Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Plan of Salvation?

Since leaving the Mormon faith I have driven up a winding road of unnatural events.  I have sat in bars and drank till I was drunk,  I have made friends with people I used to fear,  I have had sex, and now I even find myself (Spoiler Alert!) entering some sort of actual romantic relationship with a man who is not at all a “Mormon”.   I will be expanding on the interesting dynamic of NON-Mormon love making, but for now I find myself somewhat bothered.   There is a tiny thought nagging my brain.  Nothing huge...just,“What is the meaning life?”  Up until now I always knew what the meaning of life was.  It is a test to find out what planet you will live on for eternity.  If you are good you get your very own planet like Jesus….long pause….

So it looks like my old system of understanding life has expired.  Something feels lost in my physique.  It’s not God and I’m not at all cheesy enough to say it is love. So what is it?  What is it that keeps me up at night staring the ceiling feeling… blank?  In many ways you miss the simplicity’s of Mormon living.  I knew the meaning of life.  Every day I knew why I was here and where I was going.  Now I’m driving in loops.  

This week I believe I experienced my first midlife crisis.  And like any good midlife crisis it manifested it’s self in a car.  This car to be precise.  


For some reason I was enamored with the thought of owning this very expensive sports car.  I imagined myself driving it to my family reunion looking accomplished.  I imagined driving down the road catching everyone’s eye.  I even imagined driving it to the singles ward and showing off what not paying tithing can do.  For about a week I stared at this photo thinking how my life would be better with this car.  If day dreaming felt this good imagine how amazing it would feel to have my foot clenching its gas pedal.  I have the money…or I could find it somehow.  I don’t have kids, so no need for 4 doors.  This thought almost felt sad but then I remembered how lucky I am NOT to be married to Pillsbury (See: Princess and the Penis). Perhaps buying this car would be a middle figure to the churches “live well within your means” and “get married ” mentality.   The car is not practical and is not a family car.  I can do what I want with my money now and more importantly my life.  Maybe what I want to do is drive. 

I didn’t hit me until I started cleaning out my boring old Toyota Corolla to sell it.   The strange thing is I can’t say what it was that hit me.  IT I guess was the realization that my life is empty and I am filling it with a Spice Orange bumper and white sport strips.  The car is beautiful.  No denying it.  It is 25 thousand dollars of fun.   But this car is not going to make up for a lifetime of purpose.   

I decided to do something I have not done in a long time.  I dug through some old boxes and found my patriarchtical blessing. (The Mormon blessing that tells you your future)  I used to read it all the time and it would give me comfort.  I have not looked at it in a year. 

“Well that was a mistake” I thought as my eyes filling with tears.  All that I accomplished was to awaken a deep longing to retrieve my old mindset.  I honestly miss it.  IT of course being that feeling of purpose. 


My friends who read this blog I’m stumped.  Every post I like to find some resolution.  Some sort of thought to tie up all the confusion.   I’m an active and engaging person.  My job is rewarding, my friends are fun, and my hobbies are extensive.  I am a writer and performer who feels alive and empty at the same time.  What am I doing here?  Why do I get up and go to work?  How do you find a reason for your existence and what keeps you moving forward? 

17 comments:

  1. Q: Why does a person require a reason for ones own existence?
    A: For the sense of self importance.

    If it's all just for self importance then isn't it very narcissistic and self centered? Feeling the sense of self importance surely is empowering, but then IMO very destructive in the end. Once I realized that this is the only life that I have the value of all life was raised to new heights. Religion on the other hand diminishes the value of life betting on the afterlife and worshipping death as the gateway to utopia. I'm living my only life to make a difference to myself and those that are close to me. I'm driven by the desire to make the world a better place instead of waiting for my death and the promises religions claim regarding the afterlife.

    A little quote from Monty Python just to keep you going.
    "Enjoy it - it's your last chance anyhow"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlBiLNN1NhQ

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  2. I spent 36 years as a Mormon and their "purpose" stopped being comforting and instead became a cage. It didn't fit me. What do you do if you don't fit the mold? The one true church, becomes the one true burden. You get to choose your own purpose. It may seem bad now, but that's part of the process of finding yourself you hear so much about. When who you are supposed to be is handed to you on a platter, it robs you of the opportunity to grow into something bigger. You're a woman and their plan for you was SMALL. You are better than a supporting character in a man's story. You deserve better. Good luck!

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  3. I've always felt my purpose was to lighten the burden for others. We are all different but it works for me. I have chronic fatigue syndrome so I can't do a fraction of what I want to. But there are animals to be walked and played with at shelters, organizations that help people apply for medication assistance programs and housing. Homeless shelters and transitional housing often need supplies, etc. And if you have an exmo group in your area I bet it doesn't take long for you to find someone who needs a listening ear. This is so much better than living as pawns on God's chessboard, looking at the world through sterilized lenses and not knowing what's really out there. Like I said, it's not for everyone so don't be guilty if it's not for you, but if you're feeling devoid of meaning it sometimes helps to search your soul for a cause that is worth living for.

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  4. I like this particular quote on the "meaning" of life:

    "There is no meaning existing in life - one has to create it. Only if you create it will you discover it" - Osho

    What you find or create meaning in is yours alone to discover and build. It can be the same purpose as millions of others, or it can be your sole mission. Think of things that make you come alive, stir your passions, or bring love, joy or peace to your soul. Imagine the type of world you want to live in, and then become that, seek that, create that. Just some ideas. I've been through some mid-life crisis' myself since leaving the church. Seems to hit me good once every year or two now lol. Just keep moving forward and you'll make it. Good luck.

