Everybody here is so nice and compassionate and lives the religion by taking time to share uplifting thoughts to help a stranger, because they care, and because it is what makes us connected to others and find ways to pass through life. I really appreciate everyone's comments. Perhaps with such displays of compassion...religion hasn't been lost among us as much as we feel it is.
Shawn, you've got a tough road to travel. You've been working through so many things for so long.
But your life is not over, and you have good and bad things ahead, because this life is about experiences for which you gain only by passing through them.
I fully believe the Lord knows we will learn from it. And so, he stays out of it and lets us learn.
The religion is there to be a help, a Liahona for us, as we travel. The religion doesn't fix it. We fix it when we use religion, or depression meds, or behavioral therapy, or choices that put us in different places mentally, and sometimes physically. There are no angels to swoop in and do it for us. There are no prayers that magically change reality. There is no blame on others for changing or being disappointed in us.
As human beings...we create stories to try to frame this physical world to our spirits and our minds so we can process things and try to make decisions. Religion is a story. God is a story. Depression is a story. In my life, over decades, God has let me suffer so that I can learn some important lessons about life so I can find my story.
The fact others can identify with you, and that millions more identify with feelings like the artists who put together Les Mis...means we all have these feelings as we are writing our stories. So...if we all have it...that means you are not so broken or different than others, and that also means it comes down to what we do about it. What we decide to do to handle things in life.
God wanted me to learn new things. So he left me alone and let me suffer. When I stopped crying about why it is happening to me, and turned inward to search my soul for answers I couldn't find at church, I started viewing my life like an onion. With layers of bs I had built up over the years. And so I had to peel back layers and layers, like the onion, until I could get down to the root of who I am and what my purpose in life is. That onion story to me, helped me let go of baggage, and focus on core principles that are more important than anything else...including the temple or anything else others tell me about.
Finding my core...I could then re-engage in church and with others, realizing I have my own story. This is who I am. This is how I live. I don't know how to be somebody different. I'm me. And I suck, and I am also a nice person at the same time, and I'm a deep thinker and I don't now why I can't let go of some things. All of it is me.
I have greater compassion for you now than I would have had without my experiences because I know your feelings to some degree. I felt my life was over to be facing divorce...it was not the dream I had. My religion didn't help...unless...I realize my religion isn't church teaching me that divorce is not an option, or that I had to pray harder for a miracle, or that God would save me from my problems without me doing things to change things. You see...mormonism is a library of stories and we pick and choose the ones that help us in our unique situations, which are common across the human race.
yes...church isn't what it used to be for me. But mostly because I had a story that I out grew and it no longer worked for me. Like many things in nature, we shed the skin of the past that was good for us then but not us anymore now...and we learn we grow a new one that is healthy for our present state. A more thick and healthy skin I need now.
Perhaps the dream is dead...but we get to make new dreams again. There is real beauty in that. Knowing that there is a new day, new dream, new experience...and a way to find peace through hope.
I suggest you find all the resources you can to help you peel your onion back to the core, and look for ways to find hope again for the future. Love your wife as much as you can. Accept that you can only do what you can do. Love yourself equally as much. No matter what your path ahead, you need to find the hope that can guide you. Depression meds, counseling, shedding the past BS that is holding you back.
Today is a new day, my friend. We get to live it over again and try again. We can make choices. In 5 years from now...you can look back and realize you learned something from the trials you are now going through. Seek that inner peace that you can do it. And reach out to others with compassion to lift the other travelers who also are weary like you.
PM me any time if you want to talk. Hang in there. My prayers are with you. THanks for all your contributions here on this site for so long.
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."