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I suppose the struggles that those with religion and those with faith are a bit different from those without. 

The difference maybe is our awareness. Or that we actually know the reason why we are here alive on this earth, and yet no matter how much we try, we cannot remove how much we hate this life of us. No matter how much we try, we still do not understand why is God making our lives so difficult. No matter how much we try, we still have days when we hate God for giving us this disease. 

The difference maybe is we do wake up Everyday feeling hopeless or angry but yet we still have to force ourselves to be thankful. Like how I wake up with so much hatred when i remember all the terrible things that happened the day before and the terrible things that are gonna happen in the day. We wake up forcing ourselves to give thanks for being alive, yet we get angry at God for giving us this life. 

The difference maybe is that we also hate ourselves, but we hate ourselves not because of our mistakes, but we hate ourselves coz we always forget that He is there. We always forget that He is powerful and He puts us here for a reason. We forget there’s a reason for everything that happens. We always forget that every struggle and every suffering we receive from God is good. We forget to be thankful for that silver lining. 

Frankly I don’t know what I’m doing here in this forum. I guess I need to let out my thoughts or just seeking ways to get out of this from people with similar thoughts 

Edited by Depressedgurl007

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I have a definite belief that the struggle between one of faith and religion and one without are very different. Suffering is universal though...we all suffer differently as well,one may suffer from abuse as another may suffer from lack of succession etc. But either way the struggle is a reality that we all must go through. I don't want to say that each person's suffering isn't unique though... because that's what makes depression and emotional pain so hard to figure out, you're literally trying to diagnose the most complex organic machine in the world. I myself believe in both science and God,a strange enough combination for those of whom I encounter and actually have the duration to have such a deep philosophical discussion. One with faith may feel they always have their "god" trying to help...or that they are not good enough for their religious standards...one without may focus on the standards of society or possibly be the ultimate kind of lonely. To not even have a god to disappoint may be a worse fate. But whose to say such things than those whom must endure the dynamics of such an extensive variation of theological sufferance. 

And you're here because you chose to be, somewhere in your mind,you made a choice to be here and I'm glad you made that choice. I'd like to say welcome and I hope you can find something here that can help you in as many ways as possible and wish you the best whether you choose to stay or go.

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The nexus between depression and christianity is definetly a prickly one.. As you say, if we believe that God is our creator - why would he create us to suffer? Another difficulty I have run into is the concept that God can make all things new if only we believe and pray? What does this tell us if we suffer from depression - that it is our own fault because we did not believe and pray enough? Poppycock, imo. 

I believe that God made me as I am, but he did not give me depression. My depression comes from the brokenness of the world and the brokenness of my family relationships. IMO, God is like a loving parent. He loves you even when you yell, "I hate you," at him. He loves you when you screw up. He is always there, even when you ignore him. 

Ok, getting a little bit preachy here 😉 I guess my point is changing my view of God has helped a little bit with this problem.

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21 minutes ago, JessiesMom said:

The nexus between depression and christianity is definetly a prickly one.. As you say, if we believe that God is our creator - why would he create us to suffer? Another difficulty I have run into is the concept that God can make all things new if only we believe and pray? What does this tell us if we suffer from depression - that it is our own fault because we did not believe and pray enough? Poppycock, imo. 

I believe that God made me as I am, but he did not give me depression. My depression comes from the brokenness of the world and the brokenness of my family relationships. IMO, God is like a loving parent. He loves you even when you yell, "I hate you," at him. He loves you when you screw up. He is always there, even when you ignore him. 

Ok, getting a little bit preachy here 😉 I guess my point is changing my view of God has helped a little bit with this problem.

One of the main things when it comes to God is to believe in the impossible and to have the Faith to know God can change the impossible things in your life.

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1 minute ago, Floor2017 said:

One of the main things when it comes to God is to believe in the impossible and to have the Faith to know God can change the impossible things in your life.

To be honest - this is something I struggle with a lot. I have spent so long hoping that my mother would change - or that God would change her. To believe that my husband will let me in - or that God would turn his heart. There have been so many times when I have thought that change was possible. When my husband's brother died (by his own hand - but that is a different story) there were a few weeks when it seemed like he finally had. We were communicating in ways that we never had. But slowly the door shut and things returned to normal. It was then that I finally realized that sometime hope for change hurts more that accepting that change will never come.

In the deepest part of my depression, nothing pulled me deeper than hearing the words to a hymn, "God is making all things new," and wondering why he was not making these things new for me. Or hearing a friend give a sermon about how he opened himself up to God when he was sad because of a break-up and seeing and feeling God's presence all around him. And wondering why God was there for him when he was sad, but God never seemed to be there for me when I was in the depths of despair. 

