Spiritually burned Out or Spiritually Isolated?

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jamison
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Spiritually burned Out or Spiritually Isolated?

Post by jamison » 07 May 2017, 20:52

I am finding myself as an Island all alone. I find satisfaction in my sports team and interacting with them on a weekly basis, but my church life provides me nothing in support.

I had a couple of people say "HI" to me in the hall way, I felt the spirit during a dying man's heartfelt testimony, but the rest of church was, well -I wanted to bang my head against the wall. (Keep the Sabbath day holy lesson, and next week Tithing). i'm really excited for that. Yeah right.

I walked out of Elders' Quorum during the "Pride" lesson which was basically stolen from CS Lewis' Mere Christianity, made famous by Ezra Taft Benson, and re-updated by President Uctdorf, whose talk I liked better than Ezra Taft Benson's. I believe I need pride to survive in this screwed up world. Pride helps me beat the competition in job interviews. Pride helps me be on my game in sports, pride helps me improve my productivity at work. Basically, I am human and pride is my survival mechanism. Are people better than me? Yes. Am I humbled by that fact, yes; often I am. So even with ego, we are humbled. I know we are supposed to be more humble, but I do not see how that can exist in all aspects of life.

Essentially, I am now downsizing the Mormonism, and trying to generate more kindness, and service and Christian virtues in all that I do. I exercise more patience with troubled people at work, and I am trying to be slow to anger and empathy for others. I don't get hung up on doctrine, I ask myself is this the gospel according to Jesus and would it help me live a better life? Essentially, I am trying to minimize the pride complex in my life that I feel LDS culture is responsible for. (This requires a huge explanation, and I don't have time to go into it here).

I am just having a hard time with my spirituality - my feeling sensitivity to the spirit. I feel like I am being disconnected from LDS culture since inwardly I am eschewing many aspects of it (i.e. superficial interactions aka Home teaching, Sunday school, placing the hierarchy on superstar pedestals, superfluous activities, and getting bent out of shape due to stupid people comments in classes). I am trying to create a non-denominational sub-culture for myself, by interacting with more non-members than members in Utah. This is liberating, but at the same time I feel immensly isolated, but I do not have much to say when interacting with the predominately LDS culture that I am religiously aligned with. I see my LDS culture as "my have to" culture, and my Sunday obligatory culture, but my interaction is feigned, and not genuine. Am I living a lie, am I to altogether turn away from my LDS culture, that at the moment does not give me much in return in regards to social exchange or reciprocity?
"Encumbered forever by desire and ambition there's a hunger still unsatisfied. Our weary eyes still stray to the horizon though down this road we've been so many times. The grass was greener. The light was brighter. . ." - "High Hopes" by Pink Floyd

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SilentDawning
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Re: Spiritually burned Out or Spiritually Isolated?

Post by SilentDawning » 07 May 2017, 22:58

jamison wrote:
07 May 2017, 20:52
Am I living a lie, am I to altogether turn away from my LDS culture, that at the moment does not give me much in return in regards to social exchange or reciprocity?
I don't think so -- you are simply reconfiguring your life for happiness. I have done the same thing -- almost exactly the same thing. Church was making me miserable so I reduced the church footprint in my life, expanded the secular service footprint, and have been much better for it. I get my social jollies in secular service context now...but also in my interactions with other people in the Ward in areas that are meaningful for me...I have a calling at church, and I have good relationships with people in that calling.

Regarding the Pride lesson -- I have issues with pride the way we teach it. Pride is a very broad term, a lot like "communication" in leadership/management. It has so many facets, the terms is almost useless as the topic of a talk or lesson. It's much better to introduce it as a multidimensional term, encompassing healthy personal satisfaction for an achievement in yourself or others, an unhealthy component of relationships (arrogance, narcissism), the opposite of healthy humility, and so much more. And then focus on ONE of those dimensions in the discussion.

In terms of living a lie -- I am still a Mormon, but a less committed one than in the past, and my lack of TR, my limits on my service,my only partial involvement -- all those things express where I'm at with the church right now. It is VERY authentic! It's inauthentic to come off as a fully committed Mormon when I am not. It is completely authentic to come across as a partially committed Mormon when that is what I am!
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

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jamison
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Re: Spiritually burned Out or Spiritually Isolated?

Post by jamison » 11 May 2017, 20:09

The sad thing is I have found my religious zeal diminish since my days as a missionary. I realize that the Church "turns off" many great people and almost seems to be opposite the life Christ in the New Testament as he was very open to other people but disdainful to the religious elites. I believe Pharisees are very alive and well in Mormonism and any other religion for that matter. I know at one time I was one of them.

I used to look forward to General Conference, but know I see it as a day off from Church.
I used to look forward to studying the Scriptures, but once I realized how the seminary teachers of the church are directed to teach, I really don't like to study works that I am so far removed from culturally. I feel that the Church restored by J.S. is very different from the Church that Brigham Young led. D&C is not taught to well and it almost seems like a glorified gospel principles class without much discussion of the church's history.

I do my calling since the bishop cannot release me until I move out of the ward, I am doing better and getting along with those I work with, but I do not enjoy the feigned membership that doesn't talk to me now that I am not assigned as their family to home teach.

