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Atra

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  1. Like
    Atra reacted to Ema22 in Living Abroad & Partner's Depression   
    Background: My partner comes from a difficult childhood with lots of mental illness in the family. He was pegged the "normal" one and didn't receive much help or attention because of the high needs of others in the family. As a result of this, later in life he is working through childhood trauma and trying to figure out who he is. As he struggles with identity and past decisions in his own therapy now, he has been getting more and more depressed it seems. 
    To make things more complicated we moved abroad last year and decided to stay a second year despite COVID. This has made having a community here almost impossible. 
    So we have a few factors working against us. I am having a hard time supporting him because many of his identity issues and depression (he says) is stemming from regretting that he got married so young, not feeling as attracted to me as before and not knowing if he wants to have children or not (which is something I want someday) and then hating himself for having those feelings because he wants to be together and he doesn't want to hurt me. He tells me that he doesn't deserve me and that he's afraid he's just going to hurt me over and over again. 
    I have dealt with my own mental illness and worked extremely hard to be at the point I am today. I'm in counseling and feel very self-regulated and healthy. So I understand despair from depression and I understand how things can look. That being said, I don't know how to support him on this journey as he figures out what he actually wants , which directly affects me quite significantly and more importantly support him on his own journey of loving himself and figuring out who he is. 
    I'm trying to join support groups for family members with depression. I'm trying to invest in myself and my own hobbies. But I still feel totally isolated and sad to the core about all this. 
  2. Sad
    Atra reacted to mokshaGehannum in I recently left DF. you would know me as samadhiSheol.    
    moksha gehannum, turiya herem and samadhi sheol were the invention of the novelist Stephen Donaldson. They were the Ravers, the servants of Lord Foul, the ultimate evil in his Thomas Covenant - fantasy novels. 
     
    I chose samadhiSheol as my name on df. I liked the idea of the dialectic of turiya, moksha, samadhi, the various states of meditation of the path to liberation as in hinduism/Buddhism on the one hand and the various expressions of hell in Judaism: sheol, herem gehannum on the other. (herem is actually more like "excommunication", a form of hell for some guess). 
     
    The moniker I am using for this post is an ad hoc account, because I don’t have access to my old account any longer. I was rash to leave like that, I admit. But the fact is I needed to leave DF. And there  are things I want people on DF to know before I leave, however. And I need to say good bye properly.
     
    samadhiSheol is now officially terminated as far as I am concerned and you won't here of me again after this post. 
     
    I have had enough of DF. I have had enough of social media in general. Hell, I have had enough with people in general. I have had it with life, at least with my life as it stands. I will not continue this existence if I don’t find a purpose and a REASON to life. Something I can call mine. Me. A soul. Right now there is nothing. I am an empty husk. I have never really lived. I have barely existed. Whatever I have done in life has felt more like a chore than something I would relish doing. I am not holding my breath of ever finding even a resemblance of purpose or meaning, however. And I will not settle for anything anymore. Certainly not  for a "resemblance". In life, or death, its all or nothing. 
     
    DF hasn’t helped me at all. I know this is (just) a peer support group. And some people do actually 
    get something out of peer support. 
     
    Back in the day I was an outpatient on a psychiatric ward for about six weeks. I was in because of burnout, but all the other “inmates”, or “outmates”, if you will, suffered from depression. I had little in common with the other people there.
     
     I only participated because it was a compulsory part of my treatment back then, fifteen odd years ago. It was waste of time. Being there did nothing at all to help me. So god only knows what went through my head when I joined DF, six years ago. I guess I thought online peer support would be different. In a sense, I suppose it is different. We don’t know who other people are, for real. Not that that makes any difference really.
     
     I am not a “people”person. And a bit off topic, you know what? There is bright side to COVID, lockdowns, social distancing etc. people like me are having a heyday. We don’t have to invent excuses to not meeting other people. In this sense, last year was a good year for me.  About the only good thing about last year.
     
