Author Topic: Beliefs and shame  (Read 6088 times)

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Offline Edge

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Beliefs and shame
« on: June 20, 2014, 01:20:11 pm »
I’ve got a bit of a problem it seems and could use some outside perspective to give me a hand. I’ve decided I want some sort of spiritual path and, while I know I need to figure out where I’m going myself, I have certain hang ups that are getting in my way.

First of all, it’s been drilled into my head that believing in things that can’t exist is delusional and stupid and this is firmly lodged in my mind. It doesn’t stop me from believing in things (no matter how much I’ve tried not to), but it causes me distress.  I’m slowly getting better, but it’s still at the point where I have trouble admitting I believe in things even to myself and, when I do, it usually comes with repeated statements that I know I’m insane.
Why do I want to have a belief system if there’s so much shame wrapped in having one? For one, I believe in supernatural people and creatures regardless. It is what comes naturally and is part of who I am even if it is delusional. For another, I’m lonely, feel like an outsider, and want to belong to something even if I’m still kind of an outsider with humans of similar beliefs. If that makes sense. I am afraid that ranges into imaginary friend territory and that it’s weak of me to use deities as a crutch to make my loneliness feel better, but at the same time, I wonder if it will help make me stronger by helping me.

Second of all, I already have certain things I lean towards. The problem is, they don’t exactly fit with pre-established belief systems. For example, I lean towards Norse paganism, but I’m a queer, trans guy who feels more drawn to Loki and some of the jötnar than the other Æsir and Vanir although I have respect for all of them. Those seem to be frowned upon by heathens/Asatru/Odinists/etc. I also don’t believe in just one pantheon either, believe in any pantheon’s creation stories, or believe that deities are necessarily superior to any other beings just by virtue of being deities. I like witchcraft, but that’s also frowned upon in Norse beliefs (if you’re mortal) and the kind of witchcraft I’m interested in apparently frowns on any religion in general, so they appear to be mutually exclusive. I definitely lean more towards the darker and more chaotic aspects of folklore and mythology which tends to give people the impression of some stupid, rebellious, teenage phase (I’m 26 and have been this way since elementary school at least) to make one look cool (I really do gravitate towards this stuff naturally, cool or not). I’m not interested in worship in the sense of trying to be worthy of other people (deities or not), but am interested in the idea of honouring people who I like and respect. That probably seems arrogant, but hey, if the shoe fits.
Why do I care if my own beliefs are part of a pre-established, all or nothing set? Because I also have hang ups about unverified personal gnosis. I think it’s mostly because I’ve heard the idea shamed so much.
Normally, I wouldn’t care what other people think, but this shame was enforced at the same time as some traumatic experiences which apparently makes it a little more difficult to shake.

What do I hope to get out of sharing this and seeing what people say? I don’t know. Maybe someone has advice that doesn’t involve telling me I’m wrong. Maybe I’ve gotten the wrong impression of what is and isn’t accepted and, like Floki in Vikings, I can actually be accepted despite being a little odd. Maybe other people have experience dealing with shame for their beliefs and have some tricks on how to deal with that. I’m kind of afraid people will judge me and tell me that who I am is wrong and I should change instead, but that’s a risk I take every day by being who I am.
Sorry this has been all over the place.

Disclaimer in case this needs to be said: No, I don’t just like Loki because of Marvel. I’ve liked Loki from the Norse tales long before I was introduced to Marvel.

Offline DriftingCrow

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Re: Beliefs and shame
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2014, 01:57:45 pm »
Quote
What do I hope to get out of sharing this and seeing what people say? I don’t know. Maybe someone has advice that doesn’t involve telling me I’m wrong. Maybe I’ve gotten the wrong impression of what is and isn’t accepted and, like Floki in Vikings, I can actually be accepted despite being a little odd. Maybe other people have experience dealing with shame for their beliefs and have some tricks on how to deal with that. I’m kind of afraid people will judge me and tell me that who I am is wrong and I should change instead, but that’s a risk I take every day by being who I am

I understand where you're coming from, especially since most people around my age, where I live are atheists who automatically assume that I am one too, that I mainly just keep quiet unless there's been a direct question. Most people I don't care enough about to bother explaining things about myself to, but also part of it is probably from shame since like you said, any mention of "God(s)" make most people who are non-theist think you're an ignorant fundamentalist.

