Feeling like an imposter, losing hope in the middle way

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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SilentDawning
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Re: Feeling like an imposter, losing hope in the middle way

Post by SilentDawning » 19 Feb 2018, 06:57

See for me there is a point where I got through the self-loathing that comes with inauthenticity or imposterism...

it didn't take me very long, and I think it was encouraged by this:

1. The realization I'm not authentic with many people in my life -- discretion is the better part of valor. I never told my ineffectual bosses they were idiots, deficient, etcetera. That would get me fired. I once told someone they looked like they gained weight and realized never to tell anyone anything about their appearance unless they ask, and even then to go careful with what I say. Same applies to church comments on Sunday.

2. Considering my ability to navigate the distance between disagreeing with aspects of church, and fitting in, as evidence of my adaptable personality. I decided I could love myself for being adaptable, diplomatic, and rocking the boat without sinking the ship. I now take pride in the fact that I am not orthodox, but function reasonably well in the LDS church. And cherish those times when I say things that re counter to minor cultural values, and then have people seek me out after the lesson to congratulate me, or get to know me better.

3. The comment that you are there as a student of human nature and foreign culture at times. Someone said that -- at times I just look at myself as an observer, rather than a full blown member of the community. It's like I am observing, and then saying "they are unaware that they are making politically incorrect statements due to the influence of policy on their belief system". Things like that. And I'm comfortable letting them be that way -- the same way an anthropologist would be comfortable saying "in their culture, it's taboo for a man to show is bare leg". It's an observation, not something I have to let bother me.

So now, I don't feel unauthentic at all. I feel like I have discretion, am adaptable, and have deeper observations of the culture of th e church I couldn't see before.
"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

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Feeling like an imposter, losing hope in the middle way

Post by Curt Sunshine » 19 Feb 2018, 10:46

Fwiw, I don't like the term "THE middle way", since it still implies one true way. I walk my own way, which, for me, is within the broader parameters of the LDS Church. It isn't a middle way; it is my way.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Rebel
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Joined: 08 Jun 2017, 17:02

Re: Feeling like an imposter, losing hope in the middle way

Post by Rebel » 20 Feb 2018, 22:46

I must agree with Curt sunshine and Dark Jedi. I have learned through my own fc and faith Reconstruction that for me My Way is the best way for me. I attend the Lds church but my beliefs are all my own. I only agree with about 40% of what is taught in the lds church and I keep it to myself with smug alertness. I also believe this is the future of the lds church , a Christian church with many believing what they will !! For me this is the only way to go .My wife is the only one who knows this but we fight about it so most of the time it is not discussed. You own your own thought and beliefs they are yours and only yours you are a unique child of God embrace it enjoy it and if you want be proud of it !!!! Life is much easier this way. God Bless

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Beefster
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Re: Feeling like an imposter, losing hope in the middle way

Post by Beefster » 20 Feb 2018, 23:04

Curt Sunshine wrote:
19 Feb 2018, 10:46
Fwiw, I don't like the term "THE middle way", since it still implies one true way. I walk my own way, which, for me, is within the broader parameters of the LDS Church. It isn't a middle way; it is my way.
To be fair, I don't mean it like that. I definitely recognize that it's a different path for everyone and it sort of broadly categorizes something between "all-in" and "all-out". Or maybe more like "between TBM and Exmo", though if I do end up leaving the church, I would take more of a Post-Mormon approach, which I suppose is still a middle path in a sense.
Boys are governed by rules. Men are governed by principles.

Sometimes our journeys take us to unexpected places. That is a truly beautiful thing.

Roy
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Re: Feeling like an imposter, losing hope in the middle way

Post by Roy » 21 Feb 2018, 11:12

Beefster wrote:
18 Feb 2018, 12:03
I feel as if I'm pretending at church. Endless sheepese, pretending to believe in things I just don't know... Yeah. All that.

Every week, it seems there is less and less hope for being a middle way Mormon. I don't think I'm cut out for it. Some weeks, church is somewhat enjoyable. Others, I feel like a hollow shell or imposter.
Putting on my best armchair psychiatrist hat...

Acceptance is our greatest desire, rejection is our biggest fear. When a TBM goes to church they feel acceptance and belonging. When beefster goes to church there is muted rejection. There is the ever present fear of rejection and the belief that if they only knew what is inside your head, they would turn their backs. That, IMO, is draining.

One of the reasons I come here to stayLDS is for acceptance. I feel understood, valued, and validated. It becomes the place where I can recharge my batteries and know that I am not crazy and I am not alone. Then I step forward and do the hard work of interacting with my religious community because I believe that it is worth it. This is the heritage that my ancestors passed down to me. There is much good there and I want my children and grandchildren to have access to that good. We talk about trading up. If I were to walk away from the church community, what would I replace it with?

I find comfort in that I try to raise my children with exposure to multiple religious worlds or schools of thought. I believe that by doing this my children will have many of the advantages of the various communities without being wholly indebted to any one of them for their sense of identity and self worth.

After all that - I also recognize that it (the middle way) is not always an easy road and that some people may have personal circumstances that make it almost torturous. In the end, everyone should do what is best for themselves and their personal health.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Only Love
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Re: Feeling like an imposter, losing hope in the middle way

Post by Only Love » 09 Sep 2018, 18:28

Roy wrote:
21 Feb 2018, 11:12
Putting on my best armchair psychiatrist hat...

Acceptance is our greatest desire, rejection is our biggest fear. When a TBM goes to church they feel acceptance and belonging. When beefster goes to church there is muted rejection. There is the ever present fear of rejection and the belief that if they only knew what is inside your head, they would turn their backs. That, IMO, is draining.

One of the reasons I come here to stayLDS is for acceptance. I feel understood, valued, and validated. It becomes the place where I can recharge my batteries and know that I am not crazy and I am not alone. Then I step forward and do the hard work of interacting with my religious community because I believe that it is worth it. This is the heritage that my ancestors passed down to me. There is much good there and I want my children and grandchildren to have access to that good. We talk about trading up. If I were to walk away from the church community, what would I replace it with?

Thank you for this, Roy. It explains so well how I often feel at church these days. It made me feel a little less alone to read this.

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Heber13
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Re: Feeling like an imposter, losing hope in the middle way

Post by Heber13 » 15 Sep 2018, 18:14

Only Love wrote:
09 Sep 2018, 18:28
Roy wrote:
21 Feb 2018, 11:12
Putting on my best armchair psychiatrist hat...

Acceptance is our greatest desire, rejection is our biggest fear. When a TBM goes to church they feel acceptance and belonging. When beefster goes to church there is muted rejection. There is the ever present fear of rejection and the belief that if they only knew what is inside your head, they would turn their backs. That, IMO, is draining.

One of the reasons I come here to stayLDS is for acceptance. I feel understood, valued, and validated. It becomes the place where I can recharge my batteries and know that I am not crazy and I am not alone. Then I step forward and do the hard work of interacting with my religious community because I believe that it is worth it. This is the heritage that my ancestors passed down to me. There is much good there and I want my children and grandchildren to have access to that good. We talk about trading up. If I were to walk away from the church community, what would I replace it with?

Thank you for this, Roy. It explains so well how I often feel at church these days. It made me feel a little less alone to read this.
It's too bad we can't find this at church, and that there aren't more accepted ways to be on different paths at church. But knowing others out there feel this way helps, even if not verbalized in the wards.
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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