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Adapting To The New World?


Timcik
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I have de-converted about a month ago now. Still going through the pains and emotions. I guess I should be happy. I am finally completely free to live my life however I choose. I am finally now free to take or give my own life, as I choose. There is immense freedom in that (not that I plan to).

 

But I have some problems. I am single and in my mid 20s, and suddenly my life completely changes. I feel like I am so behind everyone in so many respects. I do not party much, I've only had one relationship, I don't like the city life much, etc. Basically, I am now not a Christian, but I still like the Christian way of life and morals (or at least, they are still a part of me). My biggest hang up is probably relationships. I feel like I'm way behind women out there, but I need someone who is at my level (experience wise). I just feel like I do not fit into this new world! I feel like the old world suits me better. I don't know what to do! Maybe if I was 18 I could sort everything out, but at my age, I really just want to settle down and mature.

 

I'm lost! Yes I'm free now, but I don't really want to go out there and live like the others in my society. And I will never be like them even if I wanted to, given that I missed out on a lot. Even God can't help me now!

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Now that you're allowed:

 

Live the way you want to live. There is no such thing as being "behind" other people. Everyone should, and usually is, judged on an individual basis when it comes to relationships. If you are thoughtful, humorous, and have a little dose of confidence, you won't have any problem finding a lady-friend to be your buddy. And now you can do all sorts of kinky things!

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Maybe if I was 18 I could sort everything out, but at my age, I really just want to settle down and mature.

 

You're in your mid-20s? That's still pretty young. You have plenty of time to figure these things out. You're far from the first person to start adult life a little "behind" the pack. I'm confident you'll "catch up". It's not a race.

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When I was at a Christian college, years before I even seriously thought of questioning my faith, I took up a little fascination with perusing the campus library for books written about atheism and other religions. I don't remember who said it, but I think close to reading something about Nietzsche I read a quote about the supposed instance where someone stops believing in god and is released into "horrible, horrible freedom." I thought of the Simpsons episode Deep Space Homer where the experimental ant colony is accidentally released to float through the space shuttle, and it captions one of them saying, "freedom! horrible freedom!" I don't know if that's what the show's writers were referencing, but I think of it sometimes when this feeling is described. It's pretty comical when you think of that way.

 

Anyway, I kept thinking that's what it might be like to make that big dive into saying there is no god. I thought it would be something like having my mind turned over to the outer darkness or some such nonsense. But you're really just giving yourself access to new ideas and experiences that were off limits. I deconverted at 25 and just started questioning my old ideas one at a time as I felt comfortable with it. Some things are staying with me as long as they stand the test of time. Some things I've gladly thrown out.

 

I don't want to start going to nightclubs and whatever else either. I think it's hard for many of us to grasp, but your answer to the god question is really a very small part of you, and you're still you despite however much of it Christianity took credit for. It's enough to remember that now.

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I have de-converted about a month ago now. Still going through the pains and emotions.

 

Don't forget these words of yours. I think they explain a lot of the way you feel now. As others have said, give yourself time and be patient with yourself.

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I have de-converted about a month ago now. Still going through the pains and emotions.

 

Don't forget these words of yours. I think they explain a lot of the way you feel now. As others have said, give yourself time and be patient with yourself.

 

I agree wholeheartedly with Overcame .I have been deconverting for quite some time and there are still some days that I can still get really confused. Many parts of me still think christian - the way I should act, be and think.I always have to question what the 'christian' right thing to do and what I feel is the right thing. It certainly does take some very quickly to deconvert, and others (like myself) have a harder time. One day at a time.........

 

I really do love the freedom to be who I am and think my own thoughts.This is the best part. Best of everything to you my friend! Sincerely...........

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Mid twenties is not that much older than 18 really. There are lots of women who would like a bloke who doesn't want to get drunk all the time and do drugs etc etc etc. Women don't really want a man who has slept with half the population of Sydney either!

 

So you have some important selling points with the ladies!

