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Is everyone so sure of where they stand on their beliefs? What do you do when you are still searching for a community?
July 1, 2007
6:36 pm
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I posted on another thread about Unitarianism, but I don't think many people will be able to relate to that. I'm afraid to join some of the lengthy posts here on religion. Many are very involved conversations at this point and I don't feel I have much to offer the conversation. I only have questions. I feel a little intimidated by many of the threads on religion due to my lack of education or experience on the matter. It is hard to get opinions when you are in my position because I don't have any information to offer, I'm not going to be the most fascinating source of comments, but I am interested in the insights from people here because they seem to have a lot of experience and intelligence on spiritual matters, with diverse opinions. I like to read the threads.

I am feeling very disconnected from society in general, but I was always a spiritual person in the past. In the past I never cared that I wasn't part of a group with spiritual sharing. Now I wish I had that but don't know where to go and I feel I cannot relate to a lot of people. People with religion are lucky because they also have a community. But it is not exactly religion I seek- I wish to share spirituality and time with others to enhance that part of myself once again. It is hard being depressed, I do not want my world to become completely devoid and empty of faith and hope. I think that there are communities that have much to offer.

But here I don't know what to say because a lot of people have such strong views, I don't know who to talk to. I am afraid to go out and just go to a place where I will feel like an intruder. I found a Unitarian church I might try next Sunday, but I don't want to be a hypocrite (with my pagan like beliefs). Has anyone had experiences like this?

I am already going to go there and try it, I just am wondering what other people have gone through on their spiritual journeys if they haven't stayed the same since the one they were raised in.

Thanks.

Ella

July 1, 2007
7:26 pm
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Isis
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Hi Ella,

Are you looking for religion... spirituality... a sense of community?

I am a Pagan. I have a group that I can get together with if I so choose to, or, I can simply do my own thing.

I was raised Greek Orthodox (my dad), and had a Jewish mother. After my junior high years religion pretty much fell by the wayside in my family.

I married a devout Catholic- but am not Catholic myself. I have this little book called the Daily Celtic Devotional and it serves me very well.

Question for you... are you the one who posted that lengthy wonderful essay on Wicca? I wish I could find it- is is so informative and well worth the read.

I hope you find what you're looking for Ella.

Love to you,

Isis

July 1, 2007
8:13 pm
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ggfred4
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Isis, would you mind explaining what a Pagan is or anything about your beliefs? I have been trying to follow a lot of the threads over here about religions,etc. I find it all interesting. If you were to ask what I am, I am confused!!! My background has greatly affected my confusion, but has also yielded the way to openness to others.

Ella, I identified with some of your thoughts here. I feel that I do not have anything to offer, but am enjoying what I am reading. I never knew such things existed.

July 1, 2007
9:43 pm
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Isis-

Hello, I guess I'm looking for a community in which I feel a spiritual connection. In the past I was not comfortable with some of the out going Wiccans I met. Maybe that's why I am not thinking I want to consider looking for a coven or such. I don't know why. Maybe the people I met do not represent the great majority of Wiccans, maybe they stood out just because they WERE outspoken, into their image and all that. Every group has people like that. Unfortunately, I didn't meet too many others since I was so shy.

You might have been thinking of my posts on Wicca, but I'm not sure. I did write a lot. I'll look for the thread. I'm not sure what other people write here though since I'm mostly on the support side, so it might have been someone else.

But yes, Wicca comes closest to representing my beliefs, but I do believe in great individuals like Jesus and Buddha and that they become enlightened and what they have to say is meaningful enough to transcend any religious label. Wiccans recognize this, and I think Unitarians do as well.

Thank you for posting Isis. I will try and find the Wicca thread.

peace,
ella

July 1, 2007
9:45 pm
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Hi ggred,

I am going to look for that old Pagan thread. If I do not find it, I will write a little to collaborate with Isis and hopefully between the two of us we can paint some sort of picture of Paganism.

peace,
ella

July 1, 2007
10:38 pm
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Ggred,

Hi, I found an old thread that Isis was talking about where we were discussing Wicca.

