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About TruthSeeker0

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    Learning to find my genuine self, that's about it.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?

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  1. How to enjoy life without the joy of the "Lord"

    I concur with everything that's been said. Before you were "free" in the Lord, free to believe that you were nothing and deserved only the worst kind of punishment, a truly sadistic type. How do you enjoy life? I don't know about you, but looking back, life wasn't really enjoyment when I was constantly wondering how many sins I'd committed and looking to have them forgiven and analyzing the hows and whys of everything that was happening in my life. So how do we enjoy life now? Perhaps by dwelling on the fact that we are incredibly lucky to be alive here today and we get the chance to make what we will of our lives. We can be our own destiny. Sure, everyone has grey days, but most mornings now I wake up glad for another day to enjoy the sunshine or the rain, or the smile on that stranger's face as I pass them by, or that goofy joke someone told that made my morning. Most of all, I enjoy it when I can connect with other people and share my life with them even in some small way. And I am free of that black and white world where I easily judged people simply for being who they are, because that book told me to. It is utterly glorious to be able to look at the world and realize I'm part of it and its part of me and ditch the dehumanizing isolation caused by fundamentalism. How do I intend to be happy? By making myself useful to humanity in some way and loving the people in my life more fiercely, and trying to be a decent, kind person to others. I think if I'm able to succeed in this in some small measure in that, I'll be happy.
  2. Thoughts On Crying?

    It causes repression. That's an understatement. What all this machismo attitude causes is men who have no idea how to be in touch with their emotions, and then if they feel emotion that might make them cry or seems feminine, it seems unmanly to them and thus it's repressed. It's so unhealthy. And there are families where this is expected of women too, to keep a stiff upper lip and be stoic and just tough it out. I grew up in one to a certain extent, but I'm an HSP (we have a separate thread about that on here somewhere) and it doesn't work that way for me. Well, it does to the extent that on the surface I probably appear to be a calm and collected, when many times beneath that there's this roiling ocean that seems confined and fenced in, because crying still triggers shame in me. All that repressed emotion can cause a lot of negativity, its just plain bad for your mental health. I've adopted a new outlook on this,(reading psychology books helps) that emotion is just a normal part of life and we are healthier and happier and more connected to each other when we just express it and let it out. Society has just developed this expectation that men should not only repress expressing emotion through crying, but that they don't talk about their emotions much because that's also unmanly. Not talking = emotional dissatisfaction = problems that express themselves in other ways and behaviours.
  3. I wish

    There have already been excellent points made above in regards to God, the Bible, hell and the rest of it. Since I'm no young earth believer (never really was even in the church) I can look at it like this: this earth is probably somewhere around 4.5 billion years old. Homo sapiens has been around for approx. 200,000 years. Our ancestors have been around for 6 million years. That is a loooong time. Christianity itself is a tiny blip on that screen. And it's only come about because we have this invention called writing, where ideas are more readily passed from one generation to the next, and then we have people like Constantine who enforced Christianity and persecuted other religions. Everywhere you look with the spread of Christianity it appears to be enforced. Look what happened to the native inhabitants of North America. Not a pleasant story. But this is what happens when millions of people look at this book and revere it, don't question a single thing about it, and then enforce it upon other people. It can be downright dangerous. I used to believe all the crap that Christianity is the religion of peace and love and truth. But history says otherwise, it says its only one of many faiths that rely on propagating themselves by first infecting the young and making them immune to any rational thinking. I could just as well have been a Muslim born on the other side of the planet and believe Islam to be the ultimate truth. It is no coincidence that we inherit the beliefs of our parents and many of us then fail to examine other religions for claims to truth.
  4. I wish

