Afraid of becoming bitter
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25-04-2016, 11:51 AM
Afraid of becoming bitter
So I've been out of religion for a while now (about 3 years) and I don't think it directly affects my life on a day to day basis anymore. However, I do think that my religious upbringing was responsible for a lot of the things that I don't like about myself right now. I've been spending a lot of time researching and reflecting on some of the things that I was taught, trying to get perspectives that I didn't ever get before. I didn't realize how wrong they were until pretty recently, so I've been finding it both interesting and frustrating to go back and think through them.

I got to spend some time with my best friend this weekend, who I rarely get to see since I moved away from home. She commented that she thought I was dwelling too much on the past, and that it wasn't a productive use of my time. I can see her point, but a big part of me just wants to keep delving into the things I was taught, maybe in the hopes that I can undo some of my conditioning and live more rationally now. But I am afraid of becoming nothing more than a bitter and resentful person, and I don't want to be that. What's a good balance? Do you think reading up on what I was taught will make me more bitter?
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25-04-2016, 12:04 PM
RE: Afraid of becoming bitter
You are traveling a path I have not, but I can say that it is very easy to get hung up on some things. Easy to focus in on it and the negativity just builds.
I suggest that you focus on finding peace with yourself. Forgive yourself, acknowledge these things that now you see differently but don't be too harsh or judgemental about it, and this includes others as well.
There is no need to walk backwards along the old path to take the new one, you can just "cut the corner" to your new condition.
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25-04-2016, 12:21 PM
RE: Afraid of becoming bitter
(25-04-2016 11:51 AM)debna27 Wrote:  So I've been out of religion for a while now (about 3 years) and I don't think it directly affects my life on a day to day basis anymore. However, I do think that my religious upbringing was responsible for a lot of the things that I don't like about myself right now. I've been spending a lot of time researching and reflecting on some of the things that I was taught, trying to get perspectives that I didn't ever get before. I didn't realize how wrong they were until pretty recently, so I've been finding it both interesting and frustrating to go back and think through them.

I got to spend some time with my best friend this weekend, who I rarely get to see since I moved away from home. She commented that she thought I was dwelling too much on the past, and that it wasn't a productive use of my time. I can see her point, but a big part of me just wants to keep delving into the things I was taught, maybe in the hopes that I can undo some of my conditioning and live more rationally now. But I am afraid of becoming nothing more than a bitter and resentful person, and I don't want to be that. What's a good balance? Do you think reading up on what I was taught will make me more bitter?

Like Skyking says, don't dwell on it. I did that for a time, kicking myself for the time wasted, things I've said and done when I was religious. You just have to consider what the behavior was. If you don't act like that now, you've past where you should be concerned. Things that need to change, change them and move on. Don't worry about the fact that you improved over the old you. Giving up religion for reason is a big leap. I'm still getting used to it, in some ways, and it's been 11 years for me.
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25-04-2016, 12:57 PM
RE: Afraid of becoming bitter
I dunno. I'm a member of this forum 'cos I couldn't stop worrying at it, like a dog with an old bone. I tried not to obsess over it, but... I've picked up an enduring interest in why we as humans believe stupid shit. Studying critical thinking is never wasted IMO. It has lots of application outside of just religion. Any snake oil merchant has a hard time with skepticism.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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25-04-2016, 01:33 PM
RE: Afraid of becoming bitter
(25-04-2016 11:51 AM)debna27 Wrote:  So I've been out of religion for a while now (about 3 years) and I don't think it directly affects my life on a day to day basis anymore. However, I do think that my religious upbringing was responsible for a lot of the things that I don't like about myself right now. I've been spending a lot of time researching and reflecting on some of the things that I was taught, trying to get perspectives that I didn't ever get before. I didn't realize how wrong they were until pretty recently, so I've been finding it both interesting and frustrating to go back and think through them.

I got to spend some time with my best friend this weekend, who I rarely get to see since I moved away from home. She commented that she thought I was dwelling too much on the past, and that it wasn't a productive use of my time. I can see her point, but a big part of me just wants to keep delving into the things I was taught, maybe in the hopes that I can undo some of my conditioning and live more rationally now. But I am afraid of becoming nothing more than a bitter and resentful person, and I don't want to be that. What's a good balance? Do you think reading up on what I was taught will make me more bitter?