    Like a lot of people, I have spent more time on social media, DF included during covid. And little by little, I realized it has the same effect on me as socializing in real life. It exhausts me, taxes me and after a while I get bored and find it hard to focus on anything. And this is in the rare instances I actually enjoy communicating with people. 
     
    People..I don’t really get people. I don’t understand the small talk and the inanities of every day conversation. And it all gets blown out of proportion on social media.
     
    There is something fundamentally wrong with social media. We aren’t equipped, cognitively, emotionally or in a vocabulary sense, to communicate the way we do. Facebook, Twitter, DF...the platform doesn’t matter. It seems we regress to the lowest common denominator when we communicate en masse. In real life too. Just look at political protest marches, even the benign ones, or a regular soccer match.
     
    Or again, perhaps it’s just me. Whichever, I have had enough.
     
    They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I don’t doubt for a moment that the initial idea of any given (mental health) social media based platform is benign and the intentions altruistic to say the least.
     
    I have been on a steady downward spiral since I joined. And though I can’t blame DF for my mental health decline, It has contributed largely to it.
     
    The thing is, people on forums like DF are vulnerable by default. The parlance and the way we express ourselves, the continuous primal scream of pain we express, does nothing to alleviate the pain, or utter emptiness and hopelessness we feel. The moderators mean good, but let’s face it, every mental health forum should have mental health professionals involved. Someone with a true objective perspective. 
     
    I am not saying that a mental health platform-based on peer support alone doesn’t have its place. But it’s not for everyone and it is as flawed as any social media.
     
    Another thing entirely is I became addicted to posting on DF. Largely because I have no other outlet. I have no one to talk to in the real world. So I just blasted away, on DF. I never had any sense of release, or felt any better after spewing out all the vitriol, pessimism, misanthropy and self hate. All it did is fuel the fire. I didn’t really know what addiction was before. Now I know and it has to stop. One way or another.
     
    I have no idea what will happen to me. I think of ending my life daily. I think how pointless life is in general, let alone my failure of an existence. I hate myself. I think a I have always disliked myself. I hurt myself in a psychological sense and also physically. I see nothing good in my future. Life is just a meaningless, steady decline of a Groundhog Day. As yet I have no reason to change this view as to life or myself. Staying on DF, or any other social media based online platform will just make me worse. 
     
    I hate myself for being in the same state I was 15 years ago. I hate myself for not being able to deal with the dead end job I find myself in yet again. I hate myself for not being able to get out of this situation and actually make a life of what little there is still left. And I just hate myself. 
     
    There is nothing within me. I am a void. Emptiness can be anger, hatred and hopelessness though. Replacing a soul  I guess. If I ever even had a soul it has been consumed by despair and pointlessness in the hell that is existence.
     
    Me. I. What a joke. Half the time I don’t even know who “me” is. I know I despise “me” whatever it is, though. I have always been a weakling, a bit stupid and a failure in life. 
     
    I see no way out. I hope I will be dead as soon as possible. There is nothing out there for me. This world clearly doesn’t need my distinctiveness. And I don’t really want this world. People suck, nearly as much as I do. Humanity is doing it’s best to destroy itself. Sadly it’s too stupid to realize this.
     