 

Give yourself time and be patient. You may find volunteering with groups like St Vinnies Night Patrol or the RSPCA puts you in touch with a like minded woman.

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Time is definitely key. I started deconverting almost 6 years ago. My favorite part of atheism is the self-confidence and self-approval that I can have now, and I hope you find that more and more every day. I resonate with you more than you know about needing to "catch up" to everyone else my age. I think the world is full of people who are more like you (a general you) than you would imagine, and I hope you find them here and elsewhere.

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Who exactly is it that sets these standards of "being behind"? These are averages, and there are actually very few who fit in the 'middle'. That middle is made up of a who bunch of 'aheads', and 'behinds'. The reality is those aheads and behinds, not the middle.

 

Anyway my real point is this. If it takes you longer, chances are in the end you will have a whole lot more depth of experience you gained as opposed to those who raced right on ahead. Wisdom is far greater than status.

 

As far as not finding a new place and the old world seems more familiar or even appealing, it will take time. Be assured however any going back won't last long. You left it for a reason. For me it's because I simply outgrew it. To think you can go back is like saying you want to quit being in your mid-20s and be 14 again. Think you could do that? You might pretend for a while, but you're already past it.

 

Just take it easy. Don't be harsh on yourself. Be true to yourself. You'll find your way.

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Thanks guys for your comments. I found them helpful. Yeah I guess more time is needed, especially when it comes to breaking old mindsets about how to approach a relationship. But that is not to say that all of Christianities ideas about life are bad. Certainly I see many problems with society in general. But now, I get to choose for myself how I will meet those issues, rather that having that forced upon me. And in the long run, I can see that is the better way to live.

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P.S. I wish I was you're age again, at least knowing what I know now. :) It's all a fun journey, once you've gone through it that is.

 

As for breaking old mindsets, there is a certain amount of deprogramming that has to occur. Expose yourself to other ideas. You are absolutely right about being free. Follow your heart, open your mind.

 

Peace.

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Tim, I hope you do well with your new state of mind. The world constantly is a new place. Sometimes, I think I should abandon being a Prospero and be a Miranda because I see things popping up all the time and so cynicism fights its hardest to stay relevant. Strangely, as soon as you dismiss the world, it surprises you with its capacity to change. There's rocks staying there for millions of years, sure but there's life coming and going making its impact on the rocks. So I just drop nostalgia and respect the past. It's the present and the future that I'm interested in. In that, at least there's things you can change and make anew. I think I don't know and then that damn thing pop up and I learn something that I didn't know a minute ago. Truly, I'm glad to be in this state. It frees me from dogmatism and stagnancy. I guess, there's no true rest however much I want things to slow down. Perhaps we'd best never say "The glory of the world has passed." every time there's bad or good change. Because they make a new world regardless. Perhaps we'd go for the ride. Ultimately, I think there's no such thing as true predictability or true non-predictability. It's probably much stranger than that. So oh yeah, I must shrug my shoulder and ask you, "Can you do better than this? Let's ride life out as we see fit."

 

Welcome to ExC, Tim! Sorry for the musing by the way. I wanted to say this for so long. Have a drink and join us! :D

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You have to give yourself time. Detoxifying from religion is like going through drug rehab., it takes time and how much time depends on the individual. There are no 12-step programs for leaving religion. You either believe in talking snakes, magical fruit, unicornes, cockatrices, burning serpents, incontinent cherubs wearing diapers, satyrs, and fauns, or you don't. If you don't believe it but can't leave it, then there is still part of you that still believes it. We often dislike the religion but desire the end result, going to heaven as a blessed servant. If the spirituality is what attracts you then be spiritual, love life, enjoy what life has to offer because it is so short. Even the bible, in some places, says god wants us to be happy and he also asks to be reasonable and to remember mercy over sacrifice.Christians chase religious doctrine and ceremonies all over the place. The bible says true religion is remembering to care for widows and orphans. I think even a nonchristian could claim that was a good plan to be of moral character. We are what we want to be.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am learning that my emotions are temporary and intangible. This is a step forward, considering that I used to read so much into my emotions, like it was either God or the Devil talking to me.

