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I Finally Grew Up


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I was wondering if anyone feels like they finally grew up when they left xianity. Did you feel like you matured and no longer had an immature world view?

 

I thought a poll would be interesting to get an overview of how the members here felt.

 

Is there something you want to share about how you did or did not mature. Are there issues that are holding you back or things that have helped you grow. Are there things left undone that are preventing you from growing?

 

Perhaps you don't feel like you did or did not grow, it was never an issue.

 

Share whatever you feel here.

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Oh yeah, I have definitely grown up. A lot. I take charge of my life a lot more now, there's not the learned helplessness I used to live with. I make a decision and I allow my principles to guide my decisions. I feel liberated, and calmer than I ever did before. I feel as though I have a lot more control over my life now, even when it gets kind of crazy. I'm happier, because my life is my own now, I no longer believe that there is anything else out there calling the shots for me.

 

I think that learning to make decisions and taking the responsibility for the consequences of those decisions is what growing up is all about. However, when I was a christian, I never did that much, simply because I was meant to let god be in control of my life, and if not god, then another human "spiritual authority", usually a male. And, of course, I was forever having to try and work out what the bible said about every single situation in order to make a decision. I was not in control of my own life.

 

When I think about the last few months since I deconverted, this song comes to mind (this was the best video I could find, unfortunately; it's by an Aussie artist, and from his debut album. He didn't get really popular until his second, not-quite-as-good album):

 

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love alex lloyd, whatever happened to him anyway?

 

He got married. That was the last I heard of him. Mind you, I think he lost a lot of his magic after that first album. The second album was too sunshine and lollipops compared to Black The Sun. He lost that edge he had.

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I feel liberated, and calmer than I ever did before. I feel as though I have a lot more control over my life now, even when it gets kind of crazy. I'm happier, because my life is my own now, I no longer believe that there is anything else out there calling the shots for me.

On balance, I too feel this way most of the time.

 

I have been able to learn to interact with a much wider range of people in many different ways. It is helping me become more of a person. Reading and learning and stuff like that have also been good. There are, however, times when I feel peversely less mature than before.

 

Part of this has to do with a misguided sense of envy directed to those still dreaming, with their cosy little lives, and so on.

 

The other component to this is some of the ways I managed my deconversion, such as my current choice of career (yes, basically based around not being a christian anymore, though I am certainly not a professional atheist, if you know what I mean), or how I was in a (non-religious) type situation similar in several important respects to what went on inside Christianity, which I think somehow slowed me down a little.

 

Nothing that can't be dealt with, though.

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It's not so much that I grew up when I left Christianity, but the things I gained as a result -- a genuine acceptance of who i am, a late-blooming skepticism, a proper respect for science and the educated -- were part of growing up.

 

But that's a very personal assessment. It would be ridiculous to look down at people who exhibit more maturity in other areas and just happen to be Christian.

 

I tend to dismiss the idea of "growing up" anyway. It gets bundled with too many superficial things that have nothing to do with actually bettering yourself and are more about appeasing others.

 

I'll give you this, though -- when I think back to when following politics involved trying to fit current events in with a rapture that was going to happen any second and wondering where the Antichrist was going to come from -- then yeah, I pretty much have to say I "grew up."

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I am greatly enjoying having a stronger sense of self-efficacy. For example, I can go to a restaurant without praying about which one, I can have friends I actually like, not just pseudofriends with whom I supposedly share a post-death destination, and I can choose my own career/education path without worrying about Jeeziz coming back or ministry opportunities.

 

I love having self-efficacy!

 

happydance.gif I CAN DO THIS!!!!! happydance.gif

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I voted "No."

 

I have been a skeptic my entire life. I felt like even as a believer, I had to continually convince myself that God existed and the Bible was true. As a result, even though I was always trying to see and hear God in the decisions I made, in the end it was me making the most rational decisions anyway. I can't think of one decision I've ever made that seemed counter-intuitive at the time but worked out later because it was part of "God's plan."

 

I also voted "No" because I was never one of those flighty Christians that was always pursuing the next spiritual high, going to conference after conference or going on pilgramages to the Pensacola Revival or the Toronto Airport Blessing to get more of God. I always considered myself to be more spiritually grounded than that.

