Therapeutic Moment

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SilentDawning
Posts: 6870
Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Therapeutic Moment

Post by SilentDawning » 13 Mar 2018, 08:25

So, my brother in law is down for a visit. He's unorthodox, not active, no garments, no tithing, no temple, no word of wisdom.

We had a lot of time working together this week. And so, I opened up. He and his wife are similar in this regard, and have put the church in what they feel is the proper place in their lives.

So, I was able to tell him my full story, my full attitudes toward the church. He lives in a distant land, and isn't the kind that interacts with anyone in formal church authority. My in-laws are a mixture of TBM and completely less active, some even marrying non-members who are antagonistic about the church. They know how I feel but never censure me about it.

He also told me his own story -- how he was shamed while teaching a class by a Bishop's wife who took him to task in front of a full YA Ward in Gospel Doctrine. Some of us have posted similar experiences about leaders calling you out at the front of the class over what they feel is incorrect doctrine or other matters. She started an argument with him when he asserted himself. An EQ President intervened in this YSA Ward to smooth it over, but the experience made an indelible impression on my brother in law.

This started his movement to unorthodoxy. It was that jarring experience that makes you start reconstructing your belief system, unfettered by the shoulds and culture and sometimes, even the traditions of our religion. It puts ownership of belief in your own hands....and so he has his own philosophy he was sharing with me on various issues.

It was nice to run into someone who was able to empathize fully with my own situation, and had similar stories to share. And to whom I could share my thoughts without any restrictions or weasle words.

While this kind of authenticity isn't something that I thirst for any more. It was a refreshing discussion. He commented that he was surprised I am still even as active as I am, that I raised a TBM daughter, etcetera. My own views completely.

Authenticity comes up a lot here on StayLDS, and I have learned not to want it or seek after it, or feel angst about it when I can't have it. But sometimes, the right context happens for it -- low risk, judgment free, etcetera. I think people who attend Sunstone will probably get it now and then, and of course, you can be authentic here on STayLDS without being anti-Mormon.

I just wanted to share. Have you ever had those plumb moments when you get to share your complete thoughts with someone who is a member, without risk of any consequences from the formal establishment? How did it go? I am not talking about anti-Mormon thoughts, but simply about face to face sharing of your true thoughts and feelings, even though they are not mainstream.
"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

Roy
Posts: 5125
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Therapeutic Moment

Post by Roy » 13 Mar 2018, 08:55

I am blessed in that I am able to share my true feelings with my spouse. It helps a great deal.
"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

AmyJ
Posts: 776
Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Re: Therapeutic Moment

Post by AmyJ » 13 Mar 2018, 11:28

SilentDawning wrote:
13 Mar 2018, 08:25
It was that jarring experience that makes you start reconstructing your belief system, unfettered by the should's and culture and sometimes, even the traditions of our religion. It puts ownership of belief in your own hands....
Yup. The universality behind the Stage 4 migration. Being in Stage 4 to deconstruct everything has helped me realize that my belief system has always belonged to me - I just didn't always see the need to grab its ownership by the horns and hang onto it:)
SilentDawning wrote:
13 Mar 2018, 08:25
It was nice to run into someone who was able to empathize fully with my own situation, and had similar stories to share. And to whom I could share my thoughts without any restrictions or weasle words.

While this kind of authenticity isn't something that I thirst for any more. It was a refreshing discussion. He commented that he was surprised I am still even as active as I am, that I raised a TBM daughter, etcetera. My own views completely.
I am keeping an eye out for people whom I see in my life who I can be that free with, but I have no personal expectations of it in the near future.

I am grateful to have this board (THANK YOU THANK YOU!), and my grandfather. I am grateful that should I ever chose to walk away from the church, several of my siblings have already done so - so my parents are familiar with setting up relationships setting aside the expectation of the church...
SilentDawning wrote:
13 Mar 2018, 08:25
Authenticity comes up a lot here on StayLDS, and I have learned not to want it or seek after it, or feel angst about it when I can't have it. But sometimes, the right context happens for it -- low risk, judgment free, etcetera. I think people who attend Sunstone will probably get it now and then, and of course, you can be authentic here on STayLDS without being anti-Mormon.
My current theory is that part of the Stage 4 deconstruction is figuring out what is "authentic" in the sense of what is essential for the new faith narrative framework.

Part of my brain wiring is to always be "authentic" to myself and what I believe - but that doesn't mean that I have to info-dump everything on everyone or anyone to achieve that. Curt Sunshine taught me to know my audience and know how I can share feelings using common words so that I don't cause anyone undue angst.
SilentDawning wrote:
13 Mar 2018, 08:25
Have you ever had those plumb moments when you get to share your complete thoughts with someone who is a member, without risk of any consequences from the formal establishment? How did it go? I am not talking about anti-Mormon thoughts, but simply about face to face sharing of your true thoughts and feelings, even though they are not mainstream.
My grandfather is the closest person I have to that. His son has been an active member for approximately 40 years, his wife of 35 years was raised in the church and stopped attending 20 - 30 years ago. I think it went well - there was inspiration and drawing closer together as grandfather/granddaughter....

