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Religion and Conflict.

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by kindle123, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. kindle123

    kindle123 Peer Supporter

    I have been fairy new to the TMS journey (2 months) and my symptoms are improving. After reading 2 books on TMS which were highly recommended, I have come to a conclusion that I have an extreme goodist personality. I am 33 year old female and since is was 6 years old I studied in a Catholic school till I was 18years ( I still consider myself a devot Catholic).
    But what I am realizing at this point in life half of the things that I have been doing in life were because that’s what the nun’s told me to do, if I would follow those anything apart from that would be a sin(I know that’s not how it works but it is so so so hard for me to let go that conditioning that I grew up with).
    I don’t smoke, don’t drink don’t really do anything that would displease God, when I was in the convent (mind you it was an all girls convent, so during my teenage years of any of my friends had a boyfriend I would stop talking to them cause I felt it was so wrong to be associated with something like that).
    My question is there are so many things out there that I would love to do but I find them utterly wrong because that’s what the religion say, so should I just give up practicing religion and do what my heart and body desire? Is there a middle ground somewhere?
  2. Dan Newberry

    Dan Newberry Newcomer

    Read carefully 1 Corinthains chaper 6. You're not under God's law, you've been liberated from it. This doesn't mean that you do *anything* you'd like, as some things are not good for you. You ought not deny yourself life's pleasures (read Ecclesiastes, it will give you much hope).

    Our battle is normally with our hearts. I had conducted a Bible study not long ago, where I showed the biblical references to the heart, and how the heart would be called by science today the "unconscious mind." Here is the link to that podcast if you'd like to hear it: https://danielnewberry.podbean.com/e/thursday-august-23rd-2018-bible-study-on-mountain-view-drive/ (Thursday, August 23rd, 2018 Bible Study On Mountain View Drive)

    Religion and true fellowship with the One Who made you are totally two different things. Carefully understand a single verse: 1 John 2:27 This will liberate you from the teachings and constraints of human traditions.

    Our hearts love most of the things that our conscious minds love. If we deny our hearts completely, they rebel. I liken the unconscious mind, or the "hidden mind" as I am currently calling it, to the oft neglected passenger on the back of the bus. He/she cannot see where the bus is going, and the amenities are few. The passenger cries out, but is not heeded. Then one day that deprived passenger discovers that the circuit breaker panel which controls the whole bus is *right there* at the back! "This is great! I wonder what this switch will do if I flip it?" :p And so TMS symptoms, which are likely a cry for help or attention from the "back of the bus" ensue.
    yinyang, westb and Lizzy like this.
  3. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Religion is one of the biggest impediments to God. That is why Jesus spoke out against it so often....and of course they went and made a religion with his as the center piece instead of teaching the principles he taught. Jesus ate drank and went to parties.
    Lainey and Dan Newberry like this.
  4. kindle123

    kindle123 Peer Supporter

    Dan thank you so very much for this encouraging post and link to podcast. I think I need to slow down a little and stop knit picking on all things that keep coming to my mind especially Religion and start looking at it with a different perspective than before. Thank you once again.
    Dan Newberry likes this.
  5. kindle123

    kindle123 Peer Supporter

    :)I never thought about Jesus the way you just put it. Thank you, it makes me feel it’s okay to have fun and it’s not all going to be considered a sin.
    Lizzy likes this.
  6. GetBusyLiving

    GetBusyLiving New Member

    Kindle - you and I have a lot in common. I am a former Catholic - having grown up with a staunch Roman Catholic family and structure. I cannot tell you what to believe or what your path should be...and my choices / beliefs should not be projected onto you. However, I do feel compelled to try and share some of my feelings / experience / learnings.

    I recently heard Dr. Nocole Sachs mention in one of her (very helpful) YouTube videos that (paraphrasing) she believes there are just two base emotional reasons for doing/believing something - Joy and Fear. Examine everything you believed to be true...the choices you have made in your life...the things you feel you may regret or have missed out on...forks in your personal road...even choices you make daily with respect to how true are you truly being to your authentic self. Are those choices made from a place of Joy or Fear? If the answer is Fear, then I think you really need to challenge that belief. If that belief stems from your religious upbringing, then maybe that's part of what needs to be chiseled away from your own personal sculpture to reveal your true, authentic self which is crying out to be acknowledged beneath the surface.

    Odds are, it is this very conflict between whom you were told you should be and whom you want to be that is at the warm, gooey center of your TMS.