 

In the end, I guess I never had that "childlike faith" in God, and I never looked to pastors for advice on much of anything (except my father in-law regarding construction, since he's flipped a number of houses in his lifetime and knows a lot about that), so I didn't have much growing up to do when I deconverted.

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I have been a skeptic my entire life. I felt like even as a believer, I had to continually convince myself that God existed and the Bible was true. As a result, even though I was always trying to see and hear God in the decisions I made, in the end it was me making the most rational decisions anyway. I can't think of one decision I've ever made that seemed counter-intuitive at the time but worked out later because it was part of "God's plan."

Gawd, you are so lucky. I am a skeptic at heart and I too have always had to convince myself Christianity was true--and I would pray hours each day to make this happen! Wendyloser.gif It was difficult for me to have to constantly override my skeptical and scientific sensibilities in favor of lunacy, but hurrah hurrah, I succeeded WendyDoh.gif . The fact that I am a musician and poet probably made the intersection (think Venn diagram) of science and faith larger than it should have been.

 

Gawd. Why didn't I listen to the skeptical voices in my head????????? It's like I had a warning light flashing on the dashboard of my life, and I just kept silencing it.

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I put "I'm still working on it" because I'm in an awkward place. I definitely feel more confident in myself and more capable in my abilities, which has helped.

 

But at the same time, I feel like I've wasted my childhood. I considered myself pretty mature when I was younger because of my xian values. Now that i don't have them, I don't feel as if I need to act as mature (and I don't). Maybe I never really was? Wendyshrug.gif

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I've always been a rational person. Faith never really factored into my thinking. However, there's always been someone "in charge " of me encouraging me (sometimes forcefully) to go to church. I finally decided that it was rediculous to still let other people "make" me go to church via guilt at the age of 30. So, yes, I'd say taking a stand for what I believe and not being passive is a large step in growing up.

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Lots of good answers here. I find it interesting to hear how people feel about their lives after they left xianity.

 

For me, I feel like I grew up in the sense that xianity is completely made up. So to finally accept that was a way to leave a make believe world behind. I personally look at that as a way of maturing. My imaginary kingdom is just that imaginary. And I say "grow up" because even though it could be viewed as something like a virtual video game, a game is something we know is a game. xianity is something we believed in, and when we tried to get answers to questions that didn't make sense, others tried to keep us in the "game" by expecting us to just believe.

 

I think we grow when we realize that xianity is not actually a good thing. Just like we grow when we stop playing tennis because we completely dislike the game and the rules, or we grow when we stop treating ourselves bad. There are many ways we grow. Some are big, some are small.

 

Every person has their own way. It's nice to see different perspectives on how people feel they were involved with religion. Some were in real deep, some not so much.

 

I felt like religion was really immature, hence my perspective of "growing up". That's not true for everyone, and that's ok. But then again I didn't have to grow up in a fundy life, sorry for anyone who did, but glad they are here now. FREEDOM!!!!

 

Great answers people.

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Yes i definitively grew up intellectually. When i was a Christian i believed Islam was an evil religion, that Christianity should rule the world with a kind of iron fist, since we were the "true church" only good could come out of it. To me Christianity offered the only useful world view with any meaning.

 

However i grew up big time, not necessarily because i left Christianity, but i left Christianity because i grew up.

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I am greatly enjoying having a stronger sense of self-efficacy. For example, I can go to a restaurant without praying about which one, I can have friends I actually like, not just pseudofriends with whom I supposedly share a post-death destination, and I can choose my own career/education path without worrying about Jeeziz coming back or ministry opportunities.

 

I love having self-efficacy!

 

 

 

happydance.gif I CAN DO THIS!!!!! happydance.gif

 

Jesus isn't coming back?

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I am greatly enjoying having a stronger sense of self-efficacy. For example, I can go to a restaurant without praying about which one, I can have friends I actually like, not just pseudofriends with whom I supposedly share a post-death destination, and I can choose my own career/education path without worrying about Jeeziz coming back or ministry opportunities.

 

I love having self-efficacy!

 

 

 

happydance.gif I CAN DO THIS!!!!! happydance.gif

 

Jesus isn't coming back?

