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Discussion in 'Journals' started by Snow White, Nov 30, 2021.

  1. Snow White

    Snow White Veteran Member

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    Looking for some potential words of wisdom.

    Suppose you were kind of born into a tight religious family in real life that is like its own community. Suppose they kind of have their own rules, etc, and they tend to make things overall fair but conditional - you'll tend to have a great time if you obey the rules, and don't stray too much. Suppose that the rules are strict, but usually not too much, with consequences for breaking them. Suppose that you were raised by this family, but due to some different paths you took growing up, you aren't that religious.

    So what do you do if deep down, you kind of do want to be a part of this family and community but don't feel their customs and traditions in the pit of your soul? I see three options:

    1. Part ways and do your own thing, with them tending to see you as the black sheep that got away, and as a result, using religious justifications for ignoring you and not helping you get by. But at least you have your own beliefs. Even if you end up with a worse place to stay, a harder life as you figure things out on your own, etc. Just not much family to talk to.

    2. Accept their rules and customs, but live in the shadows as a different person, doing your own thing, but not trying to bother the family with it.

    3. Just give in to what your family wanted all along, leading to the least arguments, and adopt their customs and religious traditions in your heart and soul despite how weird it may feel at first, and how bad it might feel to compromise. Maybe even having the hopes and optimism that it will somehow help you on your paths in life, despite you not logically seeing it?

    ?

    In any case, I'm over seeing them as mean or destructive, I've finally put that teenage angst behind me. It is what it is. I just need to decide what future paths I will take within the family or going around it.
     
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  2. JustGeorge

    JustGeorge Retired Ruler
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    Just be you. And acknowledge that they will be them. Be near, if it feels good. There's no reason folks have to agree to be together. If things get too heated, take a break. But mostly, try not to take things personally(as hard as that is). Try to realize they're behaving as they do because its what they know. After positive exposure with you over time, they just may change more than you expected.

    So I would say option 4. Let them be them, and you be you, and stay as close as you can comfortably and respectfully. If this is a case where they have said to you "this is our way or the highway", I'd adjust option 1 to doing what you do, but dropping a line of communication every once and awhile, to let them know how you are and to tell them you're still thinking of them.
     
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  3. John53

    John53 Well-Known Member

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    Probably not words of wisdom but my experience. I was born into a very religious family, my father was a lay preacher and my brother became an Anglican priest. I never got it and had been a very confused and depressed atheist from a young age. I tried to fit in but was miserable most of the time. In my 20s I finally admitted to my family I didn't believe and was basically ostracised. My father barely spoke to me again but I was a much happier and far nicer person. I had intended to type more but I have rice cooking on the stove....
     
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  4. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    I was struck by this:

    If they are as judgemental as that, you don't really have a family to talk to beyond superficialities.

    My wife does not believe what I do, celebrated Christmas for many years which I as a Jew had no interest in but did for her sake and so forth.

    The difference is that my wife's and my love for each other was so strong that our differences in beliefs and customs was not an issue.

    So I wonder about the balance in your family although it sounds like being judgemental is much stronger.

    There's also a question of timing.
     
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  5. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    My father was raised in the Anglican church, my mother Greek Orthodox. Both of them left the church before any of us children were born. Well, that was not very acceptable back in those days in the US since 95% of people in the US were Christian in the 1950s.

    So I never heard anything about God or religion growing up. Although I can recall my mother having me say the Lord's Prayer I did not know why. Anyhow I became a Baha'i during my first year of college because I liked the teachings and the vision of the Baha'i Faith, the oneness of mankind and world peace, but I was never really religious and I still fight it tooth and nail. I just do not fit in with religious people worshiping God and all that.
     
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  6. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    In my experience, people mellow with distance. Make yourself rare. Only visit when you are prepared to deal with their customs. My guess is that your folks are the more happy to see you the fewer times they do.
     
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  7. Aštra’el

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    If something about it is truly resonating with you, you could give their Weltanschauung a chance. You could absorb their culture as best you can, and open your mind to their perspectives and build some bridges within that community.

    People develop. You can see what develops when you give it a chance. It might change how you feel about things in the “pit of your soul”. People who disapprove might see it as “brainwashing”. People who approve will see it as personal growth, development, and evolution of who you choose to be.

    If it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out... but at least you will have gained a far better understanding of the culture. You will probably have also found some strengths within it as well that you can take with you elsewhere as you continue to grow as an individual.
     
  8. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    My wife and I did number 1, and I would again. Although my family wasn't strict or cruel in any sense, they did have a culture about them. To paraphrase ... 'man's gotta do what man's gotta do' .
    I often see a parallel situation in a marriage where one or both of the two sets of parents object, and they run off and get married anyway.

    I figured time would more or less heal the wounds, and it did in our case, but not completely. We were prepared to never see either set of parents again though. You only have a few days a year with the family, or more, depending on situation, but you have the rest of your life, every single waking hour, with your own worldview.
     
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  9. Nakosis

    Nakosis Time Efficient Lollygagger
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    I'm a very covert person. I tend to publicly acquiesce while privately tossing monkey wrenches.

    Number 1 would be the honorable thing to do. That's not me.

    I would covertly get other members to side with me. The internal pressure would either cause a change of some kind or keep them fighting with each other so they'd have little time to worry about me breaking a few rules.

    Yeah, I don't usually join anything because I know I'm just going to be trouble.
     
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  10. JustGeorge

    JustGeorge Retired Ruler
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    I found through the years, once people realized I wasn't going to change, they adjusted. A few even saw I was right on certain topics, and came to 'my side'. But, overall, I'm not a terribly relevant person in the grand 'family scheme' due to my lack of social media, and I can kind of do my own thing without anyone really knowing what that is, and that's probably for the best. I can also steer clear of their drama, which keeps my opinions of them basic and non intrusive when I do end up seeing them.
     
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