I really though think most people don't need to know much personal things about me (even family members), so I figure getting into a big religious/philosophical conversation just isn't worth it except for with a few people.

Good luck.
ਮਨਿ ਜੀਤੈ ਜਗੁ ਜੀਤੁ

Offline Edge

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Re: Beliefs and shame
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2014, 02:42:35 pm »
I really though think most people don't need to know much personal things about me (even family members), so I figure getting into a big religious/philosophical conversation just isn't worth it except for with a few people.
Oh indeed. At the moment, most people don't have a clue whether I'm atheist or pagan and I've had people assume both about me (and being completely fine with me either way). The problem for me is that I end up shaming myself.

Jess42

Re: Beliefs and shame
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2014, 03:02:42 pm »
There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of Edge. Sprituality in any form is a personal experience and that experience is unique to the individual. I have my beliefs and they are my own. No one else's but mine and it comes from my life experiences good and bad. Am I dark, bet your butt I am. Do I believe good eventually conquers evil, yes I do. Just because I am dark doesn't mean I am evil. My beliefs of a Diety are just that, my beliefs in such a Diety is formed by my life experiences and perceptions. I am not accepted by any mainstream or even cult like beliefs. Chritians say I am going to hell, satinists say I believe too much, athiests say that I am too much of a theist and everyone thinks I am borderline insane. ;) Which I am proud of by the way.

Go against the grain. You seem like a person that is strong enough to swim against the current so form your own beliefs. I believe that we form beliefs for a reason and that is because a little voice inside of us which could be of a devine nature is guiding us into what we need to believe in. If it is out of the realm of accepted religious views, that's OK. As long as it isn't about hurting others in anyway. It is extremely personal and unique to you and really doesn't have to make sense to anyone other than youself. Hope that helps a little.

Offline Edge

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Re: Beliefs and shame
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2014, 03:24:10 pm »
Thanks, Jess. For me, I have formed my own beliefs and they're here to stay no matter what people say. (Usually, it was atheists and pagans who had a problem with me or people like me, honestly.) It's just difficult to get those memories to shut up.

Jess42

Re: Beliefs and shame
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2014, 03:39:48 pm »
Thanks, Jess. For me, I have formed my own beliefs and they're here to stay no matter what people say. (Usually, it was atheists and pagans who had a problem with me or people like me, honestly.) It's just difficult to get those memories to shut up.

Your welcom Edge. Another bada$$ avatar BTW.

Hell hon, everyone or most people anyway, not me though, have a problem with someone else no matter what. Screw 'em. They really don't have to live your life or die your death. BTW that is the darkness I was talking about in myself. But when all is said and done as long as you are happy with yourself and your own beliefs, nothing else matters. It is all about you. Do you know in real life how many people have a problem with me? I'll give you a hint. I don't care because it's their problem not mine. Just make those memories STFU and replace them with better ones. Like this conversation. ;)

Jill F

Re: Beliefs and shame
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2014, 03:48:02 pm »
There are as many nuanced religious and spritual beliefs as there are people in the world.  Find the path that makes you happiest and stick to it, no matter what everyone else thinks or pressures you to. 

Personally, I'm an atheist/agnostic/pagan.  It's complicated... LOL 

Hey, at least you can prove the world exists and that it supports life (or we all live in the Matrix, in which case we're all screwed).