I have never been an addict of any kind - and never done any 12 step programs. But the serenity prayer has always held special meaning to me. "God, give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. The courage to change the things I can. And the wisdom to know the difference." To me this means knowing when to hope and work for change - and when to accept that you (and God maybe) cannot fix someone. I cannot change my mother. I cannot change my husband. I can choose to still love them, despite their brokenness and get some of my needs filled elsewhere. Anyway - this is where I have landed for now - but belief and understanding of God is an ever moving target - so perhaps my understanding of God will change 😉

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I do hate this disease. It is messing up my life and I am angry at God for not doing more to help when He easily could. Everything that used to help like God's promises, seem empty to me now. I can't make any sense of why He would allow me to have such a hard life. Yet who else can I put my hope in, as little as it is right now. 

BW

Edited by BeyondWeary

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Thanks for all your replies. That’s the thing when trying to understand God. We have the views of God where people preach to us, which is so difficult to understand. I too have those feelings where I feel it’s my fault cos I did not believe and pray enough. Those feelings where I feel if I had prayed more, all these things wouldn’t be happening to me. I sometimes wonder if what I’m going through is a punishment to me for all the wrong that I have done. And that’s a painful thing to believe in. It’s something I wish to remove from my train of thoughts.

I’m still trying to train myself to think well of the things He gave to me, both good and bad. Because if I believe that He cannot change people, then it just means He is not powerful at all, which is not what I was taught. So I tell my mind to go down the route that He can change people but that He gave humans free will, so He will not interfere in things that will help us humans grow. My Husband always tells me to thank God for opening up my husband’s heart to love me, for opening up the heart of my Mother-in-law to love me, for opening up the hearts of my friends and colleagues to accept me, cos He gives us what we need to grow. 

I like how @JessiesMom point out that our depression comes from the brokenness of the world. It’s still hard figuring out what was caused by humans having free will. 

18 hours ago, JessiesMom said:

God is like a loving parent. He loves you even when you yell, "I hate you," at him. He loves you when you screw up. He is always there, even when you ignore him. 

Thanks for this reminder. It’s something that I need constant reminding to stop beating myself up and to go back to Him. 

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On 2/1/2019 at 7:23 PM, Depressedgurl007 said:

Thanks for all your replies. That’s the thing when trying to understand God. We have the views of God where people preach to us, which is so difficult to understand. I too have those feelings where I feel it’s my fault cos I did not believe and pray enough. Those feelings where I feel if I had prayed more, all these things wouldn’t be happening to me. I sometimes wonder if what I’m going through is a punishment to me for all the wrong that I have done. And that’s a painful thing to believe in. It’s something I wish to remove from my train of thoughts.

I’m still trying to train myself to think well of the things He gave to me, both good and bad. Because if I believe that He cannot change people, then it just means He is not powerful at all, which is not what I was taught. So I tell my mind to go down the route that He can change people but that He gave humans free will, so He will not interfere in things that will help us humans grow. My Husband always tells me to thank God for opening up my husband’s heart to love me, for opening up the heart of my Mother-in-law to love me, for opening up the hearts of my friends and colleagues to accept me, cos He gives us what we need to grow. 

I like how @JessiesMom point out that our depression comes from the brokenness of the world. It’s still hard figuring out what was caused by humans having free will. 

Thanks for this reminder. It’s something that I need constant reminding to stop beating myself up and to go back to Him. 

I can't see that God is really punishing people now for their sin or lack of faith. Particularly those that follow him. It's quite contrary to the nature of God. If that were the case then that is to suggest the earning of salvation and mercy. The bible (if that's the concept of God you're speaking of) speaks against this idea of doing good to earn good. In fact it says not a single person deserves salvation or mercy, yet it's given to those who ask. Grace.

And it's true, He will not override free will to force one to conform. Praying for change in another is simply asking that God work on moving them to a place where they can be open to choosing such change and not that God will zap them and change them. Even then not everyone will comply. Some peoples hearts are simply too hardened to be capable of change.

As far as what's caused by human free will... all of it. When the human heart is corrupted, then given free will, the world around us is the result. Often times those that feel the most responsible are the least of offenders. The real plague is those that feel they hold no responsibility because where there is no sense of ownership of action there is no change.

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" The difference maybe is our awareness. Or that we actually know the reason why we are here alive on this earth "

I have seen atheist/agnostics that have great senses of purpose.  And I have seen "religious" people of different faiths have none.  So I'm not sure what you are implying with your statement (which side you may be on)

" every suffering we receive from God is good "  I marvel at the mental gymnastics one goes thru to justify EVERY thing in the world being "good". 