    Good bye DFers. You deserve to feel better. It’s most likely too late for me. But if there is any chance for me at all I have to leave DF. 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
  3. Like
    Atra got a reaction from Extremebeginner in Hello, I am new here and seek for advice or anything....   
    I'm sorry to hear about the divorce.separation is hard for me to move on from too. And trust broken is so painful. 
    There are many therapies I trust in that have helped with me address an underlying condition: avoiding authebtic emotional contact with people and stuffing my feelings down. 
    How is it for you, expressing your full range of feelings--especially the uncomfortable ones like anger, sadness and pain? Is it difficult to find an outlet?
    For the past couple of years I've been re-learning how to cry, weep. It's difficult. And it's also a reliable way to release all those feelings i withhold. 
    Wishing you some peace and resilience. 
  4. Like
    Atra reacted to Svenetc in I just felt like I want to share   
    Hi,
    I am still new here and just had an interesting first time experience .
    Well, I am here to seek advice and so on because i am down to the core. However just minutes ago I was just sitting here by myself, my cats are sleeping on the window seems and all the sudden I felt tears running down my cheeks. Out of nowhere. I felt them running down my cheeks and had no explanation for it. They came out of memories. That is all. So I went outside and tried to figure why I was shedding tears out of the blue. I live in the " boons of Iowa "  and  I have nothing but fields and trees around me. So as I was looking around trying to figure out myself I thought maybe I am just like them trees. The grow leafs, are green all summer and in the Fall they shed their leaves and are bare in the winter. Maybe that is my life. I grew , lived and shed my tears. Now I have to wait for spring. Hopefully I am getting there and I am not an "annual" that only blooms once. Guess that was a great look into my inside thoughts I just had. I will figure it all out and I will use any inputs I get from here and from my surroundings. I know it might be a pointless post but I felt that I wanted to share.
  5. Like
    Atra reacted to EllieReachingOut in Regression   
    Hello,
    I am a woman in my 50's who has battled depression and anxiety for all of my life.  Back in 2007 I want to counseling and learned a lot of coping mechanisms and thought I was handling things well.  I was able to get a job, work for over ten years, make friends and be happy and free for the first time.
    Moving ahead now, I have regressed to the point where I was before I started everything.  I don't know how to recover, i don't know what coping skills to use.  I have lost many relationships and friendships because of my insecurity and possibly paranoid.  My job has suffered, my confidence is so low.  I miss having confidence and having that beauty inside.  
    I know when it started, I know what day my depression resurfaced.  It was over a year ago, but I thought I could handle it.  It was in August of 2019.  I had a situation that I was not proud of and it knocked me back.  It was like I could see time reverse.  
    I now know that I cannot do this alone.  I know it is time to reach out.  Time to get help because no one should live like this.
    Thank you for listening.
    Ellie
  6. Like
    Atra reacted to gandolfication in Universalism and Rediscovering a Hopeful Theological Worldview   
    Life is seldom a Tidy Affair is a great adage to remember and live by.  It brings to mind three somewhat similar things for me.
    One is Shakespeare's "There is more in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, my dear Horatio." 
    The second is the poem, Delight in Disorder, which I love as poem and an aspiration, but have trouble embracing it practically.
    And finally, is the magnificent opening to Brennan Manning's book, The Ragamuffin Gospel, which I think just describes the human condition from a mystical spiritual perspective with an explanatory power I've seldom read or heard.  I don't think one has to be a Christian of any kind, or that it has to be necessarily be about a religious Jesus at all, to appreciate it in terms of grace and humanity.
     
    yes, the UU fellowship has ben extremely welcoming and refreshing.
     
    A Word Before
    The Ragamuffin Gospel was written with a specific reading audience in mind. This book is not for the super-spiritual.
    It is not for muscular Christians who have made John Wayne, and not Jesus, their hero.
    It is not for academics who would imprison Jesus in the ivory tower of exegesis.
    It is not for noisy, feel-good folks who manipulate Christianity into a naked appeal to emotion.
    It is not for hooded mystics who want magic in their religion.
    It is not for Alleluia Christians who live only on the mountaintop and have never visited the valley of desolation.
    It is not for the fearless and tearless.
    It is not for red-hot zealots who boast with the rich young ruler of the Gospels, “All these commandments I have kept from my youth.”
    It is not for the complacent who hoist over their shoulders a tote bag of honors, diplomas, and good works, actually believing they have it made.
    It is not for legalists who would rather surrender control of their souls to rules than run the risk of living in union with Jesus.
    If anyone is still reading along, The Ragamuffin Gospel was written for the bedraggled, beat-up, and burnt-out.
    It is for the sorely burdened who are still shifting the heavy suitcase from one hand to the other.
    It is for the wobbly and weak-kneed who know they don’t have it all together and are too proud to accept the handout of amazing grace.
    It is for inconsistent, unsteady disciples whose cheese is falling off their cracker.
    It is for poor, weak, sinful men and women with hereditary faults and limited talents.
    It is for earthen vessels who shuffle along on feet of clay.
    It is for the bent and the bruised who feel that their lives are a grave disappointment to God.
    It is for smart people who know they are stupid and honest disciples who admit they are scalawags.
    The Ragamuffin Gospel is a book I wrote for myself and anyone who has grown weary and discouraged along the Way.
    —Brennan Manning
  7. Like
    Atra got a reaction from Extremebeginner in Hello, I am new here and seek for advice or anything....   
    Thank you. I am learning, it's taking time to un-learn the socialization I breathed in. 
    It makes sense to me that as a survival strategy, you learned to put a turtle shell around your emotions. I have done this but it made true and deep relationships hard. I don't know what is a better problem. Therapy has helped me figure out ways to share my feelings but also have boundaries. As you say, find safe people. 
  8. Like
    Atra got a reaction from gandolfication in Universalism and Rediscovering a Hopeful Theological Worldview   
    Yep, same. 
    A turning point for me was accepting a different axiom: life is seldom a tidy affair. My hitherto best efforts have failed to prove that false, which puts me in the club of "the rest of all human beings who ever walked upright". Not especially bad company!
    Trying to find the strength to let go rather than expending all my strength holding on? That seems like a better problem to me now.
     
