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Theme Changer

 Topic: Unhappy Ex-Muslims

 (Read 10326 times)
  • 12 3 Next page « Previous thread | Next thread »
  • Unhappy Ex-Muslims
     OP - June 18, 2016, 03:56 AM

    I left Islam 4 years ago, I am still unhappy. Probably more unhappy than I was before I left. I am making this post to say that leaving Islam does not ALWAYS have a positive correlation with levels of happiness and satisfaction. Some people, I’m sure, struggle filling the ‘void’ left over from renouncing their Muslim identity. I certainly do. I was not particularly religious and neither was my household, I had a fairly liberal upbringing. But I believed hard in God, in an afterlife, in the worthwhileness of this naked existence we’ve been thrown into without a say. Now that’s gone and I am left feeling strange. I have had a lot of problems with mental health and there is no one to cry to or talk to anymore. I feel despair- mostly from loneliness and boredom.

    Though I never had friends, lovers or relatives close to me, I had God. But subsequently with my departure from religion, I had to let go of him too.
    Anyone else here in a similar position?  Not any better off or even worse off in terms of happiness?

    I guess it’s comforting to know that I’ve not let my desire for spiritual satisfaction get in the way of rational choices, and that it self gives me some second order happiness. I’m happy that I willingly renounced religion, despite the unhappiness uncertainty this has brought. I feel strong.
  • Unhappy Ex-Muslims
     Reply #1 - June 18, 2016, 06:33 AM

    Yeah, it's harder to be content with my mediocre existence without the consolation prize of Jannah.

    "Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well."
    - Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Unhappy Ex-Muslims
     Reply #2 - June 18, 2016, 09:10 AM

    Yes I have gone through a similar journey and now identify as a Muslim again, though I believe the Qur'an is human authored and fallible. So I unapologetically pick and choose. I find that this way I still find emotional comfort and can express my spirituality through the familiar ways that give me solace while freeing my head and heart from having to defend things that I reject.
  • Unhappy Ex-Muslims
     Reply #3 - June 18, 2016, 09:32 AM

    Yes I have gone through a similar journey and now identify as a Muslim again, though I believe the Qur'an is human authored and fallible. So I unapologetically pick and choose. I find that this way I still find emotional comfort and can express my spirituality through the familiar ways that give me solace while freeing my head and heart from having to defend things that I reject.

    If every fucking preacher of Islam and fucking leaders of   so-called Islamic countries and   leaders of  countries where Muslim folks are NOT in majority  say those words in public and  in  Mosques.,   Islam and Muslims would have made a different civilization instead of what I see now in 21st century..

    Do not let silence become your legacy.. Question everything   
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • Unhappy Ex-Muslims
     Reply #4 - June 18, 2016, 02:02 PM

    The key is to realize that there's no void to fill. The"void" is a myth created by religion—especially Abrahamic religions—to make us believe that we can't survive without religion. We don't need a higher meaning for existence. Life is full of spirituality.

    To be honest, I don't know how to explain it. But I know that I have been where you are, and I became much happier once I unlearned the religious teaching of needing to fill some kind of void. What you are going through is a remnant of religious teachings. You need to let go of it. It's really fucking difficult and can take years and years, but it's possible, and you'll be really, really happy once you get rid of it. Believe me, you think you were happy with religion, but religious happiness is fake. Religious spirituality is fake. Real spirituality is in the present. You will experience life in all its vibrancy and richness. You will experience life without blinds or shutters, without anything or anyone telling you how to experience it. It will be so personal. It will be all yours.

    Imagine life as the most beautiful painting in existence. Religion is like someone who comes in, shuts you out of the room that has the painting inside and describes to you what the painting looks like while you're outside. Religion prevents you from actually experiencing the painting. You can only ask questions about the painting, and maybe religion will answer them for you, if the person feels like answering them. But eventually you can kick out the guard of this painting and go into the room and sit in front of the painting and experience it with your own eyes. And somehow, one day, you will realize that you're actually in the painting. The most beautiful painting in the world, and you're in it. And you will think back and wonder why you were so satisfied with someone merely telling you what the painting looks like, why you thought merely being told about the painting made you happy.