Are you constantly thinking of negative thoughts, are the people you routinely surround yourself with routinely negative as well. If so than it's perhaps unavoidable that you'll become a bitter and resentful person.

I was reading the other day when you routinely think in such a way, and surround yourself with those who think in such a way, the space between synapses in your brain shorten over time allowing you to more prone to such thinking.

The solution is perhaps to surround yourself with more positive influences, happy people, and think more about good stuff, then the stuff that makes you feel bitter and resentful.

http://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/comp...-says.html

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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26-04-2016, 02:12 PM
RE: Afraid of becoming bitter
I've been thinking a lot about these responses. For the most part they've been very helpful; I'm not surprised that thinking more positively is probably the best thing for me to do right now. It's also great to know that there are different approaches that I can take, and one's not necessarily "wrong".

I do have one additional question now, though. How do I go about forgiving someone when they're still doing the things that bother me quite a bit? I'm thinking specifically of family members who hold beliefs that I find pretty abhorrent. It can be hard to just ignore that.
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26-04-2016, 02:22 PM
RE: Afraid of becoming bitter
(26-04-2016 02:12 PM)debna27 Wrote:  I've been thinking a lot about these responses. For the most part they've been very helpful; I'm not surprised that thinking more positively is probably the best thing for me to do right now. It's also great to know that there are different approaches that I can take, and one's not necessarily "wrong".

I do have one additional question now, though. How do I go about forgiving someone when they're still doing the things that bother me quite a bit? I'm thinking specifically of family members who hold beliefs that I find pretty abhorrent. It can be hard to just ignore that.

I read a comment elsewhere where someone said that forgiveness isn't necessarily just about forgiving the other person, but it's also about you, and taking the action so that you can have peace. It can also be a pragmatic decision to reduce conflict in general. Both cases have applied to my own experiences with forgiveness. I'm not saying it works all the time, but it can help.

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26-04-2016, 02:45 PM
RE: Afraid of becoming bitter
(26-04-2016 02:12 PM)debna27 Wrote:  I've been thinking a lot about these responses. For the most part they've been very helpful; I'm not surprised that thinking more positively is probably the best thing for me to do right now. It's also great to know that there are different approaches that I can take, and one's not necessarily "wrong".

I do have one additional question now, though. How do I go about forgiving someone when they're still doing the things that bother me quite a bit? I'm thinking specifically of family members who hold beliefs that I find pretty abhorrent. It can be hard to just ignore that.

It's a tough one. Do you have to forgive them? I'm not above singing the odd hymn to hate when the feeling strikes me Tongue

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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26-04-2016, 02:48 PM
RE: Afraid of becoming bitter
(26-04-2016 02:22 PM)GenesisNemesis Wrote:  
(26-04-2016 02:12 PM)debna27 Wrote:  I've been thinking a lot about these responses. For the most part they've been very helpful; I'm not surprised that thinking more positively is probably the best thing for me to do right now. It's also great to know that there are different approaches that I can take, and one's not necessarily "wrong".

I do have one additional question now, though. How do I go about forgiving someone when they're still doing the things that bother me quite a bit? I'm thinking specifically of family members who hold beliefs that I find pretty abhorrent. It can be hard to just ignore that.

I read a comment elsewhere where someone said that forgiveness isn't necessarily just about forgiving the other person, but it's also about you, and taking the action so that you can have peace. It can also be a pragmatic decision to reduce conflict in general. Both cases have applied to my own experiences with forgiveness. I'm not saying it works all the time, but it can help.
Very well said.

Think of life like driving a car. Spend most of your time looking ahead and not in the rearview mirrors.

Don't think of dealing with others who think and act in ways that bother you in terms of forgiveness. Think of it in terms of acceptance, you have to accept that they think that way. You can choose to confront it if you think it is necessary however; I would pick and choose my battles carefully, particularly when it comes to family. And always be respectful with your disagreement and take the high ground when necessary.
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26-04-2016, 03:00 PM
RE: Afraid of becoming bitter
I find that approaching the subject directly is best for me, but on the other hand I can see how that does not work for everyone. I make it clear that there is nothing to gain by following the line of talk, and everything to lose.
"don't go there" and if that does not work, write them off. See, it won't work for everybody Big Grin
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