    I held to a very similar perspective. With some help from psychotherapy, I gradually reduced my false belief to a painful but more honest and self-aware admission, "I need to know [everything] so that I can control it."
    Control, like the belief that I can create certainty of a particular future for me, is an illusion. That's another new axiom for me, I guess. Learning to live with with uncertainty--or how to live with doubt, that also seems like a better problem for me right now.  As ⬆️ certainties about my life go up, ⬇️ possibilities for my life go down. 
    And yeah I maintain that there's still room for faith here. Because I believe that at times in our lives, each of us can transcend the confines of lonely flesh and temporal existence (however briefly) to experience That Which Is Unconditional and Infinite. Yeah I might like to live always in those moments of grace. But like the rest of us, I'm just working with parts I got from the factory. 😁 That's another form of acceptance: my humanity. Now if only I could learn how to love that...
    On the matter of the UU fellowship, what do you think about this people in this community, have they made you feel welcome? Do you feel you belong?
  9. Like
    Atra got a reaction from Depressedgurl007 in The slow healing of depression   
    Remission ➡️ Recovery ➡️ Relapse ↩️
    Remission (lasts a little longer) ➡️ Recovery (last a little longer) ↩️
    Relapse (a little shorter).
    This is an acceptable life, for me. 
  10. Like
    Atra got a reaction from anon22ae in Epictetus' 'Keep it or sell it Game', Part 2   
    Keep. 
     
    Restored pirate ship 🚢 yarrr?
  11. Like
    Atra reacted to blueskys_lemondrops in The slow healing of depression   
    Just a passage I wrote about healing... it takes a very long time... I hope this proves helpful. 
     
    I hope my brain heals fully... healing from depression, It limits my vocabulary to one word... DAMN. 
    I still believe I can recover, I'm not niave enough to believe life is free of pain, grief, and let down. 
    Depression is a demon all on its own. Its simply cant be swept under the rug. It cant be explained away, it cant be wished back into oblivion. 
    I hold onto the fact nothing lasts forever... 
    Good people exist
    We come into life with a purpose
    I remember that its not always severe
    I'm reminded there are good times yet to be had
    I havent cracked the code, but.. tomorrows another day
    Beauty exists, although I may now be blind to it.
    The heaviest loads are given to the strongest of souls.
    I dont deserve this, but I will make it through the night.
    And the day that awaits will be the sweetest yet.
    Please be patient with me while I am healing. 
    I may say things out of place or that are senseless
    Sometimes I wonder... what is wrong with me?
    I might be distant, and forget alot...
    Please be gentle... ive been through alot
    I am stronger for it, and better for it
    But I am also weary.
    Thank you, I love you
    Please forgive me. 
     
