Do you ever miss it?
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23-07-2015, 12:22 PM (This post was last modified: 23-07-2015 12:31 PM by FreeThinker1994.)
Do you ever miss it?
Hi, all.

So, a few weeks in, I'm noticing some unanticipated feelings coming up.

I find I like the ideas of God and religion much more than I like them in practice. It's a strange thought, I guess.

I went through a phase the last couple of days when I thought I would just go to Church this weekend. After having a hard time with my mom, I started trying to talk myself into going to Church on Sunday mornings. I like to imagine myself as a pious churchgoer, and going to Church used to bring me so much comfort.

I also have cried quite a bit, because I know that there really is no God to talk to, but to think that the being I've confided so much in is really just an imaginary friend is overwhelming sometimes.

I'm coming out of this funk. It's just difficult for me.

(As it was when I was religious), I'm finding I like the idea of planning to go to Church, but when Sunday morning comes, there are a thousand things I'd rather do.

I think this has something to do with my sexuality, as going to Church (to me) means that I would be celibate, and not have to deal with things like rejection or my body image issues. But there is too much to lose for me to buy into that.

Do you all experience this?
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23-07-2015, 12:34 PM
RE: Do you ever miss it?
I had a hard time when I first left Christianity because my identity was so wrapped up in it. I didn't even know who I was as a person since I was making all of my decisions based on what God would want. I was angry that I was lied to by the church and my parents. I was angry that I was sold a bill of goods about heaven. I was sad that I wouldn't see loved ones who had passed on into magical heaven like I was promised as a Christian. But out of all that came happiness. We only have one life--there is no afterlife. There is no god. The beauty to all of that is you get to be who you want to be, like what you want to like, love who you want to love. You get to make the life *you* want. There is no magical sky god standing in your way.

If you are having some issues with body image, why not speak to a professional about it? We only get one life, make the most of it!

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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23-07-2015, 12:45 PM
RE: Do you ever miss it?
No. I wasn't very religious so when I left faith or maybe "faith" I don't felt much. Practically nothing changed.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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23-07-2015, 01:46 PM
RE: Do you ever miss it?
Nope. Never.

Religion is bullshit.

God is bullshit.

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
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23-07-2015, 02:16 PM
RE: Do you ever miss it?
When I went to college, even though I was starting not to believe, Sundays felt wrong without church. (I had grown up going to church for 6-9 hours, morning and evening, on Sundays, plus another 3 hours on Wednesday nights.) I found some very nice Christians and went to their church for a while. It was Episcopalian, so the services were short, the music was beautiful, and afterwards we went to the priest's house and ate lunch for free--a big deal for a poor kid at an expensive college. I stopped going after a couple of years, once I had worked through various philosophers and propositions for the existence of god and solidified my disbelief.

I think I would have moved away from religion faster if I had not spent so many hours immersed in it every week. There were a bunch of different habits that I needed to change.

All of this is to say that I think it's natural to miss going to church for a while, until you've replaced that activity with something better. (And pretty much anything you'll figure out is going to be better! Big Grin)
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23-07-2015, 03:05 PM
RE: Do you ever miss it?
It took me 18 months to come to terms with this so I know very much how you feel. The more I learned the worse I felt for a while because I knew it would all come to a head. I begged and cried for god to prove himself to me so that I would know the epistemology that I was coming into was fake, of the devil, used to deceive me. I got nothing....(see my signature below).

I would pray for hours on my commute to and from work. Finally I knew I had to accept what seemed to most likely be true and as the Pauline epistle says in I Corinthians 13:11 - when I was a child I spoke like a child, I reasoned like a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish thinking. Granted, that is taken out of context for this use but it fits so perfectly. I was in shock for a very long time, and I still (even 2 years later) catch myself thinking about it from time to time. I fall into Pascal's wager trap - what if i'm wrong? isn't it better to be safe than sorry? - then I reason myself back into sanity.

