Hey people of typology central. Listen, I’ve been having some serious issues with questioning my religion, contemplating moral values, and really wondering what happens when I die. I was really wondering if you could give me some advice. I was raised in an extremely conservative Christian household and seemed to have really (unknowingly) taken on many of my parents religious beliefs and moral values.
Now being a thinker, I don’t really listen to my parent’s religious babble much. However, apparently their religious babble has really gotten into my head over the past few years, and it’s really fucking me up mentally. For instance, I used to be in sales, and I used to have to constantly lie to people, and sometimes do less than honest things. Now to me, the lies I was telling weren’t wrong, but I certainly knew what “The Bible” would say about it. So then I would wonder things like, “Will God punish me for this?” Then, if so, how would he punish me? Then, I would contemplate all day how God would punish me for my “so called” sins. Many times I would actually wind up self-sabotaging myself mentally in a sales career I was naturally good at, because of misconstrued religious beliefs. Seriously, when I did things that I knew were Biblically wrong, I would often wind up selling way less than I would have normally. The reason being was that I would sit down and think to myself, “Well, I did this thing wrong, so maybe God will punish me this way, or this way, or maybe even this way.” Often times I would think that one of the ways that God would punish me is that he would cause me to sell less, and then I really would wind up selling less.
Quickly, I came to a realization that the reason that I wasn’t selling as much wasn’t because, “God” was punishing me, but instead because I was self-sabotaging myself into thinking that God was punishing me. At that point, I started drinking alcohol and doing drugs in order to stop my mind from thinking that God would punish me for things, and to just quiet my mind in general. Surprisingly, this idea worked pretty well, and I actually started to sell a lot more because the self-questioning would stop and I was much more confident in myself on drugs. Sadly I started to become quite the addict, but I eventually weaned myself off of the booze and the pills. However, once again the self-questioning and religious sabotaging thoughts came back and my sales sucked again. Finally, in order to just free my mind, I just became a full-out atheist for a while. I just thought, “If I can just give up religion, then I will feel like I have total control of my life. I will in essence, have an entirely external locus of control. Then, at that point I can actually do my job and the self-questioning will stop.” Well, then that helped for a while, and I was actually selling great without drugs.
However, then a new issue arrived and I started questioning if I had really made the right decision giving up my religion. I thought to myself, “Is this right? Is there really no God? Well, I had better be right because if I am wrong, I am going to go to hell.” Then, the concept of burning in hell terrified me, so I started to practice the religion again. But then later, I gave up the religion again, and was once again better. However, I then came to the realization that if there was no heaven and hell, that meant that I was just dead forever when I died, and that terrified me. So I then wondered if I should put a lot more effort into self-preservation, and preventing death in order to live the longest life possible. At this point I’m pretty much agnostic.
Listen members of typology central, I really have no idea what to do and no idea what to believe. I am frightened in every possible way, no matter which way I turn when it comes to religion. Has anyone else on this forum had trouble sorting out religious beliefs and if so, how did you sort them out?
You folks might want to check out this thread.