  12. Like
    Atra reacted to OliAkers in Mental Illness in a Special Case   
    Hi, my name is Oliver, and I’m writing this because I have a very complex situation and I don’t know precisely where to turn. There’s some things you’ll need to know about this situation as a preface before I get into what I need, but I’ll make it as succinct as possible.
    Firstly, I’m a 22-year-old transgender man who still lives with his parents. I’m an American citizen who lives in Germany, and has been living here since 2012ish. I had a brief experience attempting to go to university in the U.K. but ended up failing my first attempt, and then barely making it past my second attempt before my mental illnesses really flared up, and I returned to Germany just before this pandemic really hit. Now I’m trapped here with limited resources.
    Secondly, I have a bad history of mental illness. I was diagnosed with Depression and Social Anxiety when I was around 14, and frequently missed attending school. I still barely managed to pass all my primary and secondary schooling, but as I got older, I got worse with attendance and ended up passing by the skin of my teeth. Some days it would be a huge fight between me, my mother, and less frequently my father. 
     
    My sister had also been diagnosed with clinical depression at around the age of 7 (she’s 4 years older than me). Before we moved to Germany I was home schooled, and grew up rather isolated from others as my mother never really bothered taking us anywhere other than the occasional Co-Op or field day. Because of this I didn’t develop a lot of close friendships and did not have discipline in things that I had a hard time achieving. I instead escaped into my own realities and wrote and drew and played with figures.
     
    My mother later became more and more abusive, turning to alcohol, screaming, and degrading her kids, along with a very volatile itile emotional state made for me wanting to isolate to my room where I felt safe. 
     
    Life went by and the experiences of pain, misunderstanding, and the constant ebb and flow of failure and success, highs and lows, and I was tired. I’ve been tired. I feel like I haven’t aged since I was 16, because I’m trapped. Pinned down by illness. I can’t get a job here, I don’t have access to the military bases medical systems or anything because I’m a dependent of a civilian contractor. I’m planning on moving to Nevada with a close friend because I have no family that wouldn’t coddle me or that I would depend on too much.
    Very recently I was diagnosed with PTSD, and Autism Spectrum Disorder, and while I suspected the former, I doubted the latter. At 22, that kind of diagnosis can really change your whole perception of yourself. I am scared, but I am at least a little less self deprecating now. I want to do more and start my life and have a job and do things for myself but I am so scared. I am anxious I’ll just keep failing and needing someone else to bail me out or depend on, I’m scared I’ll never live a normal life or do the things I aspire to do because I feel fundamentally broken. 
     
    I’m too anxious to leave my room that much and socialize because it burns me out. My depressive episodes seem to get lower and stay for longer. I can count on my fingers the good or manageable days I’ll have in a month rather than the bad or low ones. I’m having to change so much of myself because I’m autistic now at 22, and people make issues with the way I have always been for things that don’t seemingly impact my life. I have no motivation, no aspiration, no energy, no future prospects, no way out, no way to transition, and no self esteem. I am so scared and I feel so alone.I know that the people in my life love me and want to help me, but I just can’t do what I need to to help myself and I don’t know what else to do.
    Please, if you have any resources for any of the illnesses I mentioned, or if you experienced anything similar, let me know. I want to know that my case isn’t so special that I can’t be helped because no one will truly and fully understand it.
     