But yes, it is lonely. It feels weird to realize that a sky being you confided so much in probably doesn't exist. The only advice I would have would be to find communities that can replace what you are losing. I may have mentioned that before to you or someone else...it's very important to feel a part of something. It's human nature, so make it a priority. The rest takes time. Time does heal wounds. You WILL get through this. Big Grin

**Crickets** -- God
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23-07-2015, 09:21 PM (This post was last modified: 23-07-2015 09:33 PM by Cosmic Discourse.)
RE: Do you ever miss it?
One of the main reasons I was able to distance myself (fairly quickly) from theistic belief, was due to a formed habit of dispassionate thinking.

Initially, I tend to process individual issues in an abstract manner, and then reintroduce the layers of complexity as I go. Echoing what others have said, it can be an abrupt change early on, but its not an insurmountable task to find outlets of fulfilment.

Depending on your location and comfort level, there's usually meetup groups of an atheist, humanist, skeptic or free thought leaning. They're a great option for those who miss the face to face interaction and/or the community engagement.
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29-07-2015, 02:25 PM
RE: Do you ever miss it?
My conversion from monotheist to atheist took several (10-ish) years. Maybe even longer. Primarily because I was so terrified to verbalize the word Atheist when describing myself. I had been so deeply indoctrinated that even though I was convinced there is no god, I could not bring myself to confess it.

I personally see my religious experiences as abusive and destructive. However, just like being in a bad relationship, when you leave you miss the person. You think, "He's not so bad." or "He took care of me". You might even tell yourself that "He always loved you and cared for you." The times he called you worthless or stupid seem to insignificant. There was only 1 or 2 times he raised a fist to you, really it wasn't that bad.

Add to that fact that so many of your friends and family think he was a great guy (or religion is really great). They don't understand why you left, after all he's so charming, strong and caring. The problem must be with you, not him because they've never seen him mistreat you.

Religion looks so nice on the outside. There is so much to miss about it. The close-knit community it forms. Having opinions and beliefs excepted more readily. The music is amazing (specifically hymnals). Religion also keeps your life on schedule. You know what to do with yourself (and your family) on Sunday mornings. You feel there is a purpose dictated by someone else, and in many ways, it's comforting to know that you don't have to think about what you'll do with your life because god has already decided it for you.

I went through all 7 stages of grief during my conversion. At one point I became so angry with religion that I wouldn't sing along to any Christmas Carols that were about god. I really did not want to celebrate Christmas that year because of it's association with god. I wanted anything affiliated with god out of my life I was so full of rage.

Then I became isolated and lonely. I felt like I was missing out on an inside joke. I missed being able to really enjoy holidays. Honestly, it gave me a new perspective on why so many people follow it blindly.

I feel now that I am comfortable with where I am. I now enjoy holidays (though I like to joke about "Leave that Christ out of my Mithrasmas"). I sing hymns, just like I sing other ballads of mythology. I don't believe Pecos Bill, Paul Bunyan or Johnny Appleseed ever lived (not the ones told in legends at least), but I sing their songs and tell their stories and jokes. And I do believe that some (not a lot) parts of the bible have some very good advise (Proverbs has some good stuff). However, Confucius also has some great advise as do many other books.

Daeuse
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29-07-2015, 03:46 PM
RE: Do you ever miss it?
(23-07-2015 01:46 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  Nope. Never.

Religion is bullshit.

God is bullshit.

That's completely untrue, and unfair....

...


Bullshit is a great fertilizer and highly useful as such.....

It should not be denigrated by being compared to religion or "god"...

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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06-08-2015, 02:39 AM
RE: Do you ever miss it?
There are times I miss the tradition of it all. I always thought that there was something beautiful about the services (mostly the large carol numbers and holiday season). If I am being honest though, now I am filled with to much...frustration when I even think of it all. This comes from the fact that I have come to a point that I know the lies of the well meaning and the not so well meaning within those walls. I can not sit through a simple 25 mins summer service anymore. I guess I miss being blissfully unaware of the BS that was religion.
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