, I have a lot of anger. It boils up inconveniently. In fact, that's part of why I'm finally doing this. I would like to let it go. It is getting in the way of my growth...it is a suit that doesn't quite fit anymore.

So I realize in order to do so, I'm just going to have to work through the process of saying everything I was unable to say for so long, which means I'm gonna sound angry and sad probably pretty often. I value anger...it saved me, finally allowing myself to feel that way. But now I'm ready for it to serve me instead of the other way around, and the older anger is not currently doing that. This should help.

Aaaaaaaanyway theological perspectives aside, that's not what's important - I want to say THANK you for your support. I feel from the responses here, despite the fact that I have gone in a way that is probably completely incomprehensible to others, it is clear that people understand, fundamentally, where we are similar, what we all have been through. And that is so, so comforting.

I told another former member who was a good friend of mine about this site. She was so happy and is going to check it out. I told her it felt good to finally talk about it with people who actually knew what I was talking about, who lived through it, all the internal language and culture and taboos like I did.

On another note, I noticed someone posted about dating, and not knowing how to approach women because of the way that the local churches controlled and dealt with marriage. I sympathize so much with him and others...I think one of the worst things that happened was feeling unprepared for living in the world, for any kind of practical human experience. I constantly feel like I am catching up, even though I am nearing 40!

My complaint is not the things they say; they say pretty awesome SOUNDing things. But that's all it is...words. They have no sense of grounding in reality, and when you come from that, it is so hard to acclimate to the actual world and to relate to other people, you hardly know where to start.

Because of this, I have decided to do something I've thought of doing for a long time, and have a blog dedicated to what I have learned through my spiritual journey, much of which addresses a lot of questions that I know many others must have, both spiritual and practical. I think at least THAT is something I have to offer...dunno. But I think so. And I also want to make sure that others who have found a completely different path, or decided they don't need a religion at all, know they also are not alone.

Since I realize talking about some of that may not be appropriate here, and I respect that I am in the minority, I decided not to post about it here but on my own space, so people can go to it if they want to, but not be exposed to it here or face more confusion than they are ready for or want.

So I hope in mentioning it, I am not breaking any rules...I do not want to be separated from this connection I have finally made with others, so hopefully I can do a decent job of filtering what I have to say to the places it is appropriate and helpful. Fwiw! In the meantime, the blog I started is called by the same name as my username here, and is a word press site. I will refrain from posting the link for now until I know more about what's acceptable for here.

I suppose that's enough for now. Thanks so much for the understanding and ACCEPTANCE. Even with me being different in some ways than most here. See? It's not that hard! That was one thing I could never understand about those people...it's not that hard to find common ground, to see that everyone has something to offer. they made it SO freaking difficult I am STILL learning how to make friends to this day.

I have been looking around and there are a looooooooooooooooot of stories here; you're right! That is encouraging, that people have found a place they can talk about it.
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