    Thank you all.
    -Oli
     
  13. Thanks
    Atra reacted to gandolfication in Universalism and Rediscovering a Hopeful Theological Worldview   
    Yah, well said.  This was and is still a struggle for me.  I want to be able to understand, isolate, and reduce truth to binary, abstract logic so very much.  Probably comes from being brought up in fundamentalist (Baptist) mom, dad was an engineer and navy captain, lived in the Midwest, and I ultimately became a lawyer. 
    There is something comforting I suppose about the idea that there is a clear, black and white answer to all things.  It seems to correspond to the nature of reality being a seamless web and non-contradiction, even though I know (or suspect) it really doesn't.  I suppose by personality and profession, I seek to eradicate ambiguity and vagueness.  
    I labor under the false belief, that if I could just know more (everything let's say), I could solve all my and others' problems, e.g. save myself, create my own redemption and finally not be needy and dependent.  Strange.
  14. Like
    Atra got a reaction from Bulgakov in Universalism and Rediscovering a Hopeful Theological Worldview   
    Beautifully written. Thank you for this.
    And this part I find especially resonant with my core beliefs. 
    By finding there is terrain in "Both-and" that can be navigated, I released my soul from confinement in "Either-or". Acceptance and change. A middle path emerges which was also always there. 
  15. Like
    Atra got a reaction from gandolfication in Universalism and Rediscovering a Hopeful Theological Worldview   
    Beautifully written. Thank you for this.
    And this part I find especially resonant with my core beliefs. 
    By finding there is terrain in "Both-and" that can be navigated, I released my soul from confinement in "Either-or". Acceptance and change. A middle path emerges which was also always there. 
  16. Like
    Atra got a reaction from JD4010 in Universalism and Rediscovering a Hopeful Theological Worldview   
    Beautifully written. Thank you for this.
    And this part I find especially resonant with my core beliefs. 
    By finding there is terrain in "Both-and" that can be navigated, I released my soul from confinement in "Either-or". Acceptance and change. A middle path emerges which was also always there. 
  17. Like
    Atra got a reaction from Epictetus in How do You Feel Right Now? #12   
    Thanks very much! Those kind words heal the wound in me, your advice is terrific and I will heed it. Although my rage wants to see this group burn, as you suggest it is not worth the confusion. And besmirching whomever gossiped isn't how I want my presence to be remembered. That individual probably thought they were doing a kindness, a sort of bridge between the two of us who aren't speaking. 
    Also, the director of the Ketamine program will be there so I wouldn't want this unfortunate incident to be seen as an example of failure. Thanks @Bulgakov for talking me down, you're a pal and a mentor to me.
    I dont know what I'll say if the matter is raised again. I'll see how it goes tomorrow, find my calm and keep it cool. 
  18. Sad
    Atra got a reaction from Epictetus in How do You Feel Right Now? #12   
    So angry!
    Yesterday a former member of my therapy group left me a lengthy, angry voicemail claiming I mischaracterizes a conversation between she and I, which resulted in her decision to drop out of the group. 
    I'm angry because someone in group relayed details of what I said in therapy group to this former member, violating confidentiality. 
    I'm angry because the former member had no expectation and no right to know what happens in group having made the decision to leave it. 
    I'm angry because this former member texted the whole group saying they are dropping out of it, but not why and didn't respond to other members who were very concerned with their health and wellbeing leaving them distraught. 
    I'm angry because I wouldn't have shared with the group what happened between us but for the fact that they were all informed of the persons departure but not why and that's all they wanted to talk about in therapy group. And they wanted to know what I knew, closure and so forth. 
    I'm angry for being put in a position of knowing why this former member left the group and feeling pressure to share from both inside me and outside. 
    I'm angry because I couldn't see any harm in having discussions with a group member outside of group and that blew up in my face. 
    I'm angry because I create deep and meaningful relationships with people and I hate untidy endings to them. My therapist and  I both agree that I shouldn't respond to this former member's texts, voicemails, emails - even though I feel compelled.  
    And I'm angry because this therapy group is ending for good this week for unrelated reasons and this is a really crappy way for it to go out. 
    I'm angry because the last group session is this week and I'm going to have a hard time not releasing these emotions there. And at the same time, not wanting to because we decided to make it a farewell party. And this ridiculous drama does not represent the 4 years I've been with these people in this therapy groups. 
    🤬
  19. Like
    Atra got a reaction from watalife in Epictetus' 'Keep it or sell it Game', Part 2   
    Keep. 
     