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  5. Yeah. What they said. You need to find your own purpose, yet it doesn't have to be in the form of a mission statement or anything. That's one of the comforting things about mormonism, everything is pre-packaged for you so you don't even have to think. The thinking has been done! So chase your bliss. You don't need a PURPOSE in big, capital letters. You are better served shaking off that mindset and just looking for something to bring you happiness.

    Just my $0.02 (Canadian) worth. Your mileage may vary.

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  6. The meaning of life is one of those brutally difficult questions that plagues everyone. Existential philosophy exists, I think, mostly because we humans always ask what the point is. We just aren't wired to live in such a way that we can recognize that there isn't a point. Our pattern-seeking, threat-assessing brains are always on overdrive, always looking to figure out if that last noise in the dark was some big lion out to eat us or if it was just wind in the grass.

    The only way to break the cycle of self-expectation that results in a negative view of yourself and the world around you is to give up on there being an externally driven point. You can't search outside for something so deeply personal - no one can give you the point. Only you can give you the point.

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  7. Have you been seeing a therapist? That has helped me.

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  8. Meaning of life after I left Mormonism: Finding what makes me happy. Being Happy. Making people around me happy.

    That's it. I don't think you've found what makes you happy.

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  9. Thanks friends! You have given me a LOT to think about. I'm going try and find my purpose. It may take a while.

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  10. My biggest struggle is being happy with not being the woman I was brain washed to be, I'm a working mother of 2, I keep telling my husband I don't want to work because I feel like I'm not being the mother my children need... I don't have any friends that stay at home with their children... The only thing I can figure is that being a wife and mother and homemaker was pounded into my head for so long, I think I'm not doing what I'm supposed to...
    When you're trying to find purpose and truth, the devil works overtime on you... This is what your experiencing... He doesn't want you to be happy, he wants you to continue believing a lie and will fool you by making you do things like read your blessing, hymns or primary songs come into your head and you can't get them out... Don't let him win, overcome the control and brain washing, overcome the repetitive nature that you're used to.... Live life, find what makes u happy.... Mormonism will not set you free, it will cage you and guilt you and scare you... God isn't a hateful god to be scared of, if there is a god, he is nothing like the Book of Mormon teaches....

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  11. What you describe is what I call the void. Here is the truth about the void. Keeping your busy and having fun help to forget the void but it will continue to be there. The void won’t leave. The truth is there are only three things you can do with the void.

    First, I have learned from my friends who were raise in no any religion, they were raise with this void and at time it is there in their life. They have learned to live with it. Keeping yourself busy help but it won’t solve it. Having kids will help a lot, but it won’t fill the void completely. Learn to live your life with the void.

    Second, those friends who left the church fill the void with anger and hate. I know this to be the true because this is what I did. Anger and hate can fill the void, most people enjoy this because it give them power. They get trap within that power. You need to know life has many trap and most people don’t even know it. For me, I did not enjoy the person I became. I had to learn to let it go and learn to live with it-live with the void.
    Also I want to state two important things. “Blaming” will always led you into anger, hate, or both of them. GOD will always love us, but that does not mean HE agrees with us. We did disappoint him, which is something you need to know. I know HE is disappointed with me, but I chose my life as I chose it to be. I learn this leason from my boys.

    The third thing is what you have said but has no desire to do.

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  12. I know you've gotten a lot of feedback already, but I just wanted to share this quote by Alan Watts. I feel like this quote significantly altered my worldview, and I feel like it might relate to what you're experiencing.

    "We thought of life by analogy with a journey, a pilgrimage, which had a serious purpose at the end, and the thing was to get to that end, success or whatever it is, maybe heaven after you're dead. But we missed the point the whole way along. It was a musical thing, and you were supposed to sing or to dance while the music was being played."

    Gives me goosebumps! Hear the quote in its fuller context here:
    http://youtu.be/LhhwgprsMAk?t=1m5s

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  13. "Up until now I always knew what the meaning of life was. It is a test to find out what planet you will live on for eternity. If you are good you get your very own planet like Jesus….long pause…." Hahaha, I love the way you put this.

    Well, despite leaving the church I've always been highly supportive of us all having our own planets. You can check out mine at http://planetsarah.com where I think I might have to start writing more about my own experiences of leaving mormonism.

    I agree with the sentiments of most on here, we make our own meaning of life and human existence. I often even ask, does there need to be a reason? Can we just enjoy the mystery? As for me I have made my meaning about being part of humanity and for as long as I am here I may as well love and take care of the planet that is my home.

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  14. To me, it is liberating to feel like there is no greater purpose, dictated by a higher power. You know why? Because it leaves me free to explore my passions and find my own, customised purpose for my life from them. We are the makers of our own destinies. I think that is both wonderful and a bit frightening. Currently, my purpose and goal in life is to learn to fully love myself, so that I will have something from which I can offer love to people around me. And I guess that is a goal that never goes away because it needs redefining year after year as I change and become more mature.

    If I were to offer some advice, it would be:

    1) find your passion and thrive in it
    2) find acceptance and love in yourself so that you can love others more truly.

    But you know, you don't have to take mine or anybody's word for it. I could be talking utter BS and not know it, who knows!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, and esjayeff said it the best, I think: "Can we just enjoy the mystery?"

      Or like someone else said: "Isn't it enough that the garden is beautiful? Do you have to imagine faeries in it in order to enjoy your experience?" Or something like that.

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