Anyway, I think therefore I drink and I drink therefore I am.   Ok, I can see now how Descartes arrived at his conclusion. </snark>

Jess42

Re: Beliefs and shame
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2014, 03:51:11 pm »
There are as many nuanced religious and spritual beliefs as there are people in the world.  Find the path that makes you happiest and stick to it, no matter what everyone else thinks or pressures you to. 

Personally, I'm an atheist/agnostic/pagan.  It's complicated... LOL 

Hey, at least you can prove the world exists and that it supports life (or we all live in the Matrix, in which case we're all screwed).

Anyway, I think therefore I drink and I drink therefore I am.   Ok, I can see now how Descartes arrived at his conclusion. </snark>

Gotta second that one Jill.

Offline Edge

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Re: Beliefs and shame
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2014, 03:57:17 pm »
I understand what you're saying, Jess, and it makes perfect sense, but it's not that simple for me. It has nothing to do with strength. It has to do with why that shame is so ingrained in me. You're right in that it is all about me. I can't enjoy my own beliefs because I keep feeling shame and anxiety. Other people can be as supportive or not as they want and I'll still have flashbacks and, yes, I mean actual flashbacks. One of the reactions in particular to me was pretty extreme and put me through heck for a few years. I can't make those memories shut up. If I could, I would have years ago.
I guess it's another thing about me other people can't understand.
And yes, yes, I know that whole get therapy thing. I have. They're also aware that this isn't something I can stop from happening.

lol Jill. If we lived in the Matrix, it would be the nineties.

Jill F

Re: Beliefs and shame
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2014, 04:27:13 pm »

lol Jill. If we lived in the Matrix, it would be the nineties.

<poo>, I'm showing my age again!  To quote Keanu Reeves (in many films...), "Whoa!"

And to think Lana was still Larry at the time!

Jess42

Re: Beliefs and shame
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2014, 04:36:13 pm »
Yeah Edge flashbacks really suck. But I, for one, do understand. Bad things happen to good people and those bad things that happen do not make those good people bad. I don't know what happened with you but do know what happened to me and believe me I knew shame for a long time. Still know anxiety though. And still have nightmares. But I like to think at least that I am a somewhat good person and what happened to me didn't change that. Yeah it might have made me a little darker. It might have made me lose hope in and distrust people a little more and definately question "Devine Intervention" and "Devine Justisce" when it comes to beliefs. But one thing is that I may not be the person that I am today because I learned at a young age that the world isn't quite as safe or secure as we like to think it is. I may have ended up being too trusting in people and not even be here at all because of that trust.

I don't want to make you mad 'cause you have chewed me out a couple of times :'(. But those bad memories of mine have actually kept me from getting in some really bad situations. Some of which may have been worst than what I actually lived through. Of course I am twenty years older than you and hindsight is 20/20. And believe me the way I lived, I have been in bad situations.

Offline Edge

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Re: Beliefs and shame
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2014, 04:46:15 pm »
In my case (this particular case anyway), I was misdiagnosed as schizophrenic because I believe in faeries. I got involved in the mental health system for a separate reason, but that eventually came out and, once it did, my psych at the time locked onto that and claimed it made me delusional. It wasn't until I was over eighteen, got completely away from that psych, and saw another one that another psychiatrist told me that I had no symptoms of psychosis. By that point, I had spent most of high school in more pain that I can describe because anti-psychotics can have horrible effects on people who aren't psychotic and learning that no one will ever help me or believe me. I also later found out that the psych who misdiagnosed me has a history of doing that with other young people with similar results.
Of course, right now admitting to this, I'm afraid people are going to turn on me and claim that if a professional said so, he must have had a good reason and that of course a crazy person would deny being crazy. No other psychiatrist I've met thinks I'm psychotic and that includes ones who know I believe in faeries.

Offline Edge

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Re: Beliefs and shame
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2014, 04:49:36 pm »
I don't want to make you mad 'cause you have chewed me out a couple of times :'(.
Sorry about that. I didn't mean to. It's more frustration towards myself and not towards you.

