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Goodbye Jesus

God Loves Me -- So What?


Llwellyn

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Just something I have been thinking about recently...  Please share your thoughts if this provokes something.  Thanks!

 

Christians imagine that the message that God loves me is profound, encouraging, and freeing.  But it is not.  Even if God loved me, I might still be miserable if I hated myself.  And if I loved myself, then I could have joy even if someone else hated me.  I don't need God to love me before I learn to love myself, and whether another person loves me or hates me is rather irrelevant.  Our value and our joy is not contingent on the approval or opinion of anyone other than ourselves, and can be guaranteed by nobody else.

 

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I agree that the ability to love and accept ourselves is vital.  Without it, love for others is incomplete because a part of our minds will be perennially questioning our worthiness to love someone, as well as any love that we receive in return.

 

The interesting part about the New Testament messages on love is that there are some blatant and nasty contradictions.  The same god that loves also views humans as tainted by Original Sin (at least if one reads the Pauline sections of the NT), and expresses its love by... sacrificing its son?  It almost looks like a deliberate attempt to sabotage love and self-esteem, and replace it with helpless self-loathing.

 

There can be many obstacles to learning how to love oneself, such as emotional baggage from childhood, or shame at having failed to achieve a goal.  Clearing away the junk is an ongoing process, but IMO even a small effort in that direction is worthwhile.

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Xianity is based on original sin and our need for salvation because we are miserable sinners without Jesus.  I recently heard a radio preacher call humans "snow-covered excrement in need of god."  That's . . . wrong . . . abusive.

 

Did you ever date someone that doesn't love themselves or like themselves?  It's a lot of work!  You say something like, "I love you" and they're like, "Why?  I'm horrible."  I dated someone like that and I would call him "endearing" (which he was!) and he would die a thousand deaths explaining why he wasn't.  It got to be too much and too much effort, so I ended it.  He had no clue how sweet and gentle he was, how utterly endearing, and it just got ridiculous.  He was in his late 50's and never married, and I understood why as I got to know him better!

 

Loving yourself in a non-egotistical, non-obnoxious way is good.  If you love yourself, you respect yourself and your body and your boundaries and your beliefs and your thoughts.  You can be assertive for yourself and your rights because you know you deserve it.  You don't need to be around someone who treats you badly, because you can enjoy your own company when necessary, and surround yourself with people who respect you and treat you well.

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I was raised to hate myself.  I know that my parents didn't intend for that to happen, but with the indoctrination, guilt, manipulation,and constant repenting at the altar, I soon quickly learned to despise everything that was "me".  Learning to love myself over the past ten years has been a painful, but liberating, experience.  Now, I understand that I am complete in myself and that whatever strength, hope, or courage I need to experience my life as it is meant to be experienced is already in me.  Omnia Mea Mecum Porto.

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I don't think I really understood love until my offspring was born. 

 

There is no way god loved me the way I love my son. He let too much shit happen that served no purpose at all.

 

To the lurkers: If I see my 2 year old is going to burn his fingers on something then I stop him and explain to him that if he touch it it's going to be ow. He understands ow and then usually whenever he sees the object that's going to burn him he points to it and says ow. He understands a warning and I never have to warn more than once.

 

God is different. God doesn't warn you. He lets you get hurt and then it's supposed to be a lesson of some sort.

 

Ok, to be fair, god doesn't exist which is why there are no warnings from him. The point I'm trying to make is that if god existed he had a funny way of showing his love.

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If god really loved me, why did he let me doubt him until I gave up. If god loved me as much as they say he does, why didn't he show himself to me when I searched for him.

 

If god loved me, why didn't he answer all my prayers. if god loved me, why did he let me get hurt over and over again... if god loved me... I could go on and on and on and on and on..

 

If god loved me, why did he let social services take my son away when I was only trying to protect him.

 

the fact is... god (in the Christian form) is a myth and doesn't exist.

 

and if god loved me, I wouldn't be where I am right now.

 

I am working on loving myself, and I sure love myself a lot more than what I used to, but god didn't help me do that. I did it on my own through much pain.

 

the fact is... god (in the Christian form) is a myth and doesn't exist.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I didn't learn to love myself until I stopped caring about Christianity and once I truly deconverted, there was finally no guilt hanging over me for having done nothing wrong. I am a thousand times more confident in myself now. I was most likely psychologically depressed and had social anxiety growing up as a devout Christian, and once I dropped all that, I forced myself to become more social, (still need some downtime to recharge) and I learned to love myself. Everyone in my family has noticed a huge difference, although the Christian side has no idea its from my agnosticism/atheism and I am even more confident in class and in social situations.

