RE: I've never had an addiction but sometimes I feel like religion was
(31-08-2012 02:05 AM)LadyJane Wrote: I think this is one of the single most difficult concepts in transitioning from a believing way of life to a non believing. So much dependancy and pseudo answers are given with indoctrination. The mind literally becomes an automated reflex of the larger mob-mentality (re: hypnotized) cult/congregation/way of life.
I have had a similar experience as well. Lucky for me, I could fall back on many skills I picked up in school (counsellor) and I also went to the best therapist EVER for other things, but this consequently influenced my new approach in a new way of living, which basically has to be molded from the ground up. And actually, it can be very simple, but it takes a lot of work (practice), so in that sense it's hard. But once it is drilled in (reformatted) into your brain, you can rely and depend on this in life when you meet minor or major crisis.
When we come to our problems in a believer's brain, it is crisis -> ask God and pray-> brain signals we've been heard-> crisis diverted (handled), all is well. And then the reality is a certain action was made, or a certain series of events happened and then things were solved more or less in our perception and we move on.
Now, as a newly non believer, the brain goes crisis-> no praying-> what do I do? -> problem is not solved/helped-> problem has become overwhelming.
So here, we are stuck at 'What do I do?' and our brain has no place to go. This is the skill. In neurology, we have learned about the various pathways and signals. With prayer, this is an in-fluctuation of chemical (a soothing chemical that sends the crisis away to feel averted) that is self-released (meaning you consciously signal this to happen) and this chemical has been available through practice (praying at church, everyday on the AM and evening, every meal and any crisis ever- that's a LOT over the years of chemical availability and pathway embedding- especially if you were very heavy into your belief, especially for a preacher because you are doing this for yourself and everyone else as a whole and individually- wow!). These are strong physical effects of praying. This IS the addiction you feel. In reality, in form. There is no way you shouldn't feel the way you do after, because of how actual it is.
So, what now? "What do I do"?
The new skill has to come in. Well, this is an analogy that helps many people in counselling. Have you ever taken a first aid course? If you haven't it may be beneficial not only just to have, but also to learn problem solving crisis skills.
The first thing in first aid is not to call 911, not to do anything. It is to stop and breathe. Slowly. It seems ridiculous but it does help. Mentally, this begins to release these same calming chemicals so you don't panic, just like prayer would do. It also helps oxygenate the brain to think clearly. It is incredible how a lack of oxygen will screw up how you think-if at all! This is why yoga and meditation are actually very beneficial for the mind.
Then you can go through your problem solving questions. Can I help? If I can't, who can? What are my resources? (friend, professional, forum here, etc) What do you do if you don't reach answers? What have other's done? I have to grab some books maybe this week, because I think there is an actual formula for this to memorize to help, too- I haven't been in this workforce for a few years (I have wee ones as well and am not doing this right now with clients). Myself, I have a fairly set routine for these things now. (living proof! you can get there!)
Now, you will find that you have the right 'system' to deal with a wide variety of personal crisis. You will realize you have choices to make, and that's in your control. When a sense of control (vs feeling overwhelmed) starts to develop, confidence and self esteem grow. Amazing! This take practice to 're-route' your old way of thinking.
I have some other tips if you want, one is called 'scaling' and another is called 'miracle questioning' (don't worry, no fake or real miracles are preformed )
Let me know if I wasn't being clear. There are many techniques and everyone has a different way of approaching, this is what I find works for most people and helped myself. The most important thing is to understand that this addictive feeling and this sense of overwhelm are for an actual physical reason and because the brain is AMAZING and can be manipulated and healed, re-routed and reinvented there is so much possibility to be where you want it to be. You don't have to feel overwhelmed forever.
I have children too, similar in age. We also have bible books still in the house and Grandma's and Aunties, etc, talk about God like God is real. I say flat out "I think this is a story. " I explain my view on things.
And then I flood their little minds with FACTS And I buy ALL kinds of books- of course science, history, etc but also more fair tales and mythical stories. The bible is an extremely important piece of history and should not be feared. It just deserves the proper view.
Also, critical thinking is such a key component for the mind. There is a lot of information out there for how to develop this. (I love the internet!)
So I've babbled a lot- I could babble more, too- but I'll wait to see if or what response this gets and go from there. Was this helpful?
Yes please share as much as possible. Like what books? And just any other tips.
“The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.”
― Baruch Spinoza