Not Before Possible

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DancingCarrot
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Not Before Possible

Post by DancingCarrot » 19 Feb 2015, 18:14

I wanted to share an experience that I had just a few hours ago. I still haven't tousled through everything, but what has already come to light amazes me.

I have been dating a non-religious guy for about 5 months. He was raised heavily Christian, but made an abrupt change after high school. He is one of the kindest, compassionate, deep-thinking people that I know. However, he's also struggled with anxiety and depression for most of his life. His childhood was racked with abuse, and his only sibling passed away 4-5 years ago. Today, he finally confirmed what he has been hinting at for a little while now. He cannot seem to change his way of thinking, namely the incredibly negative self-talk, destructive self-image, and just all around dismal outlook on life. He desperately wants to make changes in his life for the better, and has been making small ones since I met him, but nothing's been sticking. He said that he just can't be in a relationship right now. He told me he isn't rejecting me, but can't work on a relationship at this time.

Of course, I am incredibly sad. I love this man. I see his flaws and acknowledge them, but also see the many magnificent things about him as well. Even without the potential for us to be together, I absolutely adore him. But here's the new experience: I don't ache. I am not in the depths of despair as I usually would be and have been. A few months ago, I realized I don't entirely know how to believe in a literal Atonement, so I'm not sure if this is me experiencing it or not, but I have been studying Taoism lately and I just feel incredibly calm and at peace, in the moment with this whole situation. I don't expect anything from it: I don't expect him to ask to get back together in the future, I don't expect to miraculously return to my former church beliefs because a "non-believer" is no longer my S.O. I can't quite describe it, but it's incredibly freeing and new.

I just wanted to share this experience with all of you, as it is incredibly spiritual to me. I know that I have not been capable of seeing things this way in the past, and am not sure of the technicalities of it now, but it's wonderful. Do any of you have any experiences where you are now able to react/accept/interact with differently than you have before? Do you attribute this new ability or process to something specific?
It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live. -Dumbledore

Roll away your stone, I'll roll away mine. Together we can see what we will find. -Mumford & Sons

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LDS_Scoutmaster
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Re: Not Before Possible

Post by LDS_Scoutmaster » 19 Feb 2015, 18:30

DancingCarrot wrote: Do any of you have any experiences where you are now able to react/accept/interact with differently than you have before? Do you attribute this new ability or process to something specific?
All the time now. I had a very rigid mindset before and I think it kept me actually from feeling the Spirit. Sometimes something is right and good and ok, and other times it just isnt. Sometimes something is wrong, another time it isnt.
I've studied a lot of eastern philosophy and religion and find much truth there. Zen is neither a philosophy nor a religion, but I have found eternity on its path.
I think you hit on what a lot of other people have searched for all their lives, the inner peace of being. Don't be too still though it'll be off I another direction shortly. :)
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6311&start=70#p121051 My last talk

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

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hawkgrrrl
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Re: Not Before Possible

Post by hawkgrrrl » 19 Feb 2015, 19:52

If I go back about 15 years, I used to feel obligated to try to feel guilty about certain things, which was very difficult to pull off because deep down, I didn't really feel guilty. It's possible I felt guilty for not feeling guilty. But it's just a circular way to think. I really enjoy Buddhist practices of being mindful and present in the moment rather than spinning around thinking about the past & future. But I also simply discovered that manufactured guilt was just dumb, and my husband didn't feel guilt over that stuff, so why did I feel obligated to pretend to feel guilt.

Ann
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Re: Not Before Possible

Post by Ann » 19 Feb 2015, 19:56

DancingCarrot wrote:
I just wanted to share this experience with all of you, as it is incredibly spiritual to me. I know that I have not been capable of seeing things this way in the past, and am not sure of the technicalities of it now, but it's wonderful. Do any of you have any experiences where you are now able to react/accept/interact with differently than you have before? Do you attribute this new ability or process to something specific?
And thank you for sharing it! I can't explain why and how, but my overall mental health is better now. A few things that come to mind are redrawn boundaries between me and the church (which ironically cleared a better path between me and God), and valuing my own thoughts.

(What in particular about Taoism has helped you?)
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

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Heber13
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Re: Not Before Possible

Post by Heber13 » 20 Feb 2015, 13:04

I was going to say something similar to Hawkgrrl. Learning to be in the present has been very important to me.
DancingCarrot wrote:Do any of you have any experiences where you are now able to react/accept/interact with differently than you have before? Do you attribute this new ability or process to something specific?
I absolutely believe I react to all kinds of things differently now. My sister calls with her own problems, my kids mess up, the bishop says something to me....I am able to deal with these things differently. I think I have greater compassion and love, and less panic about "fixing" things or controlling my environment.

I can let go. And just be at peace, even when terrible things happen.

It's been a gift.

I've wondered if God let's us learn through going through things like this, including doubting.
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."