 

He stopped for Chick-fil-A.

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I said "I'm still working on it" because in a sense I've always felt immature. When I was a christian I was frequently told I had a lot of wisdom. Even at that time I knew it was only because I was VERY good at parroting back all the "deep" theological junk I heard and read and not because of anything *I* thought up or reasoned. I still feel immature because I haven't yet gotten to that point where I trust my judgement or my reasoning skills. I cannot make up my mind about a lot of things because I was thoroughly duped once and I am afraid I'll get duped again. In the mean time I take in a lot of information, hoping eventually I'll be able to figure out what's real and what's made up....

 

Edit: This is also partly why I'm in an annoying place of alternating between being an atheist and a deist. Just can't make up my mind. glare.gif

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Edit: This is also partly why I'm in an annoying place of alternating between being an atheist and a deist. Just can't make up my mind. glare.gif

 

Either way, there isn't a supernatural being that will get angry at you for not believing. In one case, no such being exists, and in the other case, it just doesn't care. smile.png

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for 99.9% of the time I was a christian, i never thought of myself as immature because i always thought you either accept or reject god. i didnt know there were people that said they didnt buy it. only after i shed that belief did i consider that i matured only because i feel that may have been holding me back and influencing the way i was thinking, even the little residual decisions that go along with it.

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Edit: This is also partly why I'm in an annoying place of alternating between being an atheist and a deist. Just can't make up my mind. glare.gif

 

Either way, there isn't a supernatural being that will get angry at you for not believing. In one case, no such being exists, and in the other case, it just doesn't care. smile.png

 

yeah i spent a short time in the deist camp simply because i was alway thought that a being had to have started everything. just couldnt grasp the idea that no one was behind the wheel.

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I'm not sure I'd say I'm totally mature yet, but definitely losing my faith helped me progress quite a bit. It's exactly like how a person grows up after they move out of their parents' home and has to handle her own bills, clean her own home, keep up with her own car, and maintain her own nutrition. Suddenly you're not a child anymore, always looking up to what your parents say to do. Christians make a big deal out of how wonderful being a child is, but it isn't, not really. Infantilized adults seem repulsive to me now.

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For me, yes, although still working on it. The realization that 'there's no one inside my head but me' was a big step towards sanity.

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Yes, and I voted still working on it. For me, a combination of the fundamentalist Christianity and my mother's overbearing way of operation, I went straight from her control to being married. I never spent a single day as a free adult. Unforunately, that doesn't jive so well with my personality and who I've grown into since leaving the dogma of religion. This whole "growing up" thing has been haunting me for years, and after several years of my husband emotionally walking away from me (although he's the type who'd be happy to coast as "us" forever, although it's pretty obvious he's not into "me" and hasn't been for a long time), I've come to a point where I realize I need the opportunity to just be responsible for myself. Part of me feels like an ass due to sociatal and still-ingrained-in-my-head expectations, but in reality there's not anything holding us together. Currently we're separated but still living in the same house, at least until the mortgage refinance is complete, which will be the 3 month mark. We decided on a total of 6 months, touch base at 3 and by the end come to a decision one way or the other.

 

So far, other than me having my own room and paying my own bills, nothing has really changed...we've been good roommates for awhile, and other than me working on developing a social life (he's a social recluse even by my introverted standards) things are basically how they've been. I'll admit to kinda playing this one by ear right now, but the whole situation falls into that "growing up" catagory. We got married too young, and without me taking the time to really discover who I was away from the control of religion and my family...and after what is over 3 years of debating with myself, I've concluded that I don't believe in traditional marriage, I doubt that I may ever be willing to make a lifetime commmitment to anyone...I feel like I'm too diverse, too willing to change with whatever life throws at me, and a lifetime commitment just doesn't work well with that kind of personality. I'm not willing to change who I am just to stick to some piece of paper (no kids or anything involved here, so that's not a concern) out of nothing more than avoiding sociatal stigma (which, in all honesty, is the only thing keeping me here right now...the familial fallout is not something I want to deal with. Ugh. Both sides are still very religious....).

 

So, long story short, still working on it way too late in life for this stage.

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