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Spiritual Identity Crisis


decafaholic
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I'm up late, eating a peach pie and needing to get some thoughts down.

 

I've recently (about 3 months ago) started believing in a higher power. I identified as agnostic or atheist for almost two years, so this is a change for me. I got comfortable with my identity as an atheist and now that I don't have that label, I'm not sure what to do with myself.

 

I'm certainly not a Christian, or any other religion I can identify. I just think there is something else out there. Maybe it's a universal life force, maybe it's a goddess or 2 or 5, maybe it's an energy, I don't know. I just know I feel better with the thought that I'm not alone.

 

What kind of shakes things up a bit is that I've been praying lately. To what, I'm not sure, but a friend of mine is going through a really tough time right now and I was so worried about her this week I actually offered a few prayers that she would be okay or that I would figure out how to help. I guess it didn't hurt anything, I just worry about getting too caught up in religious ideas. I don't want to be like I was before I deconverted. As long as I'm not actually expecting god to talk back and I don't feel a sense of obligation to pray, then I think I'll be okay.

 

My boyfriend (who is a devout Christian) and I talked on the phone tonight and he listened while I babbled on and on about how complicated my beliefs are right now. I have to take a moment to brag on my boyfriend: he is a great listener, he knows not to give advice and he is respectful of my beliefs, no matter how different they are from his own.

 

So I'm not sure how to identify myself spiritually. Maybe to some of you, having a label isn't important, but I take comfort in labels.

I think I'll go to sleep now.

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I think it's better to constantly evaluate your beliefs as you build the foundation of your spiritual (or non-spiritual) identity, that way what you end up with will have a firm foundation you've thought about every step of the way, rather than just accepting what someone else told you.

 

All the best as you learn more about yourself, and solidify the beliefs that will define you as a person. Take it slow.

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Jabbrwokk makes an excellent point about the importance of always re-evaluating the contents of your mind. The more I make a commitment to turn this practice into an on going discipline, the less I'll have to deal with the results of my own giving in to laziness, social pressures and fears in my thinking. Giving in to these things leads away from clear, cogent thinking. Muddy thinking will come back to bite me later.

 

As far as praying goes, if there is in fact, some possibility that there might be some aspect of reality beyond strict materialism which is intelligent and responsive, then what's wrong with asking for help when help is needed? The worst that will happen is that it will be fruitless.

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I find "praying" helps to clear the mind. If I think of it in time, I'll talk to myself about the problem, try to sort my feelings and tell myself it's okay having these fears and feelings of vulnerability, etc. Often, this actually does bring results. It does not heal illness or change the facts of the situation. What it does do is clear my own mind and feelings so that I can better deal with the problem. Being able to get one's sleep is very important. If eating peach pie and praying does the trick--hey, all the more power to you. :3:

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I just know I feel better with the thought that I'm not alone

But are you alone? (regardless of the "higher power")

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