Offline HoneyStrums

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Re: Beliefs and shame
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2014, 04:55:49 pm »
My journey began, with asking which is the right one?
And I prayed to god, saying dear god if in deed you do exist how can it be their are so many religions all claiming the others are wrong and that they are the right one?

My answer came in a dream, of a large piece of concrete that became shattered even in the process of social separation. Upon the concrete was the house of religion and a piece of the building came to rest upon each shattered piece being used to form other houses of religion that were nothing in comparison.

And each society began to protest their house of religion was correct and the other designs were wrong and didn't follow the original design.

My next question was, if they all share the same foundation how can I encompass them all, seeing this as the true religion? My answer came by a realisation that I may be wrong. This was something none of the societies I'm my dream had done, each believing they were right without question. Each believed that they were right, and failed to realise they only "believed" they were. Had they focussed on that belief they might of realised each other society was doing the same as they.

That concrete was the foundation of piece, and since the shattering piece within religion as it stands can only happen if you stand upon one piece of that foundation. Because religion is of the gods how can It be broken?

That was my understanding, and I once again struggled believing my interpretation wrong, after all I'm human and not above it. So months later seeing as I saw my dream as an answer from god, I finally prayed once again fearing god. I was frightened I would call him a liar. So I said once again, If religion is of god and god is powerful how can it be god foundation be so shattered.

I had the same dream. Only my focus changed. Those cracks were not cracks but lines of distinguish placed by man. The foundation was still whole, but had these lines of "social" separation caused by man. But what of the house? How could that be broken? It too isn't, it is their barely visible in current society, focus is taken away from it, and drawn to the religions of man. The pieces that shattered with the creation of social separation the elements of truth each society took with it and holds onto.

The wrongs with in religions? the human brain filling in the blanks.

but when A little ___ bought a pretty dress the other day, and was excited to try it on. ___ rushed to get home but when they arrived their _______ was angry, saying they shouldn't wear it because, it was ___ ____.

Each spiritual journey start within yourself. Right now you are deciding where to place your foot. Why not place your foot because it is you placing it? Follow in the foot steps of another and your religion is not yours. Your religion is what you believe. If you disagree with me then that is ok too. Why? because I might be wrong. And since I might be wrong even though I believe I'm right. If I disagree with you that doesn't mean your wrong. Its means you might be right, I just believe your wrong.

So If we both choose choices believing it is wright, are we not doing the same? even if we disagree?
e.g, If somebody believes that their is no god, then to they their isn't one because for them saying they believe in something they don't believe in is wrong. So am I to say god still exists and call them a liar? No, because they say they don't believe in something they don't believe because their not a liar and in this they do the right thing.


If this is no help I apologise.

Offline Edge

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Re: Beliefs and shame
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2014, 05:08:13 pm »
That helps a lot, ButterflyVickster. Thanks. It reminds me of something I saw the other day.
"There is no security in following the call to adventure. You enter the forest at the darkest point where there is no path. Where is already a path, is someone else's path. Your adventure is forging your own path."
I like that. It's what I want. I want to be able to accept that that is what I want.

Jess42

Re: Beliefs and shame
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2014, 05:19:18 pm »
In my case (this particular case anyway), I was misdiagnosed as schizophrenic because I believe in faeries. I got involved in the mental health system for a separate reason, but that eventually came out and, once it did, my psych at the time locked onto that and claimed it made me delusional. It wasn't until I was over eighteen, got completely away from that psych, and saw another one that another psychiatrist told me that I had no symptoms of psychosis. By that point, I had spent most of high school in more pain that I can describe because anti-psychotics can have horrible effects on people who aren't psychotic and learning that no one will ever help me or believe me. I also later found out that the psych who misdiagnosed me has a history of doing that with other young people with similar results.
Of course, right now admitting to this, I'm afraid people are going to turn on me and claim that if a professional said so, he must have had a good reason and that of course a crazy person would deny being crazy. No other psychiatrist I've met thinks I'm psychotic and that includes ones who know I believe in faeries.

