Bipolar attitude towards the Church

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
User avatar
Posts: 5718
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Bipolar attitude towards the Church

Post by DarkJedi » 10 May 2017, 15:12

On Own Now wrote:
10 May 2017, 14:14

Sure, I think we all feel that way from time to time, nothing unusual about it.

Let me tell you a story and I promise it has some relevance.

Recently, I needed to buy a new sport coat, so, I went into a department store and no one was available to 'help' me. Fine. I perused the jackets that were in my size. I found some really ugly coats, some laughable coats, some that weren't in my style, some OK coats, and a handful of really great coats. I pulled the great looking jackets out, went over to a mirror and tried them on. There were several that were really nice, but I only needed one. Eventually, I wound up buying two that were both very nice.

On other occasions, I have had people help me as I shopped. I remember one 20-something clerk that had not-too-long before arrived as an immigrant from Iraq. Nice kid. Hard worker, well dressed, completely dedicated to helping me for as long as I needed. It was a great experience, and I bought a lot of stuff. Another time, more recently, I was 'helped' by a different young clerk who was irritating and in a hurry. I didn't enjoy the experience (or buy anything from him).

So, to me, here is the key that helps me be more... chill... about the Church:

- Don't join everything into one single picture. I didn't have to buy ALL the jackets, and I only tried on those that I liked. The fact that there was an ugly jacket on the rack doesn't mean that there wasn't another jacket that suited me. I noticed the ugly jackets, but I moved on and found some I liked a lot.

- Don't worry about what other people find to be the right style. Somebody must like those ugly jackets or they wouldn't be out on the rack. In fact, when those people shop there, they probably don't like the jackets that I choose either. It is of no consequence to me. I find what I like. They find what they like. Some styles suite older people, some younger people. Some colors look better on me, some colors look better on other people.

- Allow that people are people, in or out of the Church. Some people I've interacted with in stores have been great. Others have been the opposite. I still keep shopping.

- Relegate the Church to its proper position in your life. I didn't really NEED a new sport coat. I don't really NEED help when I am looking for a new jacket. Having been acclimated (from birth or by later commitment) to the Church, most of us come from a background where the Church was hugely important in our lives. What we wear, what we consume, how we spend our money, how we perform service, solve problems, find a spouse, act at work... it is a major element of our psyche. What we have to learn to do, IMO, is to let it loosen its grip on us. We don't NEED the Church to tell us how to live our lives. We are taught in the Church itself, that we are agents unto ourselves, able to recognize the Light of Christ and do that which is good. The Church is just an organization/community, we can use it for our own benefit, without letting it hold sway on every aspect of our thinking. When we treat it as nothing more than a framework and ourselves as the true actors in our lives, then it's much easier to find the good jackets and ignore the others.
:thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

Posts: 226
Joined: 22 Mar 2017, 12:13

Re: Bipolar attitude towards the Church

Post by DoubtingTom » 10 May 2017, 16:34

I find that I am bi-polar in the medical sense in regards to the church. Let me explain. We often think of bipolar as rapidly swinging emotions from extreme highs to extreme lows, even multiple swings throughout a single day. Or we may think of people that can go from sullen to irate or giddy with the snap of a finger, or at a moments notice.

However, this is not what the medical field typically means when they diagnose someone with bipolar disorder. Those descriptions above would be more accurately described as emotional lability. In bipolar disorder, people typically go through prolonged periods of hypermania - where they have prolonged days or weeks of increased activity, productivity, decreased sleep, sometimes magical thinking, poor decision making, etc. Think of those bizarre Charlie Sheen days as a hypermanic episode. Then the period abruptly ends and they may crash and go through a prolonged period of deep depression.

This is the type of bipolar episodes that I tend to go through with my feelings about the church. I'll have prolonged periods (days or weeks) where I am feeling really good about church attendance and my place in the church. But then I might crash and go through a period where I feel deeply negative about it. I don't usually have as much emotional lability on a daily basis with regards to my feelings about the church, but this does sometimes occur as well. Mostly, I tend to go through longer polar phases.

Posts: 186
Joined: 30 May 2016, 21:38

Re: Bipolar attitude towards the Church

Post by ydeve » 11 May 2017, 10:38

dande48 wrote:
08 May 2017, 14:27
nibbler wrote:
08 May 2017, 05:56
" As if by reflex I said, "[expletive deleted] this!" stood up, walked out of the meeting, and went home.
Haha, you've done what I've felt like doing on so many occasions. God bless you, Nibbler!
I highly recommend this. If church is going to be a negative experience that day, go do something else.

Post Reply