    If you want my advice, go to a quiet natural place, sit down, and take a few deep breaths. Turn your attention to your breathing. Then turn it outwards towards the sounds around you. Really listen to everything. Just sit and listen. And if your attention wanes, turn your attention back into your breathing, then back out. What you will experience is life. This is true spirituality.
  • Unhappy Ex-Muslims
     Reply #5 - June 18, 2016, 02:34 PM

    ^ thats really beautifully put absurdist
  • Unhappy Ex-Muslims
     Reply #6 - June 18, 2016, 02:42 PM

    The key is to realize that there's no void to fill. The"void" is a myth created by religion—especially Abrahamic religions—to make us believe that we can't survive without religion. We don't need a higher meaning for existence. Life is full of spirituality.

    To be honest, I don't know how to explain it. But I know that I have been where you are, and I became much happier once I unlearned the religious teaching of needing to fill some kind of void. What you are going through is a remnant of religious teachings. You need to let go of it. It's really fucking difficult and can take years and years, but it's possible, and you'll be really, really happy once you get rid of it. Believe me, you think you were happy with religion, but religious happiness is fake.

    Quote
    Religious spirituality is fake. Real spirituality is in the present. You will experience life in all its vibrancy and richness. You will experience life without blinds or shutters, without anything or anyone telling you how to experience it. It will be so personal. It will be all yours.


    Quote
    Imagine life as the most beautiful painting in existence. Religion is like someone who comes in, shuts you out of the room that has the painting inside and describes to you what the painting looks like while you're outside. Religion prevents you from actually experiencing the painting. You can only ask questions about the painting, and maybe religion will answer them for you,

     if the person feels like answering them. But eventually you can kick out the guard of this painting and go into the room and sit in front of the painting and experience it with your own eyes. And somehow, one day, you will realize that you're actually in the painting. The most beautiful painting in the world, and you're in it. And you will think back and wonder why you were so satisfied with someone merely telling you what the painting looks like, why you thought merely being told about the painting made you happy.

    If you want my advice, go to a quiet natural place, sit down, and take a few deep breaths. Turn your attention to your breathing. Then turn it outwards towards the sounds around you. Really listen to everything. Just sit and listen. And if your attention wanes, turn your attention back into your breathing, then back out. What you will experience is life. This is true spirituality.


    Oh my goodness gracious Absurdist is pumping nectar in to his posts   but out of 7billions orso folks   I can just  count on my fingers the number of WELL EDUCATED COLLEGE  DEGREE holders who can think like Absurdist.,  

    So some how  we need to find space for them (the believers)  before they jump out of their shells .. the religious shells they built around them either by themselves or by the society around them..
      

    Do not let silence become your legacy.. Question everything   
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • Unhappy Ex-Muslims
     Reply #7 - June 18, 2016, 03:59 PM

    Quote
    What you will experience is life. This is true spirituality.


    Great post Absurdist.

    In addition it needs humility.   

    Letting go of religion is hard, especially the Abrahamic ones, which on one hand tells us we are made in the image of God and the pinnacle of his creation**, but at the same times requires us  to humble ourselves before him or be damned for eternity.   It may be harder for Muslims, because Islam seems to be interwoven into the culture of many muslim communities.

    True humility IMO, requires accepting we are a very infinitesimal part of this Universe in an immeasurable eon of time and making the most of it.

    **Note: Genesis 1:26 giving man dominion over everything in creation, rather than stewardship, was very shortsighted of the Creator.
  • Unhappy Ex-Muslims
     Reply #8 - June 18, 2016, 04:00 PM

    The key is to realize that there's no void to fill. The"void" is a myth created by religion—especially Abrahamic religions—to make us believe that we can't survive without religion. We don't need a higher meaning for existence. Life is full of spirituality.