    You raise points that were important for me, in regards to are we predestined to our fate. There was no escaping the fact that predestination was a facet of the doctrine of the church I belonged to, even though there are attempts to have it both ways and state that we both have free will and at the same time are predestined. It just doesn't work that way when you examine it, you can't have it both ways. It made it much easier for me to walk away from the church when I had loved ones who had left the faith, and the faith was in fact telling me they were predestined to hell along with 99.9% of the population. Perhaps this exclusive fundamentalist teaching made it easier for me to leave than if I had believed in the greater acceptance within liberal Christianity. However, the fact still remains that I view the Christian God as sadistic and evil due to the existence of hell and predestination. I simply find it impossible to believe in a being who enjoys torturing others. Also, the fact that the Old Testament does not speak of hell and that it only comes along in the New Testament made me extremely skeptical. Zehn, I think you would benefit from doing some reading regarding the Bible, with authors such as Bart Ehrman and others like him, if you haven't yet. When you're able to put Christianity and the Bible into the historical context in which it developed, its much easier to fight off the fear and realize how irrational it is, see the contradictions in the Bible, and the very human agenda in there. It's like putting the pieces of a puzzle together, you have to collect enough of them until the picture becomes clear.
  5. So Painful...

    Christianity at it's worst traumatizes those of us who have gone through difficult circumstances, as we plead and try to bargain with God and then in the end, it seems he has failed us anyway. And to make it much worse, when we feel that, it dumps more guilt on us because we are just supposed to have faith and we don't have enough and we are lacking and terrible and deserving of hell etc. It is such a mind game. When we finally wake up to the truth, the toll and the cost of this can be very high. You are not an exception here, and you are not alone. Stick around, this community can be the one thing that helps you pull through when everything feels hopeless and losing this delusion hurts and angers you so much. There are lots of people here who have been where you are and can lend a helping hand. ((hugs))
  6. I wish

    @LogicalFallacyand @ToHellWithMehave raised some good points here. I too stayed with Christianity for a long time due to the fear simply because I didn't even understand that it was fear that was controlling me. But eventually like LF, once I did realize that fear was my primary motivation, I started wondering what it says about the nature of the Christian God that he would threaten us with eternal damnation and torture to keep us in line. If we want to believe in God, should we not be looking for good reasons? And I could find no good reasons once that can of worms was opened. I too know people who have seen angels when they have been in very dangerous circumstances. But I do not view this as concrete evidence for the existence of a God, specifically a Christian God, or evidence that I have to believe in him. I take the view that I don't have to understand or have an explanation for everything that occurs, and that if something occurs outside of my ability to explain it, is isn't evidence that my former beliefs were the ultimate truth. I like LF's last question, why are we not afriad of Hades, Anubis, the underworld, Tartarus, or the Viking Hel? To me, the answer is simple: my mind has not been conditioned to believe in and accept these as literal truths since day 1, thus I am much more likely exercise my rational thinking abilities in regards to their existence and I conclude that they are pure fabrications. I hope you can gain peace Zenh. We all have our paths to walk. If the doubts are there, try to educate yourself as much as possible on the issues.
  7. Hiya

