tangled

I wrote almost 2 months ago in a post called sad vaguely about entering “a season of existential/religious/spiritual searching,” and that when I was ready to I would continue those thoughts.

I’m kind of ready, but only ready enough to expand just a tiny bit further–but not much, so don’t get your hopes up for anything too juicy.

I’ve been hesitant to share much, partly because my thoughts and emotions seems to tangled and self-contradicting to try to put into words. But also because I’m not interested in any praise or concern my words might illicit from people I know in person and fearful of any alienation or pressure I might attract in sharing them.

I was listening to a podcast recently and the person being interviewed said something along the lines of unquestioning certainty is really just repressed uncertainty. I think this is true, but I don’t believe anyone who knows me well or has followed along the blog for very long would be surprised I think this. I’ve been fairly clear, I hope, in my position that the freedom to critically think and question a “truth” is crucial if you actually want the truth.

But I guess what I’m trying to get to is I have some repressed uncertainty that can’t be crushed down any further. I took too long of a look down that hole and I can unsee it.

Part of my problem is I’m pretty nihilistic in nature–a trait bottled up for most of my life out of fear of hell fire and brim stone and–but at the same time I feel a deep need for there to be meaning to life. And I go back and forth between considering that need a weakness and speculating it’s an indication that there is indeed meaning.

I mentioned a podcast earlier I’ve actually been listening to quite a variety of podcasts (philosophy, psychology, biblical scholarship, atheism–there’s some about ADHD and flowers on the list too, but that’s not exactly relevant) on my way to and from work (on the ipod mini I still own in 2018). They’ve been giving me a lot to chew on, but in a good way. But also in a bad way. Well, not bad. Inconvenient? Sometimes I wish I could be the type of person that could just live my life in the comfort of the belief system I grew up in or adopted and didn’t need to follow every line of thinking to its root and then beyond to all its implications. I can find something wrong with anything.

It’s not too terribly encouraging that humankind has had plenty of people dedicate their lives to understanding life and we still don’t have that sturdy of answers. Not really, anyway. So then I think, might as well stop thinking about it then. But I can’t let it go, at least not permanently. I’m learning how to not spiral and to kind of make it a dance. I’m learning to be present and grateful and to let myself experience the magic of life. So I’m not spiraling and I hope I haven’t given the impression that I am.

However, I am most certainly questioning things outside of the territory of “safe” things to question. I am letting myself experience doubt and skepticism without shame or the nagging to need to immediately attach reassurances that I’m not letting go of something other related belief. I’m letting myself be, to seek unhindered–as much as I’m capable of at this point in life.

It’s kind of scary and it feels a little lonely. It’s on my mind a lot, but then I don’t really want to talk about it. And not talking about it can make me feel like I’m being secretive or alienate me in a way. But the alternative would make me feel exposed and probably alienate me in a different way.

So there’s that.

And again: to be continued when I’m ready.

Love you.

-Alissa

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[Relevant to this Post] Podcasts I’m listening to:

Philosophize This!

The Bible for Normal People

The Thinking Atheist

Life After God

The Hardcore Self Help Podcast

(Let me know if you have any recommendations!)

8 thoughts on “tangled”

  1. Hi Alissa, I had to comment here as I empathize with your words and thoughts. I was born into Catholicism but have been in this transition and for a number of months and have gone through a very difficult period of questioning and searching. I can tell you that what I learned about myself is that I do not align with most Catholic beliefs, but I did find that the God I know, and have always known, is the same, unchanging being who is very much alive and real and has truly been part of my life forever. I believe He is part of yours too. It’s exactly why you are searching. I’m not here to preach anything to you as I am fully respectful of all people and their unique spiritual journey, but I would be interested to get your thoughts on my Seek and You Shall Find post where you can get to read more of my story. I think you may find it interesting. All my best, Tammy

    1. Thank you so much for reading and for commenting so thoughtfully. It seems I have also known God for years but am feeling a bit at a loss about specific belief. I truly appreciate it your words and I will be giving your post a read. Thank you 🙂

      1. You are most welcome. I enjoy your writing and happy to comment. I truly think I understand how you may be feeling. For me, religion makes it all so complicated and messy and I realized it’s because people make up the concept of religion and the rules in that religion. I’m sure they start with good intent but it seems it ends up a gigantic mess because many lose sight of why they were there in the first place due to righteousness, power, and greed. Humans. 🙂
        Where I am right now is in this period of understanding that I don’t need to know the answers or have a religion per se, and I am focusing on developing my own relationship with God. I’m trusting what I know—the God we know—and in doing so, I have found that the answers are all around me. I look forward to reading more about your journey!

      2. I hope this isn’t prying too much, but would you say you identify with a specific belief system at this point or think of God in a more general sense?

  2. Not prying at all! I am definitely in the more general sense category right now. I think God is everywhere and in everything and all encompassing. The rest is illusion and distraction from what matters. I believe we are all called to a very specific purpose and that purpose is deep inside us. It’s when we turn inward and truly seek to find who we really are is where the money is because who we are is where God is. I know this because I’m currently living it. I have found that the life I’m living is only a fraction of who I am really am—it’s why I’ve been so depressed and lost and angry, I believe. Now, it is who I know I am that is shaping every aspect of my life. It is about becoming. I know I have finally found my way. Truly a blessing. I pray you will find it too. I pray we all find it.

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