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Feeling Insecure About Being In Control Of My Life :(


Journey
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ok ... so maybe I should have 'blogged' this but didn't know where exactly to put this do bear with me. I've lately being going through some difficulties and wanting to 'pour out my heart' to 'god'... yet I don't believe he's really there. In my 'christian past' I used to unload all my fears and worries on this invisible person who would take control of my life and assure me he would direct things for my best but now, I find myself wanting to pray yet .. it's so empty .... altho, it's hard for me to get used to the idea that it's all on my shoulders now after being taught it was a 'sin' to make your own destiny and take control of your own life. I know I can not go back to believing - it's all so absurd to me now after 30+ years of being a fundamentalist/ charasmatic christian but when crisis occur and I am still married to a christian who wants to pray about things, I find it hard and a bit unsettling. I was thinking I'd like to have a substitute for the hour or more I'd spend a day in a 'quiet time' when I'd pray and read my bible but what? I think maybe meditation may be it but not even sure how to do that.

I do take walks first thing in the morning though wooded trails with mydogs and that does help me to re-focus at times but I do miss feeling that relief of letting go of my worries and trusting god to take control. Any suggestions others have for how they've dealt with the transition would be appreciated.

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Hi, Journey. Nothing really profound to tell you - it just takes time. I used to enjoy my time of prayer every morning on the drive to work. Then after Christianity fell apart for me, I still found myself wanting to pray to whatever god that might actually be out there. I came to realize that I was only talking to myself. If you enjoy reading, I recommend Marlene Winell's "Leaving the Fold". She has a whole chapter named Thinking for Yourself, which was helpful to me since thinking is something that religion does its best to keep you from doing. Best wishes!

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Yep, takes time. After all, when you really, really, really want a new car or boat now - do you still have the urge to write a letter to Santa?

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Yep, takes time. After all, when you really, really, really want a new car or boat now - do you still have the urge to write a letter to Santa?

 

I love your frank replies, Florduh :) You really are like your avatar :)

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I think that is normal. In time you will probably move on.

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I was a christian for 36 years. I never felt that god took care of me, I always had to take care of myself. My observation was not that god did anything much for anyone really so I kind of always knew I was on my own. But it's okay, really. You always were on your own Journey and you have done pretty well up to now I'm betting.

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I felt like that too. It was a bit overwhelming realizing that the responsibility was now entirely on my shoulders. I knew that the comfort I used to think I was drawing from god was actually coming from myself. So when life overwhelmed me, instead of praying to god I'd pray to myself. I would speak back to myself as god before when I was a Christian, so I'd still do that, but knowing it was me. Kind of silly maybe, I don't know but it was definitely comforting. Even more comforting than when I was a Christian because I wasn't deluding myself.

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journey,

 

As far as meditating is concerned, you could try the simple breathing form. This is just concentrating on the breath. No need to use the lotus position (at least, not while meditating.....:grin: ) you can just sit in a chair, but with the back straight. Close the eyes. Just concentrate on the in and out breath, at the point where it enters and leaves the nose. Every time the mind wanders, just recognise this, and return to concentrating on the breath. You must be gentle on yourself, be pleased that you have noticed that the mind has wandered, but return to the breath.

 

One thing I found with this was that after just a few days/weeks the constant pointless repetitive chattering of my mind would come to my notice at moments when not formally meditating, and I would come back to the present moment, where ever it was. This in itself can prove to be a welcome release from a virtually non stop mental chattering that often passes for our subjective consciousness.

 

Trying to be "in control" of one's life, and replacing any God who was thought to be in control, is another matter. At least to me. For me it is more of a seeking to "let go".

 

Jack Kornfield (a Buddhist writer)......Underneath all the wanting and grasping, underneath the need to understand, is what is called the "body of fear." At the root of suffering is a small heart, frightened to be here, afraid to trust the river of change, to let go in this changing world. This small unopened heart grasps and needs and struggles to control what is unpredicatable and unpossessable. But we can never know what will happen. With wisdom we allow this not knowing to become a form of trust..............

 

I still search myself for this "wisdom", yet I recognise now the wisdom of such words. It has to do with the difference between "faith" (more a letting go) and "belief" (a clinging to).

 

Just to say that the meditation spoken of helps with this, given that it is the on-going chatter of our minds which is one of the building blocks of a "self" we take as ultimately "real". Such breathing mediation, by breaking down the chatter, breaks down such a futile self, and we gain what perhaps could be called a lighter sense of being.

 

I would also say the personally I have no trouble "talking" to anyone who will listen.......:grin: . There is much spirituality of a "deeper" kind that moves on from any form of "I-Thou" relationship (i.e. devotee/believer to God) to one where the sense of differentiation is eroded.

 

All the best

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I remember feeling this way. It just takes time. I still do pray, but I don't expect huge things from prayer in the same way I used to.

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If you feel like praying, then pray. Just realize you are not praying to anyone or anything outside of yourself. Personally, I actively fight the urge, choosing to redirect my thoughts if ever I feel the urge to pray. I get those desires less and less as time goes by and as I condition myself not to rely on prayer.

 

If I suddenly found an extra hour each day that I used to spend in prayer, I'd use it to begin learning all the things that I had suppressed as a Christian. Maybe learn something about astronomy (one of my favorite subjects), biology and evolution, or any other topic that interests you but which you would not allow yourself to explore when you wore the Christian blinders.

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Journey,

 

The simplest realizations are sometimes the most profound. You were ALWAYS in control of your life. Every choice was always yours. You always made the choice to go left or right...even if you felt god said go left you still could chose to go right.

 

Therefore, where you are in life and the things you have are the sum total of every choice you made along the way.

 

As to praying, it really is a form of meditation. My opinion is problems are best solved head on. So if you are use to meditating daily by praying and reading the bible. there is no reason to stop the ritual. Just read something of interest, maybe a book on contridications in the bible. Then think/ meditate on it like you would normally do with a bible passage.

 

During this time of adjustment having many of the familiar routines around can provide a great comfort. The structrue can help be a reminder that you are still you even if beliefs have chnaged.

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Guest Babylonian Dream

Just talk to yourself the way you would have praying to God if it helps. As for meditation, I meditate, you can just sit and breathe long deep breaths for 20-30 minutes. Though the best thing to do at this point, is to give it time, your brain has just overcome a virus (religion), and is dealing with a loss of a friend (God, even though he isn't real). Things will seem lonelier, emptier, and possibly even depressing for a while, but you will adjust.

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