    To be honest, I don't know how to explain it. But I know that I have been where you are, and I became much happier once I unlearned the religious teaching of needing to fill some kind of void. What you are going through is a remnant of religious teachings. You need to let go of it. It's really fucking difficult and can take years and years, but it's possible, and you'll be really, really happy once you get rid of it. Believe me, you think you were happy with religion, but religious happiness is fake. Religious spirituality is fake. Real spirituality is in the present. You will experience life in all its vibrancy and richness. You will experience life without blinds or shutters, without anything or anyone telling you how to experience it. It will be so personal. It will be all yours.

    Imagine life as the most beautiful painting in existence. Religion is like someone who comes in, shuts you out of the room that has the painting inside and describes to you what the painting looks like while you're outside. Religion prevents you from actually experiencing the painting. You can only ask questions about the painting, and maybe religion will answer them for you, if the person feels like answering them. But eventually you can kick out the guard of this painting and go into the room and sit in front of the painting and experience it with your own eyes. And somehow, one day, you will realize that you're actually in the painting. The most beautiful painting in the world, and you're in it. And you will think back and wonder why you were so satisfied with someone merely telling you what the painting looks like, why you thought merely being told about the painting made you happy.

    If you want my advice, go to a quiet natural place, sit down, and take a few deep breaths. Turn your attention to your breathing. Then turn it outwards towards the sounds around you. Really listen to everything. Just sit and listen. And if your attention wanes, turn your attention back into your breathing, then back out. What you will experience is life. This is true spirituality.


    You've outdone yourself with this post, man. Absolutely beautiful.

    It really is about appreciating those moments.
  • Unhappy Ex-Muslims
     Reply #9 - June 18, 2016, 10:42 PM

    ^

    Second HM's comment.


    Absurdist. Did anyone tell you that you should write a novel or at least short stories ?

    You certainly have alot of literary talent and your life experiences should provide plenty of topics that you can explore with your novels.



    In my opinion a life without curiosity is not a life worth living
  • Unhappy Ex-Muslims
     Reply #10 - June 18, 2016, 10:49 PM

    I'm going to save that post on my computer so I can read it from time to time.

    Its really that awesome .

    In my opinion a life without curiosity is not a life worth living
  • Unhappy Ex-Muslims
     Reply #11 - June 18, 2016, 10:55 PM

    We'll have to hold back on all this praise, or his head won't fit out the door... you seen his post on Greatest Hits?  Tongue Wink
  • Unhappy Ex-Muslims
     Reply #12 - June 18, 2016, 11:33 PM

    Wow, just wow Absurdist.

     001_wub

    how fuck works without shit??


    Let's Play Chess!

    harakaat, friend, RIP
  • Unhappy Ex-Muslims
     Reply #13 - June 19, 2016, 12:29 AM

    It's a wonderful post, Absurdist, though I have to say that it can be hard to see and feel the beauty and wonder of life when one is not in a good place emotionally or mentally. We are all different and have different ways reaching that place. I tried for 5 or 6 years to see life without the need for a greater meaning than just being, but it just made me depressed and attempt suicide. As I'm 57 I don't really have that much time to keep persevering in the hope that I will eventually experience that spirituality of being in the the present or the vibrancy, richness and beauty of life. I see and have experienced too much misery tragedy and sadness to see beyond that without some hope that there is some greater meaning to my and human existence. Only by doing that can I enjoy the beauty of life and the universe and feel a part of it.
  • Unhappy Ex-Muslims
     Reply #14 - June 19, 2016, 01:26 AM

    I think it's a mistake to conflate mental health problems with an existential need for religion. Mental illnesses are real illnesses just like physical illnesses and need to be treated as such. A community can be beneficial for its support, but someone suffering from a mental illness needs to also seek healthcare and treatment.

    One of the most critical pieces of advice my therapist gave me is that it's important to break out of old habits to better yourself and overcome anxiety/depression. Old habits are comforting but they also become a crutch. I think it's important to not push yourself too far out of your comfort zone too quickly, i.e. not completely isolate yourself from your community all of a sudden, but it's just as important to slowly expand your limits.

    Religion can be comforting, but going back to your old self prevents self-actualization and thus growth, which I believe is where true happiness lies.