DancingCarrot
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Re: Not Before Possible

Post by DancingCarrot » 20 Feb 2015, 17:18

Ann wrote:(What in particular about Taoism has helped you?)
The biggest thing is that everything is impermanent. Situations, people, organizations, relationships. They're all impermanent, in one way or another. That's helped me to learn how to stop having such a tight grip on some things. Last year, I was in a situation that I was grabbing on tighter and tighter. The more I did that, the more I felt like I had dust in my hands. So I've let go. Or at least tried to. ;) I thoroughly enjoy the idea that I have control over the situations in my life. I like living in the idea that if I just will myself enough, that I will get what I want. But I'm done trying to live like that. It's so exhausting. It's scary to try this new way of living, and I'm often not terribly good at it, but I'd rather try to be on this path than the one I was before.
It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live. -Dumbledore

Roll away your stone, I'll roll away mine. Together we can see what we will find. -Mumford & Sons

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SilentDawning
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Re: Not Before Possible

Post by SilentDawning » 20 Feb 2015, 17:56

The guy sounds a lot like me 20 years ago, but I didn't have depression, only periods of low mood.

Ability to process disappointment positively? I find that after I've been "hit" there is a period of euphoria where I realize I am experiencing something new. It's not really joy-euphoria, but this feeling of having transcended something. I felt the same way after I totalled my car years ago and then walked away from the accident unscathed. Sort of powerful...

And then, reality sets in. And I no longer feel the transcendance. It's kind of like when you cut yourself -- there is a period when you don't really feel it -- it's as if the brain and body are processing what happened, and the nervous system hasn't caught up to the event yet.

Then, after you get a chance to react, it sets in.

For me, processing wounds in a peaceful way simply takes time. I no longer feel bitter about the way the church has treated me over the years. In fact, I feel a bit elated to be free of it (I am active, but not Tr-holding and passively disengaged).

Now that I see the experience clearly, I feel free, and much happier. But that has taken a lot of time (and patience from guys like Ray, who heard my obsessing about the problems when I first joined STayLDS 5 years ago and repeated myself so much I got sick of it all -- and changed).

Same with a broken engagement years ago. It hurt for a very long time. Now, I see it as one of life's experiences and no angst. In fact, I'm glad it didn't work out now that I've seen my ex-bride-to-be divorced and remarried three times now. Plus, I've made my own fun with my life.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- 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."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

Eternity4me
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Re: Not Before Possible

Post by Eternity4me » 22 Feb 2015, 00:39

From the OP:
I had a very rigid mindset before and I think it kept me actually from feeling the Spirit.
+1

DancingCarrot
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Re: Not Before Possible

Post by DancingCarrot » 01 Mar 2015, 10:57

SilentDawning wrote:The guy sounds a lot like me 20 years ago, but I didn't have depression, only periods of low mood.

Ability to process disappointment positively? I find that after I've been "hit" there is a period of euphoria where I realize I am experiencing something new. It's not really joy-euphoria, but this feeling of having transcended something. I felt the same way after I totalled my car years ago and then walked away from the accident unscathed. Sort of powerful...

And then, reality sets in. And I no longer feel the transcendance. It's kind of like when you cut yourself -- there is a period when you don't really feel it -- it's as if the brain and body are processing what happened, and the nervous system hasn't caught up to the event yet.
This is a pretty good description of the past couple of weeks. I did feel that power at first, and then in the following days I wasn't so great at it anymore. I fluctuated between feeling that power and feeling like a regular, ol' human being. It's been exhausting to have those kind of mood changes, so I decided to take an introspective look. We also work together so I feel like I had to do this or else going to work would be torture for both of us. I've realized that his situation isn't about me. That action towards me is about him. I think that's how humans are naturally programmed to work: our actions towards others reflects how we view ourselves. Unless we're really, really good at faking it, which is totally a possibility! :D
SilentDawning wrote:For me, processing wounds in a peaceful way simply takes time.
I agree. To be able to develop the kind of transcendence that you mentioned earlier takes time and experience. It's not as if there are no more periods of elation or sadness or anger, but that they're seen for what they are: emotions. Emotions that have information about how we see the world and can do with what we will.
It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live. -Dumbledore

Roll away your stone, I'll roll away mine. Together we can see what we will find. -Mumford & Sons

DancingCarrot
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Re: Not Before Possible

Post by DancingCarrot » 01 Mar 2015, 11:01

hawkgrrrl wrote:If I go back about 15 years, I used to feel obligated to try to feel guilty about certain things, which was very difficult to pull off because deep down, I didn't really feel guilty. It's possible I felt guilty for not feeling guilty. But it's just a circular way to think. I really enjoy Buddhist practices of being mindful and present in the moment rather than spinning around thinking about the past & future. But I also simply discovered that manufactured guilt was just dumb, and my husband didn't feel guilt over that stuff, so why did I feel obligated to pretend to feel guilt.
Also this, +1000. I'm also excellent at manufacturing guilt. I'm slowly learning when to recognize when I feel it and why. I think there may be some sort of paradoxical nobility in the ability to feel guilty. As if your ability to feel guilty about something is proportional to the amount of change you are capable of. Which is a load of crap. I don't think it's the guilt that ever permanently causes someone to change. I think it's love for the people around you and, more importantly, love for yourself that you just don't want to be this way anymore and you deserve and can be better.
It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live. -Dumbledore

Roll away your stone, I'll roll away mine. Together we can see what we will find. -Mumford & Sons

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