Re: Discouraged and Sick of it All
Posted: 04 Feb 2021, 16:00
Focus on what works for you. It is a relationship.
Discussing Alternate Ways to Stay In the Church
This is exactly what I needed to hear. Thanks for the support. My EQP feels the Church should help me. At least I have friends who help me and listen to my plight. I will work on myself and keep a distance from those who bring me down within the Church.Work on what makes you a better person and finding new things that do the same. Focus on movement, not desired outcome. Mormonism teaches eternal progression - so there is no need to rush.
One thing I notice is how communities end up so much like each other. Even the right-on egalitarian ones where everyone gets a say (allegedly). There are usually dominant figures or a figure. Who these people are and what they are like makes a big difference to how toxic a community becomes, but you don't want to fall out with them.nibbler wrote: ↑04 Feb 2021, 06:44You didn't say it was bad but I don't think there's anything wrong with dysfunctional projects.Limhah wrote: ↑04 Feb 2021, 00:25I think if it's an authentic pull that one feels, towards a particular manifestation of what seems most "true" to you, then it's a powerfully positive phenomenon, but if it's enacted superficially or without full investigation it can be just as dysfunctional as any other group project.
Several years ago I spent some time "vacationing" in other religions, I'd attend services one or two weeks then move on. Some interested me more than others, in fact I ended up spending a year or so with one of them. I went into each experience with eyes wide open.
Everyone's different but for me I purposely avoided the full investigations when visiting with other religions, I wanted to keep it superficial. The theory was that a superficial investigation allowed me to skim off any good elements, hopefully before experiencing/internalizing any bad elements.
I contrast that with my full investigation (to the point of obsession) of Mormonism. At several points along the investigation of Mormonism it became difficult to see any good at all because it felt like the bad was shouting at me, demanding attention. Granted, it's different when there's a long established relationship. Maybe it was more about rooting out bad things that I had internalized when immersed in orthodoxy.
When visiting with other religions I didn't want to focus too much on the correct way to be in religion xyz, that would feel like moving from one orthodoxy to another. It was more about discovering and adhering to my spirituality than discovering how to adhere to someone else's defined spirituality.
But it's a conundrum. It might not have been a dedicated investigation of a particular religion or belief system but it was a dedicated investigation of self.
Thanks. It's often worst in groups which are idealistic and promote forms of equality. People can't stop being people - good and bad. They drag all that through the door. In that sense, it's worth comparing these religious groups with secular ones. They can have great aims and teachings, but once you're in there, you see all the usual social dynamics in play.
Some more so than others, I imagine. I guess there are extremes w/anything, that's what the middle way is supposed to be all about -- avoiding extremes.
I'm also familiar w/that strategy, it's fine as far as it goes if one is just playing the spiritual tourist (as I did for far too long, maybe, I started to feel like an amateur anthropologist), but then I started to feel bad for not really participating in anything and like maybe I was dragging the specific group down. To this day I avoid labeling myself w/the name of any religion, mainly because I feel I'd be a bad example of any of them and wouldn't want anyone I encounter to think "if he's typical of what all _______ are like, I don't want anything to do with them!"Everyone's different but for me I purposely avoided the full investigations when visiting with other religions, I wanted to keep it superficial. The theory was that a superficial investigation allowed me to skim off any good elements, hopefully before experiencing/internalizing any bad elements.
I've found this phenomenon also to be true in my own decades of experience with seemingly every group under the sun. Maybe it just goes back to our basic hominid/simian small group hierarchy tendencies and instincts. I've also spent enough time in quite small but intense spiritual groups, often with good guidance from more experienced/mature members, to see how these social dynamics play out in detail and how they can be highlighted/magnified in very intense spiritual group situations. This can be a positive, if the individual pays attention to the phenomenon and develops some self-awareness about it.SamBee wrote: ↑09 Feb 2021, 16:01
One thing I notice is how communities end up so much like each other. Even the right-on egalitarian ones where everyone gets a say (allegedly). There are usually dominant figures or a figure. Who these people are and what they are like makes a big difference to how toxic a community becomes, but you don't want to fall out with them. All the other usual human traits end up in such communities too. People trying to raise themselves up the social hierarchy. Rivalry between people (which is often personal and nothing to do with the group's aims)
jamison wrote: ↑31 Jan 2021, 20:19I have some financial problems and the Bishop questions me about why I need financial assistance when my hours got cut down to 20 hours per week due to the pandemic. Honestly, you are questioning why I need financial help. Then my Elders Quorum President says, I do not think the Bishop is going to accept any of your utility bills any more. I'm glad my hours got increased again, but honestly I pay tithes and offerings my whole life without fail, and I am getting scrutinized for a few utility bills?
I can't agree more with this part of what you are experiencing. I have noticed a tendency for the church to be tight -fisted when it comes to money, although they place a rather huge burden on the members financially for most of their lives. This part stuck out to me in the opening post.- From DJ --
I feel this and it hurts me that others also have this experience. I was getting monthly food orders when I was "cut off." That's it, just food, me, my wife, four small kids. It's why I will never pay another penny in fast offerings, why I will not clean the building, and why I don't feel guilty saying no to whatever calling or assignment I don't want to do. And it's why I'm much more stingy with tithing as well (I pay on net, or a little less). I'm sorry for you and your family.
I am currently in a situation that I had mentioned earlier in this thread. My wife is having day surgery and will probably be in various stages of recovery for about a week. I plan to ask for 3 days of meals (one meal per day) to be brought in by the compassionate serve people. When I mentioned to DW that I plan to do this she said that she "didn't want to be one of those people." After a little more discussion, I reasoned with her that if we were not in a position to accept some help after a surgery then when would we ever be in that position?Roy wrote: ↑02 Feb 2021, 17:23For me, I find it helpful to 1) lower my expectations from the church, 2) try to only expect things that the church is adept at delivering, and 3) try to clearly communicate those expectations/requests when I need them. For example, I think the church is good at helping people move and at bringing in meals for sick or injured individuals. I might ask the church to send some guys to help me load up a moving van for a one or two hour period. I might also ask for some meals to be brought in for a one to three day period if my wife or I are recovering from a surgery. These steps for managing expectations help me to feel cared for as a member of my faith community and that in turn helps reduce my feelings of resentment.