    From personal experience, I've realized that people with depression are prone to project their depression onto the world. Depression and anxiety really blow up one's ego, which is why community volunteering is often recommended as a form of treatment. It helps put our egos in perspective, which can be very healing.

    When it comes to religion, it's important for someone with depression to be aware that their thoughts are their own and not reflective of the conditions of the universe. A person has depression because they are prone to depression. All reasons for it will be symptoms, but not the actual cause. Interpreting depression as a need for religion is a form of projection that prevents one from going to the root source of the illness, which is the neurochemical makeup of the brain. There's nothing grandiose about it. Yet knowing that is very empowering, because we can't change the conditions of the universe, but we can change our brain's chemistry. And there are many ways to do that, from medication to meditation to lifestyle changes. And that's the ultimate form of self-actualization.
  • Unhappy Ex-Muslims
     Reply #15 - June 19, 2016, 01:29 AM

    Absurdist. Did anyone tell you that you should write a novel or at least short stories ?

    You certainly have alot of literary talent and your life experiences should provide plenty of topics that you can explore with your novels.

    Thanks. Means a lot. I'm actually working on a book.
  • Unhappy Ex-Muslims
     Reply #16 - June 19, 2016, 02:34 AM

    You make a lot of sense , Absurdist and are wise beyond your years. (Mind you I could just be stupid despite my years;) )
  • Unhappy Ex-Muslims
     Reply #17 - June 19, 2016, 05:50 AM


    Religion can be comforting, but going back to your old self prevents self-actualization and thus growth, which I believe is where true happiness lies.

    From personal experience, I've realized that people with depression are prone to project their depression onto the world. Depression and anxiety really blow up one's ego, which is why community volunteering is often recommended as a form of treatment. It helps put our egos in perspective, which can be very healing.



     Afro I would say that this is in fact a state of most people - unable to see the wider problems of the world, or what other people go through and thus leads us to become self absorbed and reinforce a sense of social isolation and victimhood. Being around people - good people - smiling, laughing, listening to others, watching funny videos - are parts of putting things into perspective. Also, people coming out and saying 'I have anxiety about x or y' is important.

    Quote
    Mental illnesses are real illnesses just like physical illnesses and need to be treated as such.


    What do you mean by this?

    No free mixing of the sexes is permitted on these forums or via PM or the various chat groups that are operating.

    Women must write modestly and all men must lower their case.

    http://www.ummah.com/forum/showthread.php?425649-Have-some-Hayaa-%28modesty-shame%29-people!
  • Unhappy Ex-Muslims
     Reply #18 - June 19, 2016, 05:59 AM

    You make a lot of sense , Absurdist and are wise beyond your years. (Mind you I could just be stupid despite my years;) )

    Ha.

    I think a lot of it is generational. A lot has happened economically and culturally that makes millennials yearn for freedom more than stability. I think millennials are one of the most self-actualized generations in history. But it does come at a cost: we tend to not value community as much, and that can rip communities apart. I was actually discussing this with my siblings just a few days ago in regards to Ramadan traditions. Ramadan seems to have lost a big chunk of the community feeling it had when we were growing up.

    Speaking of growing up, I think a need for stability is also an aspect of growing up. And that's where I am right now. I'm trying to find a balance between my need for freedom and my need for stability. The truth is that stability and a system of support are sometimes essential for self-actualization. We can't get anywhere if our lives are in constant turmoil.
  • Unhappy Ex-Muslims
     Reply #19 - June 19, 2016, 06:19 AM

    Quote
    Quote
    Quote
    Mental illnesses are real illnesses just like physical illnesses and need to be treated as such.



    What do you mean by this?


    If you have  a broken leg, you go to A&E where they'll treat you urgently. If you have flu, you rest and take painkillers and remedies for the symptoms. If you cut your finger you put a plaster on to protect the wound.

    If your depressed, what do you do? Where do you go? Who do you talk to? There's still huge stigma around mental illness. You'll be told to snap out of it, to chin up and get on with life, to stop feeling sorry for yourself. It can affect relationshipsW onall levels, can keep you off work for long periods, can prevent you from getting new jobs when it comes up in interviews. Yet ignoring depression is a mistake. What would happen if you ignored diabetes? Left it undiagnosed although you know there's a problem? You'd likely die prematurely.