    How did I also miss the fact that you were a minister? Reading this I had an ahaa moment since we've chatted. You see I have this theory, that the ministers out there who are real thinkers, the ones full of kindness and compassion and sincerity, (read: not out there for prestige and $$) they won't stick with Christianity very long if they look for the truth. And that's exactly how you have come across so far, supportive and considerate of others. So Travi, keep fighting that self doubt and depression because the world needs people like you. And I'm not saying that just to make you feel better, I'm dead earnest. *sigh* sleepless nights, those are familiar, in fact I'm having one right now thus I'm cruising this site. This is such a good place to come when you need company, it's always there.
  8. I think it is only by asking the uncomfortable questions that we humans see progress, in most cases. After all, that's how most of us ended up ditching Christianity and ended up here. Why not apply the questioning to other areas and continue to push the envelope? There is nothing as humbling as knowing that you know next to nothing, and that this can apply in regards to other human experiences as well.
  9. Thank you for sharing this. It truly breaks my heart that Christianity and other cultural forces pose such a threat and that the outcome is sad in many such cases. Your son is lucky to have you. I think people and society in general have a long ways to go in being educated in this area, but practicing empathy should be a start.
  10. Good points, and I agree, it would probably be wise to make decisions on a case by case basis. You have thought about and are educated on these issues much more than I am, it is evident in all of your comments, and so I thank you for them. And @Daffodilthanks for the links to the articles on BIID.
  11. This thread is getting very interesting. Out of sheer curiosity, can I ask where you have come across this information on people who want to remove body parts that are actually quite necessary to function normally? I've never heard of such and googled it but not much comes up. Are doctors not legally bound in some way to stick to some equivalent of an oath where they swear to 'do no harm'? How is it different? Well for one thing you pointed out the obvious yourself - it's different because the removal of body parts that are necessary to function becomes a burden to family, insurance, doctors, society. So, it's not the same at all in this regard. My opinion - if one is willing to part with body parts the lack of which will in some way become a costly burden on society (accomodations at work, social assistance, medical equipment etc), then one should also be willing to bear that cost at their own expense. It is not at all equivalent to gender reassignment surgery on this level.
  12. A valid concern. I think Ag had a good point in that transgender people have likely been using the bathrooms with no problems but now this has been blown up and yes, potential perverts will be a problem. Maybe the bathroom thing is more of a kerfuffle in other countries than Canada news wise, I don't really see it making waves here.
  13. I too come from a fundamentalist background where all that was relished. And It always sat very uncomfortably with me. Perhaps because I saw the ostracization that occurred when one of my friends came out of closet. I hope some day I have the opportunity to ask this friend to forgive me for my lack of support. Can we not consider the possibility that in regards to gender and LGBTQ issues, such things have likely existed much longer than they have been acknowledged in society? I doubt these are anything new - people have had to pretend they are something they simply aren't historically, because of the huge social pressures, stigmatization, and downright threat to their very lives if they have come out with who they are, or feel that they are. And now that these are becoming socially acceptable, its very easy to think, OK how far are we going to let these people go in defining themselves? The majority has defined them for so long, and the majority continues to want to do so. I will uphold what makes people feel safer and accepted in their communities. If this means having three or four community bathrooms, that is small peanuts in the grand scheme of things. Living with chronic pain, I have had over a decade of experience with feeling unheard and misunderstood by plenty of people (as well as having their opinions shoved down my throat), and though it's not exactly the same thing, I can empathize. I can't imagine how much worse it would be if I actually felt like suicide was a better option than living. Just my two cents worth. Words carry a lot of weight and once said they cannot be unsaid. We should all try to remember this.
  14. Why deconversion is hard on a lot of folks

    @Margee I think what you have written of your fears and anxiety lies at the core of the difficulty in deconverting for most people, and those who have higher levels of anxiety like I do can very easily struggle in a lot of areas because sky father is no longer there protecting us day in and day out. The fear that death is out there and waiting in some form or other if we place ourselves in the wrong circumstance at the wrong time and place can very easily become overwhelming. I've had some of this fear myself and so I can empathize with what you have gone through. What has also helped me is the knowledge that having the blinders off is a saving grace in some way, because now I can truly place all of my faith in science, in doctors, in geneticists and others who have the true power to help and enlighten me when it's needed, and ultimately I will not naively cling to "thy will be done" anymore. Perhaps some context here helps explain this. I live with the knowledge that some day my heart and what keeps it pumping may fail. This knowledge had me frozen in fear, panic and anxiety for a good long while, but you know what? In the end, the desire to live, really live, won out. The prospect of an imminent death somewhere down the road handed me a gift as valuable as that that has come with deconversion: value every day, make it really count, live. I'm glad you have told this part of your story, you are one tough woman and you have given so much insight and love on this forum to everyone. You are clearly much tougher than your agoraphobia and you will beat it. Much love.
  15. Living without absolution

    I think Yunea has given good advice, you need to learn to forgive yourself and have compassion for yourself, and for who you were before. We all all human and we make mistakes, it's part of life. However, we shouldn't let those mistakes destroy our self confidence in who we are. You need to give yourself the power to forgive you instead of delegating it to others around you. When you do so, you are handing over the reins to them to determine how you feel about yourself. When this happens, they gain too much control and can actually begin to emotionally manipulate another person in unhealthy ways.