Kipper
Posts: 260
Joined: 27 Aug 2012, 07:45

Re: Therapeutic Moment

Post by Kipper » 13 Mar 2018, 13:36

SilentDawning wrote:
13 Mar 2018, 08:25

I just wanted to share. Have you ever had those plumb moments when you get to share your complete thoughts with someone who is a member, without risk of any consequences from the formal establishment? How did it go? I am not talking about anti-Mormon thoughts, but simply about face to face sharing of your true thoughts and feelings, even though they are not mainstream.
Thanks for this post SD, almost as if you were asking me personally. I'm guessing that type of person is a pretty rare find. I had a very good friend, still very active, who I could go back and forth with, with mostly like minded dialog but haven't met anyone else since. He was once a bishops counselor and would often tap into some of his upper resources to answer questions we both had. My crisis originated from a time when I was given a calling that took me out of my pursuit of life's opportunity to fulfill a dream and strive for my own "divine" potential. It is a fork in the road I didn't choose but was compelled to follow. Unfortunately for me, this friend completely backed off and never gets close enough to have a discussion let alone a friendly conversation. Seriously, thank god for this site.

As for authenticity, for me it is sometimes unbearably difficult to go thru my Sunday meetings and have no opportunity to question or respond to lesson bullets. I sometimes feel confused and bitter but when I settle down I realize I am fortunate to understand and know what I now know. Even if nobody is willing to step into that part of my world.

Roy
Posts: 5125
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Therapeutic Moment

Post by Roy » 13 Mar 2018, 16:32

Roy wrote:
13 Mar 2018, 08:55
I am blessed in that I am able to share my true feelings with my spouse. It helps a great deal.
I feel I should add that it was not always this way. We went through different phases. For a long time she was hoping that I was going through a temporary phase and that I would snap out of it. I in turn felt disrespected that she was characterizing my new understanding as a phase - as though I was trying out a new haircut or hobby.

I remember the conversation where we had a breakthrough. I was explaining that now by my believing in a more non-interventionist God I am prone to interpret things that might be seen as miraculous as more coincidence. Therefore for any event to snap me back to my more "believing" state it would have to be undeniably miraculous - like descending angels or something. She looked at me and responded, "So your telling me there is still a chance!" :P We both had a good laugh. I have felt much more understood and respected from that point forward.
"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

AmyJ
Posts: 776
Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Re: Therapeutic Moment

Post by AmyJ » 14 Mar 2018, 05:48

Roy wrote:
13 Mar 2018, 16:32
Roy wrote:
13 Mar 2018, 08:55
I am blessed in that I am able to share my true feelings with my spouse. It helps a great deal.
I feel I should add that it was not always this way. We went through different phases. For a long time she was hoping that I was going through a temporary phase and that I would snap out of it. I in turn felt disrespected that she was characterizing my new understanding as a phase - as though I was trying out a new haircut or hobby.

I remember the conversation where we had a breakthrough. I was explaining that now by my believing in a more non-interventionist God I am prone to interpret things that might be seen as miraculous as more coincidence. Therefore for any event to snap me back to my more "believing" state it would have to be undeniably miraculous - like descending angels or something. She looked at me and responded, "So your telling me there is still a chance!" :P We both had a good laugh. I have felt much more understood and respected from that point forward.
My husband and I are not in a good place for further disclosure about my variance in beliefs. My goal is that should we get to that point I will be able to say:
I want to be able to say:
"Since July 2017, I have hidden nothing that you NEEDED to know about how I think/feel at any given time. Anything I did not tell you was because I did not want to cause emotional or spiritual harm to you and your belief system. Just because I went through times of extreme uncertainty and disbelief does not mean I had to inflict it on you. I have demonstrated in words and deed how important you and our marriage are to me even as I worked at reconstructing my faith narrative. It is no one's fault that I ended up starting a Stage 4 identity and faith deconstruction project at the same time."
"I have followed the council of President Holland in his talk, "Lord, I believe". I have focused on leading my life through what I was able to retain/re-build of my faith narrative. I have focused on figuring out what I believe first, rather than a laundry list of what I don't believe. I re-read this talk regularly and practice other principles involved as well. Working through my questions and concerns and re-defining who I am and what I believe has been a process where I went slowly and steadily and avoided making hasty decisions whenever possible."

I think there is a 60/40% chance that at some point my husband will ask questions/have issues with the church organization that he won't be able to shelve. He is an INTP who struggles with executive function, authority, and is very logical. I am not trying to cause him to question or move out of Stage 3 (it has been really helpful for him in a lot of ways), I am just trying to build a framework for myself now that can help sustain both of us in a multitude of circumstances.

I know right now that if I really brought it up he would think I was being a) stubborn, b) rebellious, c) lazy, and d) a person who needed to return to the previous belief system through prayer, scripture study, church attendance, and a resurgence of other practices that he feels earmark a true member. He would think I was throwing away our afterlife together. I can understand how he would arrive at this conclusion with Stage 3 thinking. I can also understand how is not ready to have a different opinion. All I can do is set the foundation of "It's not that simple" and live my life reconstructing my life. If/When I have something concrete to bring up or his faith narrative changes, the foundation hopefully is there that we can have rewarding conversations about it and/or going through my Stage 4 will help me help him if/when he goes through his Stage 4.

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