    Depression is no different. But its causes and symptoms are. Mental illnesses need different expertise and experience to diagnose and treat or maybe cure. Maybe because depression trends to recur in cycles. It's an area of medicine still in its infancy. I know because I've been there.
  • Unhappy Ex-Muslims
     Reply #20 - June 19, 2016, 06:27 AM

    Religion is a pleasant lie, a comforter.
    All you have to do, is to ignore reality, and everything will be good.

    To quote Shaw:
    Quote
    “The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality of happiness, and by no means a necessity of life.”

  • Unhappy Ex-Muslims
     Reply #21 - June 19, 2016, 07:37 AM

    I think another thing to keep in mind is modern's society's massive focus on 'happiness', and the way we are being shaped to believe that truly successful living is actually being able to modify our mood into a state of happiness at all times.

    It's like that whole preference for extroversion, because being really social and confident with it are keys to success.  Introversion is a symptom of an issue, and some life coaching and confidence training classes will get that right out of you.   Roll Eyes

    I used to get unhappy that I was unhappy.  Because I had been taught that I needed to be happy, and so when I didn't feel it, obviously I felt that something was wrong with me.

    Now I accept that I am unhappy sometimes, happy at others, but for the most part just living on an even keel of emotion, which can best be summed up by 'BLAH'.  Grin

    It is not actually all that necessary to always feel happy, in fact it's pretty much impossible, and is about chasing yet another dream that will only cause more unhappiness due to its lack of obtainability.

    I mean you even have advice on how to fool your brain into believing its happy.  Seriously?  like someone could just fool themselves into believing they could walk, or they could see.  Why try to fool your brain at all?  why is it so bad to not be 'happy'?  what exactly is this happiness other than an idea pitted to us as the penultimate achievement.

    Partner, kids, good job, wealth, health, extroversion, normality, happiness.

    You know even people who have plenty, who have no external pressures that could increase unhappiness, even they also cannot be happy everyday.

    I try to focus more on just being.  Just being here, doing my thing.  Some times I am very happy, either because of the sun, or because I have something to do that I want to do, or because I'm doing drugs that make me feel happy.  But I am not chasing that feeling either.  Instead I am chasing my practical, real world, I can definitely affect change; areas.

    Study, my 2 friends, my kids, the things I have to do on a daily basis.

    When I longed for happiness, it eluded me.  I believe it really was as simple as idealising happiness, making it the ultimate chase of my life.  It isn't anymore.  Life is my ultimate chase now.  That i should live it, get through it, deal with the rough and the good times.  Not that I should ignore those steps I have achieved all because they haven't filled me with happiness, as if in the simple act of doing I can suddenly flood my brain with the perfect combination of chemicals that will make me feel that.  Grin

    Maybe let go of the concept of happiness.  Not let go of desiring to feel it, or appreciating it when you do, but let go of it as the main criteria for accepting where you are right now.   

    We can still be in the right place, doing the right things, and getting somewhere in our lives, without feeling happy about it.  And that is perfectly fine too.   Smiley

    Inhale the good shit, exhale the bullshit.
  • Unhappy Ex-Muslims
     Reply #22 - June 19, 2016, 08:10 AM

    Great post. I also think there's confusion on general, between feeling happy and being content with where you are. You can be perfectly content without necessarily being happy right at this moment.

    Have a picture (the visual aspect is important) of where you want (your life) to be. Make it sensual and real. Focus on the details. Enjoy it. Then live each moment as it happens, with that picture in the back of your mind. Experience these moments that make up each minute, hour, day. They won't all be happy or full if positive emotions. But they will be positive, because as long as you have that picture of where you want to be, you'll always be getting that bit closer to it. That will being a general feeling of contentment, even if you're not feeling particularly happy right now.