    Restored pirate ship 🚢 yarrr?
  20. Like
    Atra got a reaction from Depressedgurl007 in Universalism and Rediscovering a Hopeful Theological Worldview   
    Beautifully written. Thank you for this.
    And this part I find especially resonant with my core beliefs. 
    By finding there is terrain in "Both-and" that can be navigated, I released my soul from confinement in "Either-or". Acceptance and change. A middle path emerges which was also always there. 
  21. Like
    Atra reacted to gandolfication in Universalism and Rediscovering a Hopeful Theological Worldview   
    Universalism and Rediscovering a Hopeful Theological Worldview
    “I decided to believe in a God that believed in a girl like me.” — Glennon Doyle, The New Yorker
    That may be a strange quote from which to set out and choose a theological worldview of hope. In truth, I chose universalism as a new form of faith before reading the quote earlier this week. Still, it fits so well.
    Out of the wreckage and trauma of fundamentalism (evengelical Christian in my case), I needed, and thus decided, to change direction. The old fundamntalist, absolutist beliefs and traditions ceased to be useful if they ever were. Laden with impossible guilt, shame and fear, they along with a perfect mix of depression, became crippling and contributed at times to debilitation. Nihilism, for the longest time, seemed like the only alternative to the closed system of thought of fundamentalism. It certainly wouldn’t ‘feed the bulldog’ so to speak either.
    I needed something new. Hence through a long and painful journey, I came to universalism. Although I am a member of a Unitarian Universalist (UU) fellowship, which generally and loosely follows most of what I’m espousing here (and allows for many other options as it is values-based rather than beliefs-based), I am using the term “universalism” to mean something more specific to me.
    I meant that I have chosen, decided, to believe in a god who loves and accepts me absolutely, completely, no matter what. No caveats. And not just me, but this god loves everyone and everything — universally. This god is both a source of energy and, for me, also a person, like a powerful friend, brother, father, mother, in one, as I understand he/she/it on any given day. It loves all people (and all things) unconditionally, even if it also might want to change them to become the best versions of themselves.
    There is a dialectic inherent in that apparent contradiction, a paradoxical mystery of sorts. But faith–based on its foundations of hope, reason, poetic truth, and choice–is large enough to embrace the improvement impulse while not compromising the absolute, no-matter-what, non-limitation of the unconditional love the emanates from the source energy, god (love).
    This is hope. This absolute, uncompromising acceptance and beneficence and grace (there really isn’t a perfect equivalent word for love) is nevertheless the definition of both god and love itself. I frame it as an other-oriented, inexhaustible, if necessary, self-sacrificial regard for others that is in no way contingent upon anything else. It is not qualified. It is not conditional in any way upon my actions, failures, flaws, successes or characteristics. It is not even conditional–as Christian fundamentalism posits–upon my belief, repentance, or act of acceptance of some nominally free gift. Nothing. I exist therefore I have love. And this love supersedes and transcends all else. There in lies the hope, so richly, universally, and desperately needed.
    If love were conditioned on anything, it would cease to be the definition of full love, and god. It cannot be limited or boxed in by theology or dogma. This is not to deny that above I have probably necessarily appealed to certain other first principles in the nature of a dogma. That’s okay – we all have a priori beliefs in our worldviews. These are just better ones for me. This love lives full and free. And because of that, I also continue to do so with renewed hope. Fragile as life might be, this hope in this universal, absolute, unconditional love is the sine qua non of motivation and hope and optimism, and one that I cherish, and seek to ever increasingly explore and apply.
  22. Like
    Atra reacted to Lady Mozzer in A-Z: Famous People/Characters #4   
    David Bowie
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    Atra got a reaction from hocico in arboria's "What Are You Reading?" Thread, Part Two   
    Mostly school texts but when I have an hour, The Center Cannot Hold by Elyn R. Saks (autobiography about her extraordinary life with Schizophrenia)  
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    Atra got a reaction from watalife in Pick Between These Two #15   
    The gap is narrowing of late but TV secures my eyes by a couple of hours. 
     
    Mars or Luna (the Moon)?
     
     
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    Atra reacted to ladysmurf in How do You Feel Right Now? #12   
    I am sorry you feel that way. I agree that certain things we post do not help us, but they might help others who are struggling and for me that means something. If even 1 of my posts has managed to help an individual feel better, find hope, see life from another perspective, anything,  I am happy and thankful for that.  I'm not perfect, and I'm struggling but you guys are the people I turn to because the world out there is not understanding like you guys are
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