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I am single and in my mid 20s ... I really just want to settle down and mature.

Whoa there, podnah. Don't be in such a hurry. The median age for marrying is 28.5 or so these days, and plenty of people wait well into their thirties. I daresay a lot of 25-ish people are just getting around to putting their nose to the grindstone of life and finally getting to know themselves after some other form of arguably time-wasting activities like being party animals or couch potatoes or professional students. It's not like being a Christian is the only way to fritter away your callow youth.

 

You are not only not behind in some inordinate way, you are ahead of people like me who were mired in the church much longer than you or who had to spend 20 years with a crowbar prying the church out of their heads.

 

You'll be fine. Don't rush it and don't obsess about it.

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You are not only not behind in some inordinate way, you are ahead of people like me who were mired in the church much longer than you or who had to spend 20 years with a crowbar prying the church out of their heads.

 

Maybe your right, but please, can I borrow that crowbar??

 

 

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Hey, I think I know a lot of how you feel. I'm also a guy in my mid twenties, fairly recently deconverted (it's been nearly a year now). People are right when they say it takes time, and everyone's unique so it's different for different people. You may find you go through phases. I definitely am. Some are intensely euphoric, liberating, joyful and freeing, while others are real low points and you may feel lonely or isolated. Make sure to try and surround yourself with a good social network and I would recommend to try and keep busy with fun activities.

 

I still have a similar affinity to "Christian morals" and lifestyle. I don't wanna go out partying all the time or get drunk or do drugs or anything like that either. I don't like gossip or lying or arrogance. But remember it's the same with a lot of people who have nothing to do with religion. Despite what everyone says in the church, the world outside doesn't spend all its time in dark casinos having orgies and wasted on heroin. One of the sources of Christianity's power is that it manages to convince us that it has a monopoly on good morals or an ethical lifestyle. I think most of what we might be tempted to think of as the good bits in the bible or christianity can be found elsewhere. I think "Love your neighbour as yourself" was taught by Confucius before christianity was even in the planning stages.

 

But I do think with some things it is dangerous to think of Christianity as having a good, healthy teaching that you miss. For example with sexuality, I think it's actually quite repressive how it teaches us to view it as dirty and wrong, even between two consenting adults who are in love and have a natural desire to express their love that way or two people that just wanna enjoy each other and have some fun. Without feeling guilty, like god is watching you shaking his head, even though as someone said, it was him who supposedly gave us these natural desires in the first place.

 

It is hard and confusing adapting to the real world, especially when many non-religious people have no idea what your going through, and your christian friends keep offering you or emotionally guilt-tripping you into accepting the very thing that damaged you and that you are trying so hard to recover from. I would say just try to be yourself, be who you really wanna be, there's nothing stopping you now. Try new things, and treat yourself to things you prohibited before. And you still can have morals, or a moral framework. But you get to define them however you want now. Not just be restricted by what's in one single book, and trying to convince yourself of things that you know deep down just aren't right. And join in the discussion that the rest of the world is having about how to make a better world for those of us that live in it in the here and now. It's not just Christians who care about these things! You're an amazing person and you have a lot to offer the world. You do not have to deny yourself, and keep trying to become like somebody else (Jesus). Let your true self out and let it flourish. Sorry if this is a bit cheesy! Hope it helps.

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One of the sources of Christianity's power is that it manages to convince us that it has a monopoly on good morals or an ethical lifestyle.

 

Thants very true. Thanks for your comments, they were helpful!

 

When I first decided not to just 'belive in God' but rather put it into the unknown basket, that was the most liberating and enjoyable experience of my life (one year ago, and I was overseas). But to bring that mindset home has been very difficult. I now plan to go overseas for a working holiday. I found that when I am in a completely different environment and culture, it then becomes easier for me to be myself and live how I want to live. Far away from the social and cultural norms that I am used to, and equally far away from my judging family and there rules! Maybe there I will sort out my life again.

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