I'm kind of torn about all this. If I do go to another place with my beliefs, I will miss out on a lot even though I will gain other perspectives. I will miss out on the shared beliefs of paganism that can be expressed so beautifully in ritual. But I guess I have always considered that a personal thing. I am seeking more of a community. The think I am afraid of in pagan communities is that a lot of strong (and not necessarily healthy) personalities seem to dominate because of the lack of structure. But then again this is problematic in other traditional religions too, so what am I talking about? What I really am afraid of is I guess, being disappointed and opening myself up in a way that will make me really vulnerable. A lot of people might understand how it feels to have to defend your beliefs, or be put in a situation where you feel they are not being represented in a way you find meaningful.

Basically, I'm leaving a lot of my story out here- I've had trusts betrayed and I think that's holding me back.

-ella

July 1, 2007
10:46 pm
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ggfred4
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Ella,

I understand betrayal and can understand how that may hold you back. I am a good listener, yet I do know this is an open forum.

gg

July 1, 2007
11:04 pm
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ggfred4
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Ella, I have been reading the poll thread. It is a lot to digest and I am turning in for the night. I feel so ignorant now, but will continue to learn what I can. Thanks for bumping that thread.

July 1, 2007
11:36 pm
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Ggfred-

Yeah, the betrayal part is not indicative of any behavior that represents Wicca or Wiccans. Just a bad experience. So I don't want to give people bad impressions, the problem was on my end as well. I was naive, immature and all too trusting of someone I did not even know. When people are young they seek out people that have things in common with them, sometimes this becomes so much of a priority that we don't look closely enough at the person themselves. It was my fault because it was someone I was dating that I thought shared similar beliefs. I assumed too much of him, put him on a pedastal, thought he would be a "good person" (whatever that is) and treat me honestly and well because he presented himself as a spiritual person coming from a place I could identify with. Ummm. Right. That's something like saying "gee. I know because this guy is studying to be a doctor that he will be nice to me." I think that that was a relationship issue on my part and I need to separate it from any feelings I have about sharing my spirituality with other people. When I have done so with friends it hasn't been like that. But sometimes I'm glad I am NOT open about it anymore because people will say ignorant and cutting things about Wiccans and/or Pagans and not realize what my history is or what I still believe in.

I feel like a coward. But I'm tired of defending myself all the time as a depressed person, person in recovery, as a woman, as a member of a dysfunctional family, as so many other things that I am tired of being criticized for unnecessarily. So I avoid some exchanges with people that are not open minded. Is that wrong?

-ella

July 2, 2007
11:14 am
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Rasputin
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Ella~

When I started my search for a church, I asked some friends to pray for me to get hooked with a church I really feel comfy with and at home.

No matter what your background is Ella, pagan or otherwise, just look for, search for that church and see how it feels. I was church-shopping around and it took me SEVERAL years to really get hooked on a church I can really call a "home church" where you feel comfy and cozy and close to people.

That does not mean every thing will be alright in your church. If you read my post I posted my frustrations and fears about some folks in my own church. In fact, the 1st time I went to my church, I would be harrassed by a man whose behaviour was so rude and totally UNacceptable. I had to put up with his rude, unbecoming conduct for 6 months before I spoke with the pastor who reassured me that he was mentally-ill.

Also, there is that old woman who keeps resenting me and wants to copy me without having to go thru the harsh time.

Bottom line is: churches are filled with all sorts of people, healthy, unhealthy, genuine, mask-wearers...you name it, and churches are open free houses of worship for all. They can't monitor who's authentic or decent. Don't let a small weirdo minority discourage you from keep going to a "home church" and sharing and just saying hi and having a cup of coffee with them. It really feels great to belong to a church where is feels "Homey."

Follow your heart and go out, connection it's very crucial to our emotional healing. Loneliness is horrible, even tho for sometime it can be beneficial.

Blessings!

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