Tuesday, January 6, 2009

not church going

I haven't visited any churches for a while. Not sure if I just ran out of steam or what but Sunday comes and goes and it doesn't hardly cross my mind to go. DH faithfully attends and fills his calling in the ward, I stay at home with our progeny. A few months ago I wrote about my fear of becoming committed to a church, but this is something different. Perhaps it is just complacency. laziness, or getting stuck in a rut. Maybe it is to avoid the awkwardness of a two-faith home. But it could be something else too. I was talking about it to a friend the other day and she said something along the lines of "It's like you are trying to prove to god that you still care about him even if you don't like your last church, so a new one will be proof." That really rang true. Maybe not proof to god, but proof to other people that I am serious about spirituality.

Maybe I'm losing that need to prove that I'm serious about spirituality.
(Maybe I'm not as serious about spirituality as I once was? I guess that's a possibility too).
I loved xjane's post about her particular brand of atheism; one that is a deeply spiritual form of anti-religion instead of a rigidly secular form of anti-divinity.

There is a multiplicity of way's to get in touch with my spirituality outside of a church if I so chose. As for a sense of community, there is likewise a multiplicity of ways to connect with the people around me that do not involve participating in a particular religion. (My friend, in that conversation we were having rattled off about ten suggestions off the top of her head).

Just some of my rambling thoughts that I needed to get out. That's all.
(Meanwhile... I'm going to start volunteering with the local drawing studio.)


mfranti said...

...hey two good things came out of that conversation, this post and the volunteer work.

now, i should take my own advice, eh?

"Maybe I'm losing that need to prove that I'm serious about spirituality."

this makes me ask, who are/were we proving it to? i am finding myself in the same place too and right now, i don't feel the need to prove my spirituality to anyone.

i think that my level of spirituality shouldn't matter to anyone except me to begin with, iow, who gives a shit how much faith i have?


i tend to think that god (for those of us that still believe)understands this place we are in a whole lot better than those around us -that includes ourselves.

so if the kind, loving and all-knowing father and heaven understands our situation/state of mind/heart so well, maybe we need to cut ourselves a break and stop tying to prove to someone that we are _______.

maybe then we could stop focusing on appearances of being faithful and actually start doing something that really matters...like serving in our community. maybe if we weren't so full guilt, and being made to feel so awful by our fellow church members (yes, i blame the culture) we might actually enjoying participating in in our services. there's an ugly cycle being played otu here. i said to someone recently, the lds church brags about how it will bring you closer to god, how it has more answers, how it's so much better but i honestly don't feel that way. i feel it's diminished my capacity to belive in god. it's hurt my relationship with him and christ. as a believing person, it really... sucks.

g, stop trying to prove that you are serious about spirituality. if you still believe in god, then put your energies in things that do good for others. he understands.


angryyoungwoman said...

mfranti makes a really good point (or several). Our spirituality is really something we shouldn't have to prove, and we've lived in a culture that forces us to prove our spirituality day in and day out by the way we talk, the way we dress, the foods we eat and don't eat--the list goes on and on.

I think it is probably very good that you are giving yourself a break from church going. Wait until you feel the need, if you ever feel the need.

Numismatist Facts said...

It is difficult to shake lifelong habits. One of those habits is feeling guilty. Most christian religions are based on fear and guilt.

And why do you have to prove anything to other people? I'll admit that was one of my hardest obstacles and I'm still working on it.

I love the idea of service instead of church. If there is a god out there somewhere surely she is smiling every minute you are giving your time to make life easier for someone else.

Can you teach me how to draw something more than a lopsided stick figure? Oh wait, that would require a miracle from god and I'm sure she has more important things to do.

JohnR said...

I can totally relate to this, since I feel like I'm in a similar place right now. I no longer want to blog about religion, I no longer want to visit churches so much...

Maybe part of it is moving from a worldview where spirituality is the top priority, and where it is measured and judged by important people. You don't shake that sort of thing in a day, a month or even a year, I imagine.

Super Nova said...

this is exactly the phase that I have entered. I feel done. I feel fine. I feel like there is no way to reconcile my current self with religion, so I am going to focus all of that energy elsewhere. I know what it is inside myself, finally, and others can take it or leave it. They can discover it or judge it. And I'll keep whistling.