    Happiness is great, but it'd be exhausting to be nothing but happy, all the time.
  • Unhappy Ex-Muslims
     Reply #23 - June 19, 2016, 08:16 AM



    Have a picture (the visual aspect is important) of where you want (your life) to be. Make it sensual and real. Focus on the details. Enjoy it. Then live each moment as it happens, with that picture in the back of your mind. Experience these moments that make up each minute, hour, day.


     yes  Agreed.  It's very important to visualise yourself, even better if you can visualise it, but remove expectations of emotions from the image.

    For example I could visualise myself on a beach, book in one hand, pina colada in another.

    Or I could add expectations to that visual, and assume I am feeling amazingly happy.  I might not be.  I could just be content which is different from happiness.  I might not even be content, the beach might be full of other people because I could only afford to go cheap.  Grin

    So yea, try not to project emotional expectations onto your future dreams/aims/visualisations.

    Then you can achieve, without feeling like you haven't, all because it didn't feel like you expected it to.  Something you are finding after 4 years of still not feeling happy, even though you left what you saw as causing you great unhappiness.  

    Inhale the good shit, exhale the bullshit.
  • Unhappy Ex-Muslims
     Reply #24 - June 19, 2016, 08:19 AM

    PS. The picture thing isn't just something I've read about. I use it. It works. It's how my wife and I moved from one city to a other, 100 miles away, with no jobs to go to and no family to support us. It's how I became self employed and now spend my working days doing something I enjoy, rather than looking forward to the end of the shift. It's how I now own my own Mercedes-Benz van instead of renting something I'm not really happy with. And now it's how I'm getting through my apostasy, too.
  • Unhappy Ex-Muslims
     Reply #25 - June 19, 2016, 08:23 AM

    I might not even be content, the beach might be full of other people because I could only afford to go cheap.  Grin


     Cheesy

    It's also how hugely "successful" business people get where they are. Successful is in quotes, because they're not necessarily happy, and never seem to be content.
  • Unhappy Ex-Muslims
     Reply #26 - June 19, 2016, 08:27 AM

     Afro Absolutely.


    Inhale the good shit, exhale the bullshit.
  • Unhappy Ex-Muslims
     Reply #27 - June 19, 2016, 11:35 PM

    I think another thing to keep in mind is modern's society's massive focus on 'happiness', and the way we are being shaped to believe that truly successful living is actually being able to modify our mood into a state of happiness at all times.

    It's like that whole preference for extroversion, because being really social and confident with it are keys to success.  Introversion is a symptom of an issue, and some life coaching and confidence training classes will get that right out of you.   Roll Eyes

    I used to get unhappy that I was unhappy.  Because I had been taught that I needed to be happy, and so when I didn't feel it, obviously I felt that something was wrong with me.

    Now I accept that I am unhappy sometimes, happy at others, but for the most part just living on an even keel of emotion, which can best be summed up by 'BLAH'.  Grin

    It is not actually all that necessary to always feel happy, in fact it's pretty much impossible, and is about chasing yet another dream that will only cause more unhappiness due to its lack of obtainability.

    I mean you even have advice on how to fool your brain into believing its happy.  Seriously?  like someone could just fool themselves into believing they could walk, or they could see.  Why try to fool your brain at all?  why is it so bad to not be 'happy'?  what exactly is this happiness other than an idea pitted to us as the penultimate achievement.

    Partner, kids, good job, wealth, health, extroversion, normality, happiness.

    You know even people who have plenty, who have no external pressures that could increase unhappiness, even they also cannot be happy everyday.

    I try to focus more on just being.  Just being here, doing my thing.  Some times I am very happy, either because of the sun, or because I have something to do that I want to do, or because I'm doing drugs that make me feel happy.  But I am not chasing that feeling either.  Instead I am chasing my practical, real world, I can definitely affect change; areas.

    Study, my 2 friends, my kids, the things I have to do on a daily basis.