    For the record, I'm not advocating abandoning your faith. I am saying there's a dialog and journey of self discovery which needs to be had in order for you to decide for yourself what feels right to you. Your gut will tell you. Someone once told me that, as the saying goes, the truth truly does 'ring true'. It does. You'll know it and feel it in your gut - not from a place of fear but from a place of joy and peace.
    Lizzy and westb like this.
  7. Rosebud

    Rosebud Peer Supporter

    Drinking isn't even a sin for Catholics, unless it makes them covet their neighbour's wife, or what have you!

    (I'm not saying you need to drink. I don't drink myself. I don't like it. It's not a moral choice for me. I'm also not saying you should abandon your faith.)

    But I am saying it's okay to have fun!
  8. fern

    fern Well known member

    Religion and spirituality are my field, so this post interested me a lot. Over and over again, I've experienced this really important moment in people's lives (including my own) where a moment of meaningful spiritual growth is preceded by a period of deep questioning and even the possibility of abandoning one's faith. Obviously I can't say for sure whether this is one of those crucial moments for you (only you can, and usually only in hindsight), but it's definitely true in my experience that the most precarious moments of our spiritual lives are often the ones that lead to the most profound spiritual growth. So there's potential here for growth and, ultimately, joy.

    I think GetBusyLiving is *right on* when she brings up fear. Goodism, in itself, isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's usually *good* to reign in certain impulses when indulging them could harm ourselves or others. It's usually good to want to help people. It's usually good to put ones own needs on the back burner for a time if someone is in greater need. It's usually good to hold our tongues sometimes when we are about to say something hurtful. There's a reason societies and cultures encourage that kind of behavior. It's pro-social, it builds communities of support, it promotes the physical and relational health that are crucial for the thriving of our species.

    But it's NOT necessarily good (for our own health or our relationships) when we reign in certain impulses just because we are afraid of punishment (whether eternally or in the here and now). It's not necessarily good when we help people because we're afraid we will be rejected if we say no. It's not necessarily good when we put our own needs on the back burner all the time because we don't value ourselves. It's not necessarily good when we hold our tongues even when we have something important to say because we're afraid of conflict. Fearful or self-devaluing motivations for doing things that look good on paper can ultimately break us down, damage our physical and emotional health, and keep us from having deep, vulnerable, and mutually supportive relationships. (Obviously, this isn't always the case - sometimes fear and guilt are valuable. Both are there for a reason.)

    I think both Jesus and Paul demonstrate this nuance a lot. Both are committed Jews. Both participate in religious community and ritual. But, for the most part, they also argue that the laws and precepts of the faith should be followed not for fear of punishment but for love of God and others. And when those laws and precepts stand in the way of love of God and others, they must take a back seat to love. So Jesus observed the Sabbath - whether on the Sabbath day or when he knew his body and heart needed rest - but when someone needed healing on the Sabbath, he did it without fear. When Paul was asked why he was willing to eat meat that had been sacrificed for idols, he pointed out that the fellowship of the table and the opportunity to share the good news with people who hadn't heard it was far more important than ritual purity. In example after example, we see that Jesus and Paul don't usually reject Jewish laws and precepts outright (on the contrary, they follow many of them), but they do often argue that they are only meaningful if they are done in love. Fear or habit are not sufficient motivations for following the law, especially when following the law out of fear or habit gets directly in the way of human community, compassion, and growth.

    All that is to say, I don't think it has to be an either-or. I don't think you have to choose TMS or your Catholic faith. If your faith gives you meaning, brings you together with people you care about, shapes your worldview, and offers a community of support that you value, you don't need to throw it out altogether in order to relax your notions of purity or goodness in a way that promotes physical and emotional health. I think it's probably time to reframe your reasons for valuing the ethical and behavioral precepts of your faith and determining thoughtfully which ones actually make it easier for you to love God, yourself, and others, and which ones get in the way. I recommend asking these questions with someone who isn't fearful or narrow in their religious ethics but who also is committed to the tradition you follow (so, in your case, Catholic). Have you heard of Spiritual Directors International? I recommend looking for someone in your area or who is willing to meet on video and talking this through with them. But if that's not something you're up for, at least start reading some books by Catholic mystics. Whatever you do, don't just give up on it without working for it. If, in the end, you find that your faith really is no longer serving you, then you will have made that decision thoughtfully and carefully, without just pulling the bottom out from under you. But letting go of your religion is by no means an inevitability after this journey. Inviting and exploring nuance is a fantastic way to grow in your faith.

    Wherever you end up, I hope you find something authentic and life-giving for you. Deep down, that's what the nuns would want for you, too!
    intense50, Lizzy and Sita like this.
  9. westb

    westb Well known member

    Wonderful post, even for those of us who are not adherents to one particular religion.
    intense50 likes this.

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