Wow Edge. I really don't know what to say other than believing in faeries and being misdiagnosed. There are a bunch of quacks in the world and some of them do happen to be shrinks. Ya' know, I investigate paranormal occurances from time to time? I have things, mostly on cassette tapes which are long disintegrated because of the times but some on a digital voice recorder. I can't explain disembodied voices other than paranormal occurances. I did not nor anyone else physically hear anything but there are voices that are there. Talk about schizophrenic? During a couple of investigations I and others have heard actual disembodied voices. Defies all logic, huh? Leprechauns used to be a supernatural being right along with faeries. I believe that people used to see faeries right along with leprechauns. For whatever reason they do appear in mythes and folklore and there is some sort of truths buried in mythes and folklore. I really wouldn't let it bother me though. One idiot's diagnosis I would definately discount. I don't think you are crazy, believe me hon, there are other things that I believe in and I will leave it at that. Sometimes professionals can be idiots. But I definately don't think you are crazy or psychotic. Yeah prescribing anti psychotics to someone that isn't psychotic? What the heck were they thinking? Other than that Dr. being a little off and possibly a little sadistic. Or just a plain, arrogant butthole.

Really Edge. Talk about dillusional? Any religion or belief system could be categorized in a clinical sense as a dillusion. And personally the big QUESTION is what is dillusion and what is Faith.

What I highlighted from your quote, no I don't think anyone will think that way. I don't. Actually I feel sorry that you had to go through that for really nothing. I really hope that psychiatrist lost their license to practice since there seemed to be a history there.

For the record Edge, on a lighter note you're more sane than me. ;)

Sorry about that. I didn't mean to. It's more frustration towards myself and not towards you.

I know Hon, but I need to be chewed out and cussed at every now and then. ;)

Offline Edge

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Re: Beliefs and shame
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2014, 05:31:26 pm »
lol According to my beliefs, leprechauns are a kind of faerie. I tend to prefer goblins, trolls, the nuckelavee, kelpies, fuaths, etc though.
Yeah. I hope he does loose his license especially since I found out he's done it to other young people. I doubt he will though.

Jess42

Re: Beliefs and shame
« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2014, 05:41:55 pm »
lol According to my beliefs, leprechauns are a kind of faerie. I tend to prefer goblins, trolls, the nuckelavee, kelpies, fuaths, etc though.
Yeah. I hope he does loose his license especially since I found out he's done it to other young people. I doubt he will though.

OK, I know what leprechauns are since my heritage is Irish. I know what faeries are since the other part of my heritage is English. I do know what goblins and trolls are but what is the nuckelavee, kelpies and fuaths. I feel like I should know since they do sound Celtic and Ireland and all. But I am at a loss. ???

I hope he does too. That is BS. I mean I have done a lot of things in my younger days for cheap thrills but never anti psychotics.

Offline Edge

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Re: Beliefs and shame
« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2014, 06:00:57 pm »
To me, faeries are a catch-all phrase for supernatural beings in folklore. I know others don't agree with me, but that's what I mean when I say "faerie."
The nuckelavee is a faerie that lives mainly in the sea and looks kind of like a centaur with no skin, black blood, yellow veins, a gaping mouth, and a single glowing eye. According to folklore, he is responsible for epidemics, drought, and ruined crops and livestock.
Kelpies are Scottish water faeries that mainly look like horses, but are able to shapeshift.
Fuath is a name for a group of water faeries that I think includes kelpies, but I can't remember. They also include the glaistig (half woman, half goat, drinks men's blood) and ones like that.

Jess42

Re: Beliefs and shame
« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2014, 06:32:44 pm »
I probably should have known all of that. I really need to get more in touch with heritage. Huh?

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