    When I longed for happiness, it eluded me.  I believe it really was as simple as idealising happiness, making it the ultimate chase of my life.  It isn't anymore.  Life is my ultimate chase now.  That i should live it, get through it, deal with the rough and the good times.  Not that I should ignore those steps I have achieved all because they haven't filled me with happiness, as if in the simple act of doing I can suddenly flood my brain with the perfect combination of chemicals that will make me feel that.  Grin

    Maybe let go of the concept of happiness.  Not let go of desiring to feel it, or appreciating it when you do, but let go of it as the main criteria for accepting where you are right now.   

    We can still be in the right place, doing the right things, and getting somewhere in our lives, without feeling happy about it.  And that is perfectly fine too.   Smiley



    I think a lot of this has to do with your previous definition of happiness, which seems to denote some state of blissful euphoria. Of course, having that all the time is unobtainable. It sounds downright exhausting. Grin

    But I think if we overreach here, we can very easily step into nihilism. Part of growing up is adjusting our expectations of "happiness". I get the feeling that most people wouldn't be satisfied with the idea of "just being". Those things that make up your day to day, you make efforts with your studies, kids, friends, because they effect your long-term well being. Saying "fuck it all" and laying in bed all day is another way of "just being" and existing in the day to day as well. I think having enough experience of that myself, I wouldn't really consider that a particularly good way.  Tongue

    how fuck works without shit??


    Let's Play Chess!

    harakaat, friend, RIP
  • Unhappy Ex-Muslims
     Reply #28 - June 20, 2016, 12:01 AM

    Great post. I also think there's confusion on general, between feeling happy and being content with where you are. You can be perfectly content without necessarily being happy right at this moment.

    Have a picture (the visual aspect is important) of where you want (your life) to be. Make it sensual and real. Focus on the details. Enjoy it. Then live each moment as it happens, with that picture in the back of your mind. Experience these moments that make up each minute, hour, day. They won't all be happy or full if positive emotions. But they will be positive, because as long as you have that picture of where you want to be, you'll always be getting that bit closer to it. That will being a general feeling of contentment, even if you're not feeling particularly happy right now.

    Happiness is great, but it'd be exhausting to be nothing but happy, all the time.


    First of all, I totally said my thing about being exhausted by "happiness" before I read your post. I swear I wasn't subconsciously somehow effected when I scrolled past your post. Grin

    Secondly, I'm going to completely be an asshole devil's advocate here, even knowing that this method for you has had a profoundly positive effect.

    Sometimes there's no way that a person can make that picture for them self, regardless of their intentions, efforts, or imagination. Circumstances simply dictate one's life, or there's a particular situation that cannot be worked around that simply makes all the images and senses of the picture meaningless. Two examples I can think of from my own experience are the following: caring for a chronically or terminally ill loved one, and early education.

    When the course of one's time is completely dictated by circumstance, as in the above situations, it really doesn't matter what one visualizes because real life basically says fuck you and makes its own script. To me the method seems a rather first world western conception of how to manage a life, where one already is in control. Not everyone has that luxury.

    This isn't to say that visualization and satisfaction don't go hand in hand even in these moments when one doesn't have control. By looking at the reality of one's surroundings one can still within such a setting make the best of constraints and experience satisfying, unforgettable moments that fill the seemingly essential narrative in our lives. I admit that I had varying success with this approach in my own life, experiencing the warmth and jokes of the intimate moments that circumstances forced me to share with my grandfather, but at the same time occasionally being despondent and depressed about circumstances. And school was one hell of a strange experience for me, but one that definitely wasn't completely unhappy.

    Anyway, I guess what got in my craw was the whole idea that picturing one's could bring a sense of contentment about it, but unfortunately this is also dependent on whether circumstances allow you to move towards that picture. It doesn't do to make a picture which is unrealistic, and I can only imagine that cultivating something like that in one's mind could lead to more dissatisfaction instead.

    I hope that wasn't too harsh, as it's just my own two cents.  Smiley

    how fuck works without shit??


    Let's Play Chess!

    harakaat, friend, RIP
  • Unhappy Ex-Muslims
     Reply #29 - June 20, 2016, 03:17 AM

    ^ I agree wholeheartedly by what Absurdist said. Life is full of spirituality and even more, you can define your own spirituality. You don't need people to tell you what to do, it's your own journey from start to the end.
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