'Everything happens for a reason", "silver lining" ?  Maybe.  But then, maybe not.  Everything everything? I would debate this  (friendly) in person.  But I don't want to reduce anyone else's 'faith' with my different perspectives.  If faith in god is the only thing someone has, who am I to take that last thing away from someone else?

For me, it's not about "what happens in life", more my perspective about it.  Good things happen.  Bad things happen.  Some of us dwell on the negative. Others celebrate every stupid little thing.  I am different, for whatever reason.  It is up to me to deal with it, manage life, and see what happens.

 

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7 hours ago, mmoose said:

" The difference maybe is our awareness. Or that we actually know the reason why we are here alive on this earth "

I have seen atheist/agnostics that have great senses of purpose.  And I have seen "religious" people of different faiths have none.  So I'm not sure what you are implying with your statement (which side you may be on)

" every suffering we receive from God is good "  I marvel at the mental gymnastics one goes thru to justify EVERY thing in the world being "good". 

'Everything happens for a reason", "silver lining" ?  Maybe.  But then, maybe not.  Everything everything? I would debate this  (friendly) in person.  But I don't want to reduce anyone else's 'faith' with my different perspectives.  If faith in god is the only thing someone has, who am I to take that last thing away from someone else?

For me, it's not about "what happens in life", more my perspective about it.  Good things happen.  Bad things happen.  Some of us dwell on the negative. Others celebrate every stupid little thing.  I am different, for whatever reason.  It is up to me to deal with it, manage life, and see what happens.

 

I’m sorry if I’m not clear which side I am on. I come from a religious pious family, and we have been taught our purpose of life on this earth. I’m just saying sometimes I do struggle with the understanding of life and suffering and pain, even though I know they have to be there. I’m sorry if I sounded like all atheists and all agnostics have no sense of purpose. Even for those who are religious, there are many who are still lost, cos life is not meant to be easy. And I’m sorry if I was generalising when all I’m giving is my own believe and my own point of view.

I posted this cos after reading some posts on this site, I can’t really connect with them.. maybe because I haven’t gone through what they have, but I see people here who are 50 or 60 and they see life as nothing, they wake up and do the necessities, go through problems, find ways to fix problems, then sleep and wake up again and just walk through life with no end in mind. For me, I was taught that life is more than that. I was taught on life after death. I was taught on the reason we have to struggle. And the reason we cannot commit suicide is different from those with no religion. 

Yes ur right, it’s mentally challenging to believe that every suffering we receive is good. But then again it’s up to us what we want to make of it right? We can learn from the experience and see the silver lining or we can complain and see all the negativity and blame the situation and the people around us and refuse to take responsibility on what we have experienced, just because we have tried and it didn’t get us anywhere. I was taught on the bigger picture, that everyone is connected and every small action affects many people without us realising it. 

I’m not a priest or religious head who claims to know everything about God. But one thing I do know is God is with me and watching me. I can’t always feel him, but he is there whether I like it or not. And combine that with my mental illness, that is what I, from a religious family, struggle with and like I said in my first post, I don’t know why I’m here on this forum. I don’t need to be here but I am cos life is painful and I struggle to find relieve. 

And I definitely agree with you that it’s not about what happens in life, it’s about our perspective and it’s up to us to deal with it, manage life and see what happens. And that’s part of the reason I’m here on this site I guess. 

Edited by Depressedgurl007

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4 minutes ago, Depressedgurl007 said:

Yes ur right, it’s mentally challenging to believe that every suffering we receive is good. But then again it’s up to us what we want to make of it right? We can learn from the experience and see the silver lining or we can complain and see all the negativity and blame the situation and the people around us and refuse to take responsibility on what we have experienced, just because we have tried and it didn’t get us anywhere. I was taught on the bigger picture, that everyone is connected and every small action affects many people without us realising it.

I'm curious about the notion that all suffering is good. Biblically speaking that is Never taught, but rather is a philosophy made up in the name of positivity. If we look at Job his suffering wasn't for his benefit, not in the least. He was, in fact, not much more than a game piece in a cosmic wager.