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faceahem:  so true!  I too learned so much about love after having my kids and I would definitely warn them before they hurt themselves, and even small children understand ow.  And if they did get hurt, I'd run over and pick them up and hug them and help fix the boo-boo if I could.  Never ONCE did I stand over my crying kid and say, "Good!  Now you have learned a lesson!"  Even if they had been warned multiple, multiple times, then they still did the thing and got hurt, I would STILL hug them and help them, maybe adding, "See?  I told you that would hurt!" but I wouldn't just stand back without actively helping them.  And my kids are now young adults and are both well-adjusted, nice people -- who know how to show sympathy and empathy.

 

GypsyMoon:  at least you finally quit waiting on god and took over your own life!  Yes, you have done it yourself!  Go, you!

 

RedPro:  Yes, it's all yours!  It's already inside of you, and always was!

 

SheildMaiden:  What you said is beautiful.

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I grew up with the constant thought of "Not Enough". Not praying enough, working enough, reading the bible enough... My mom was OCD so I apparently didn't clean enough. I couldn't sit down and pray or read my bible every night, so I wasn't Christian enough. Etc.

 

I was supposed to gain all my self esteem simply from the knowledge that god loved me, but it never helped. I was supposed to be doing everything to make my family and god happy, and it was never enough.

 

Now I'm nearly 40, and trying to gain some sense of self, an identity apart from all the BS, to accept myself as I am. It's a daily struggle.

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I grew up with the constant thought of "Not Enough". Not praying enough, working enough, reading the bible enough... My mom was OCD so I apparently didn't clean enough. I couldn't sit down and pray or read my bible every night, so I wasn't Christian enough. Etc.

 

I was supposed to gain all my self esteem simply from the knowledge that god loved me, but it never helped. I was supposed to be doing everything to make my family and god happy, and it was never enough.

 

Now I'm nearly 40, and trying to gain some sense of self, an identity apart from all the BS, to accept myself as I am. It's a daily struggle.

I feel so much of what you said because that was the story of my life until the age of thirty.  Never enough.  But now you are in charge of things.  Now you get to decide how much is enough.  Now you get to realize that you are and always have been good enough, strong enough, brave enough and smart enough to live your own life as you see fit.  

 

Your sense of self, and of self-worth, will come in time; and your identity will develop as you discover who you really are, and who you were always meant to be.  For now, welcome to ex-christian.  Make yourself at home and if there's anything I can do to help you, just ask.

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I grew up with the constant thought of "Not Enough". Not praying enough, working enough, reading the bible enough... My mom was OCD so I apparently didn't clean enough. I couldn't sit down and pray or read my bible every night, so I wasn't Christian enough. Etc.

I was supposed to gain all my self esteem simply from the knowledge that god loved me, but it never helped. I was supposed to be doing everything to make my family and god happy, and it was never enough.

Now I'm nearly 40, and trying to gain some sense of self, an identity apart from all the BS, to accept myself as I am. It's a daily struggle.

 

I feel so much of what you said because that was the story of my life until the age of thirty.  Never enough.  But now you are in charge of things.  Now you get to decide how much is enough.  Now you get to realize that you are and always have been good enough, strong enough, brave enough and smart enough to live your own life as you see fit.  

 

Your sense of self, and of self-worth, will come in time; and your identity will develop as you discover who you really are, and who you were always meant to be.  For now, welcome to ex-christian.  Make yourself at home and if there's anything I can do to help you, just ask.

Thanks so much! Fortunately I'm in therapy, so that's helping too.

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Now I'm nearly 40, and trying to gain some sense of self, an identity apart from all the BS, to accept myself as I am. It's a daily struggle.

 

The majority of my life has been about  breaking the desire of “being enough”--coming to all my senses, experiencing that sense of self I call “myself.”

 

For me it was like realizing that I was a separate entity and all that goes along with learning what is required in surviving and thriving, learning and  figuring all that it takes to “make it” in life.

 

And the time came (though I can’t say exactly when) that I longed to realize (desired to experience for myself) that “I” of which was “doing the looking,” the seeking.

 

“What we’re looking for is what is looking.”

~David Bhodan)

There was a point where I desired (longed to show up) for the “I” that animates my living, looking, being and doing.

 

I suppose the time has to come (as the professor mentions) when one is “ready” for the inquiry into what it is that one is adequate and worthy of being, as well as, doing.

 

“..What any desire really aims at, is a state of non-desire.”

~ Jean Klein

 

Who can know how and when "that' is realized or how it is that we “dissolve” into that actuality?

 

It’s not like I woke up one morning and realized that all that I’ve ever known has been what I am, like I am, where I am and have been all along.

It took nothing less than everything that I have experienced, thought and done for that to occur and then to be realized.

 

Individuation, integration, actualization by nature is developmental.

 

Realizing that ordinary is extraordinary is ego’s (what we imaging or think ourselves to be) ultimate disappointment.

 

There are multiple avenues leading to realized self, accessed (gain access to) self, self-assessment.

 

“There is no value-judgment more important to a man [or a woman]--no factor more decisive in his [or her] psychological development and motivation--than the estimate he [or she] passes on him/herself].” ~Nathaniel Branden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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