I appreciate what you have written, and I know a lot of it has to do with my midlife crisis, but I don't like the "all or nothing" approach that is taught in the church it is harmful to individuals and to families, and isolates many people from the secular culture.
"Encumbered forever by desire and ambition there's a hunger still unsatisfied. Our weary eyes still stray to the horizon though down this road we've been so many times. The grass was greener. The light was brighter. . ." - "High Hopes" by Pink Floyd

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nibbler
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Re: Spiritually burned Out or Spiritually Isolated?

Post by nibbler » 12 May 2017, 04:49

jamison wrote:
07 May 2017, 20:52
I had a couple of people say "HI" to me in the hall way, I felt the spirit during a dying man's heartfelt testimony, but the rest of church was, well -I wanted to bang my head against the wall. (Keep the Sabbath day holy lesson, and next week Tithing). i'm really excited for that. Yeah right.
That sounds about like my experience, except I think my ward is one week ahead of yours on the lessons. We had the keep the Sabbath day holy lesson two weeks ago (or is that every week?) and our tithing lesson was last week.

I think people need a little pride. When we talk about pride in church we're almost always addressing the problem of having too much pride and almost never address the issue of having too little pride. This coming from a person that had issues with scrupulosity when orthodox. Some pride helps when your struggles are centered around self worth. There are dangers at either extreme and it often feels like we focus so much on one extreme that we drive certain personality types to the other extreme.
jamison wrote:
07 May 2017, 20:52
I am just having a hard time with my spirituality - my feeling sensitivity to the spirit. ...
I've had to spend some time redefining concepts like "the spirit" and "spirituality." Mormonism was so ingrained in my core than even after a faith transition I tended to problem solve and approach things using Mormon definitions and conceptualizations for things, "The Spirit" being one of them. It may not be a definition that works for anyone but me, but that's okay, it doesn't have to.
jamison wrote:
11 May 2017, 20:09
I do my calling since the bishop cannot release me until I move out of the ward, I am doing better and getting along with those I work with, but I do not enjoy the feigned membership that doesn't talk to me now that I am not assigned as their family to home teach.
Yes. This may be my inner super-introvert talking but it feels like a church of acquaintances more than a church of friendships. I realize it takes two to tango, that I can't sit back and wait for someone else to develop a friendship with me, but it can be hard at church when so much of who we interact with is outside of our direct control. Ward boundaries, home and visiting teaching companions and families, callings - all determine who we interact with and those things are mostly determined by someone else. Often a friendship made in a ward will deteriorate once someone moves down the street and into a different ward. It has almost become a cultural expectation that people anticipate and have adapted to. It's not that the friendships weren't genuine, it's that... I've got ward boundaries, I've got HT assignments, I've got a calling, I've got life, I'm too busy.
jamison wrote:
11 May 2017, 20:09
...I don't like the "all or nothing" approach that is taught in the church it is harmful to individuals and to families, and isolates many people from the secular culture.
It is tough. The only thing that I feel like I can do from my insignificant vantage point is not be an all or nothing member. Maybe if enough of us stay the overall church experience won't be as all or nothing.
all sinners, a future, all saints, a past, beginning, the ending, return to ash

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Heber13
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Re: Spiritually burned Out or Spiritually Isolated?

Post by Heber13 » 15 May 2017, 08:22

jamison wrote:
07 May 2017, 20:52
I believe I need pride to survive in this screwed up world. Pride helps me beat the competition in job interviews. Pride helps me be on my game in sports, pride helps me improve my productivity at work. Basically, I am human and pride is my survival mechanism. Are people better than me? Yes. Am I humbled by that fact, yes; often I am. So even with ego, we are humbled. I know we are supposed to be more humble, but I do not see how that can exist in all aspects of life.
I agree with these statements. You need some form of pride to push yourself to do your best, lengthen your stride, be anxiously engaged in a good cause.

I always think of things at church as lessons that help remind us of good principles. Kind of the course correction for ideas. We need to keep things in balance and find the peace of the middle way...and that means at church we hear things about staying humble, and that is a good reminder to not allow ourselves to become too prideful, not that it is meant to not have pride in anything in life that is good (my kids, my work, myself).

Same goes for WoW, temple work, and all other things at church. They are to remind me to keep things in balance, and I take it all with a grain of salt on how it will apply to me, and try to put the hyperbole at church in perspective that is useful for me to remember good values and principles. The truth is somewhere in the middle.

I can feel burned out too. To fight this, I try to renew ideas and keep it relevant to me. It isn't easy. Sometimes I need a break from it.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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LDS_Scoutmaster
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Re: Spiritually burned Out or Spiritually Isolated?

Post by LDS_Scoutmaster » 05 Jun 2017, 14:48

nibbler wrote:
12 May 2017, 04:49

It is tough. The only thing that I feel like I can do from my insignificant vantage point is not be an all or nothing member. Maybe if enough of us stay the overall church experience won't be as all or nothing.
This was key for me as well. I became less critical of myself, and in turn, less critical of others.

Separating the church from the gospel and not being so black and white in my thinking opened me up to much that I was missing.

I don't know if others view me as a tbm or an interloper, but I've been more clear that my faith is always evolving. Sometimes evolving for me means I am questioning, and I am perfectly fine with questioning everything now.
"When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all." God, according to Futurama

We are all imperfect beings, dealing with other imperfect beings, and we're doing it imperfectly.

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