There may be moments where suffering is for our benefit, as Paul shows in reference to the 'thorn in his side' that God gave him to keep him humble. But suffering, as a whole, is not for our benefit, rather it is a part of a fallen world. God actually speaks about taking the bad things that happen in our lives and working it out for good.  😃

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In my opinion, real suffering is never for your own good. Discomfort can help you learn something about yourself. Inconvinience can teach you patience. Being hurt can help you learn empathy. These are not good things, but by allowing yourself to learn from the situation, you can find the silver lining in the cloud. But I think that the temporary nature of these things is what allows the learning to take place. Once you are out of the bad situation, you can look back and reflect. The problem with suffering like I have seen some people on this forum describe - is that there seems to be no reason and somedays there is not end in sight. The suffering of a child who is born into a famine stricken land can have no purpose and no good effect. The person who wakes up everyday and tries to find the will to go on - his suffering can have no purpose and no good effect. The problem with looking at suffering as being "for our own good" is that it allows us to not feel responsible to try to relieve the suffering of others. I mean, if the person with cancer's suffering can lead them to some good outcome - they why try to make the pain go away. If the friend suffering from depression's suffering is for their own good and will lead to some good outcome - why bother to try to help?

Personally, I have always wondered what the Christian focus on life after death does to how we live while we are here. If the only point of life in the here and now is to get to the right place when you leave this plane of existance - then, except for getting you there - nothing that you do here matters. I prefer to think of our job as Christians is to bring the kingdom of god to the here and now - by working for a more just and empathetic world. (I cannot take credit for this idea - I mostly got it from Doug Pagitt 😉 )

Ok, getting seriously sermon-y now.

@Depressedgurl007 - I hope that you can find some solace in the knowledge that you are not alone. There are people who understand what you are feeling - because we have felt it too. In my opinion - that is the benefit of a forum like this.

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Hi DG007,

Assumptions are interesting things.  From your original post, I would have assumed what you confirmed in your followup (to mine)  But, I don't like assumptions.  I like verification when I can get it.  And it is interesting to see what assumptions other people have.  And, if they have challenged their assumptions of life.

And, don't take me too seriously of course.   I'm just a stranger on the internet.  And, only consider anything I say if you are currently strong.  If you are just hanging on and this is your last thread...don't listen to anything I say here.  And, you have no need to apologize for anythign you said.  It's all good.  And, never tell me I'm right.  My friends will tell you how dangerous that can be 😉

You list some things that you were taught.  I was taught many things also.  I am currently in a journey to challenge these things I was taught.  These are assumptions of life.  Some seem to be true. Some seem to be false.  Some seem to be helpful.  Some end up being lies we tell ourselves for various reasons.  And hey, if we have to lie to ourselves to survive another day...there are worst things in this world.

" one thing I do know is God is with me and watching me "

Knowing seems to be a funny thing also.  When I read this statement, I read it as "believe" instead of "know".  But that is my failing.  Of course, everyone is entitled to their beliefs.

Have you ever watched the movie Dogma?  One of the themes I enjoy there is the statement about "belief".   It is not bad to 'believe' something.  But, what happens is our limited  human brains believe one thing, but then we learn better the next day?   How do we rectify our new learning with our beliefs?  If we change our beliefs,  that could be considered a betrayal.  So instead, have ideas.  Ideas are easier to change without "losing faith".  (which has it's own interesting conversations)

Of the things you were taught, which do you still believe to be true?  How many of them have you challenged? (really challenged.  Again, only consider if you are in a strong place now)

If we have to assign a gender to god, why is it not female?  But I'm going off topic.

Why are you on this forum?  Good question.  Sometimes the key is in asking the right question, not finding the answer.  But, I am glad you are here.  Your writing is interesting.  Hope you stick around.

 

 

 

 

 

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On 2/6/2019 at 4:24 AM, Haunted Rain said:

I'm curious about the notion that all suffering is good. Biblically speaking that is Never taught, but rather is a philosophy made up in the name of positivity. If we look at Job his suffering wasn't for his benefit, not in the least. He was, in fact, not much more than a game piece in a cosmic wager.

There may be moments where suffering is for our benefit, as Paul shows in reference to the 'thorn in his side' that God gave him to keep him humble. But suffering, as a whole, is not for our benefit, rather it is a part of a fallen world. God actually speaks about taking the bad things that happen in our lives and working it out for good.  😃

It's not biblical as far as I am aware but since I see different religions as a different language of speaking to god.

It is listed in other Faith's holy texts. It is definitely true in Buddhism and Shinto. It's part of the 4 Noble Truths. These are open to interpretation, so this is my viewpoint

1. Suffering Exists - Human Nature is imperfect, as an extension of this so is the world because it is a human world. During your lifetime, you suffer pain, sickness, injury, tiredness, loss, old age and eventually death. This means that you are never able to keep permanently what you strive for. Happy moments pass by, and soon you will too.

2. Suffering arises from attachments to desires. It is the desire to have and control things, such as sexual desire. Attachments cause suffering as these things are transient and loss is inevitable. 

3. Suffering ceases when attachment to desires ceases. Yeah. This is Nirvana and where i have issues. It's the final liberation of suffering as your mind experiences complete freedom, liberation and non-attachment. 

4. Freedom is possible by following the 8th Path. In order to end suffering you need to subscribe to 8 "attitudes" 

Right View

Right Intention

Right Speech

Right Action

Right Livelihood

Right Effort

Right Mindfulness

Right Concentration

 

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On 2/1/2019 at 8:44 AM, Depressedgurl007 said:

I suppose the struggles that those with religion and those with faith are a bit different from those without. 

The difference maybe is our awareness. Or that we actually know the reason why we are here alive on this earth, and yet no matter how much we try, we cannot remove how much we hate this life of us. No matter how much we try, we still do not understand why is God making our lives so difficult. No matter how much we try, we still have days when we hate God for giving us this disease. 

The difference maybe is we do wake up Everyday feeling hopeless or angry but yet we still have to force ourselves to be thankful. Like how I wake up with so much hatred when i remember all the terrible things that happened the day before and the terrible things that are gonna happen in the day. We wake up forcing ourselves to give thanks for being alive, yet we get angry at God for giving us this life. 

The difference maybe is that we also hate ourselves, but we hate ourselves not because of our mistakes, but we hate ourselves coz we always forget that He is there. We always forget that He is powerful and He puts us here for a reason. We forget there’s a reason for everything that happens. We always forget that every struggle and every suffering we receive from God is good. We forget to be thankful for that silver lining. 

Frankly I don’t know what I’m doing here in this forum. I guess I need to let out my thoughts or just seeking ways to get out of this from people with similar thoughts 

Who is He?

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Thanks for all your replies.

Now that I think about it, “all suffering is good” is not really biblical. Like what @Haunted Rain said, it’s probably just my own way of philosophy I made up in the name of positivity and optimism. Because like @Ratvan said, it’s listed in other faith’s holy texts. Suffering is always there, problems are always there. “Dissatisfaction and unease are inherent in human nature and Buddha concludes they are necessary components to creating consistent happiness in humans.”

For me, I’m a Muslim. (I didn’t mention that earlier cos I don’t wanna bring up differences in our faith, I only wanna bring up similarities.) And I chose to see that all suffering is good cos it’s my way to think well of God. If He is powerful and have created everything, He has the power to give us good and protect us from evil. And if He loves us and if we ask from Him, He will give us good, even if it takes in the form of us having to endure pain. 

I asked for strength and God gave me difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for wisdom and God gave me problems to solve.
I asked for prosperity and God gave me brawn and brains to work.
I asked for courage and God gave me dangers to overcome.
I asked for patience and God placed me in situations where I was forced to wait.
I asked for love and God gave me troubled people to help.
I asked for favors and God gave me opportunities.
I received nothing I wanted, I received everything I needed.

Job’s suffering wasn’t for his benefit, but it was for the benefit of the future people to come to read and know of the strength of his faith in God. 

I suppose life after death is where our holy texts differ. I was taught this world is temporary and is a testing ground for us. Tests, trials and tribulations come in different forms, and He knows best the pain that we all need to grow. Yes, there are many who are suffering around us in this world, and the test is on those not suffering to help them out for all to come out of suffering. This is a broken world, after all. Suffering will always be there. Those who help others are those who will be given merit in their after life. It’s just something I was taught, not easy to understand I know.

@mmoose - I’m sorry I won’t be taking up your offer to challenge what I was taught. Yes my believes are my ideas and they can be changed when I learn something new, but so far, the things I’ve learnt in my religion have all been true. Our ideas are linked and they hold true as much as a person’s mind can accept it or feel it. I can see why people have certain ideas cos of the different experiences in their lives. Whether the ideas are really true or not, who knows till we die? Was science just a concept planted by the devil itself to lead us to hell? I don’t want to dwell on these issues. I was born in a very religious family and my faith can’t be shaken that far. But things like agriculture and geography and electronics and mental illness are not taught in detail in our holy texts, that’s why we need to learn them from others and that’s how we help each other to live another day in this world. 

@schizotype - I was reffering to God. I just use “He” cos I’m used to it, but I’ve learnt that God has no gender and so that’s not a relevant question to ask 🙂 

Thanks again for all your replies. Sorry turned out to be a Long post and sorry if it’s difficult to understand. Kinda cracked my head to reply to all cos it’s kinda deep. 

Edited by Depressedgurl007

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