View Full Version : Thinking of Converting to a Religion to end Loneliness?


StoicNate
11-15-11, 10:14 PM
I'm an Atheist (always was one), but I'm very desperate to be accepted into a group and say "Yeah, I'm one of them!".

Religion seems to be a basic category that groups people into and there seems to be acceptance/mutual bond between people in a religious group.

I don't believe in any god/s or heaven/hell, but I can pretend enough to at least feel like I belong somewhere in life.
Yeah, I'm that desperate.

So I'd like ask people here if this is a good idea and I would like to get some advice.

Abi
11-15-11, 10:18 PM
You and I both know this is a bad idea.

Pretending to be something you are not; for the sake of acceptance?

Rather join the Atheists club.

Hmmmm.... there's an idea.

anonymouslyadd
11-15-11, 10:20 PM
I did that, and it never cured my constant lonliness. You might have a different experience than me.

StoicNate
11-15-11, 10:37 PM
I took 1 Sociology class and 3 Psychology classes and they keep bringing up that a Religion brings people together and I'm really hoping that happens IF I convert to a religion.

Abi
11-15-11, 10:44 PM
Religion brings people who actually share the beliefs and values of that religion together

Do you want to be a fake?

Suppose you make friends of your chosen religion --- would you want to spend your time with them being dishonest with them about your beliefs?

Would that be the right foundation for true friendship?

Unmanagable
11-15-11, 10:47 PM
I was raised in a baptist church and have struggled all of my life to "feel that feeling" or "hear that message" or however else people choose to describe their spiritual experiences. But nothing ever filled the void or made sense.

I tried to fake it in several different denominations of churches, but nothing ever "clicked" and I never genuinely felt like I fit in. I felt more like they were just trying to be nice.

Meditation has been the only thing to bring me the sense of peace I was seeking. It only took me 44 years to discover that. :)

RedHairedWitch
11-15-11, 11:20 PM
There's a book by a professor I know called "Loneliness and Revelation" (by Brendan Myers) it's about how feeling lonely is a natural part of life but how we can do hurtful things to ourselves and society to avoid it, how we seek deity etc for a sense of belonging and what if god (should he/it/she/they exist) is just a lonely as we are?

It's a very interesting read.

pechemignonne
11-15-11, 11:54 PM
Religion doesn't necessarily bring people together and help combat loneliness- community does.

It just so happens that people often organize communities around religions nowadays. We don't tend to have as strong communities in the sense of villages and neighborhoods. We go to churches, mosques and synagogues.

So people who don't have religions have less of an easy time finding communities.

I suggest you find yourself a community, Nate, that you authentically identify with. It can be organised around an activity (LARPers have community), or ideology (TeaPartiers arguably have community), or any other interest (Industrial Punk music?).

There are a lot of religious organizations that prey on people who feel lonely and are looking for a community. They will target people like this and lavish attention and affection on them. It is called "love-bombing (http://www.rationalrevelation.com/tr/lovebomb.html)". It is a technique used to convert people, and it uses people's loneliness and their desire for connection to make them join a group they might not otherwise be interested in. It can make a skeptic into a believer, because they will *want* to believe. Be very wary.

KronarTheBlack
11-16-11, 12:03 AM
Join a group that interests you. I do amateur bodybuilding so I can meet like minded people in every country that I visit let alone having enough friends because I have a hobby that is obvious to anyone and other people that share that hobby with me.

If you like online video games start playing MMORPG's and join a guild. Just pick something that YOU like and then find clubs that do that thing or even start one by advertising in local papers and online.

So what are your top 3 favourite things to do that you could do with other people? Start from there.

ginniebean
11-16-11, 12:03 AM
Nate,

In order for any sense of community to be effective there do need to be shared ideals.

I don't happen to think this is a good idea.

There are clubs where you go to school, get a list, go to what interests you. Community you have something in common with.

That's what makes it.

Rebelyell
11-16-11, 12:30 AM
Have you ever thought of joining a mt bike club or surf club etc?I thought these were some of the things you likes or talked about doing here.Even if you dont join a club ,just to per se ride w a bunch of guys girls even if its random meetings and you only see them 1 or 2 can be really really liberating and make you feel like you belong and are a part of something.Almost just like coming here and sharing your feelings and ideas/ideals.

Unmanagable
11-16-11, 02:21 AM
I attended our local "Occupy" event last week, having no clue what to expect, and feeling pretty anxious and intimidated at first. But, wow! It was such a diverse group of folks, all with ideas, skills, questions, just there to learn, many opportunities to participate, but no pressure to do so.

Those who chose to stand to the side and observe were respectfully left alone. Those who wished to plan, share resources, share stories, etc. took the lead.

We split into smaller workgroups focusing on educational event planning for the community and I don't remember what the other group discussed but I think it may have been policy/banking related.

I didn't say much, I just took it all in and offered a few resources that I thought would be helpful. I'm beginning to feel more passionate about it now that I've met more folks, learned more, and wanting to make a change somehow, someway.

But anyway.....it would be entertaining for you for a little while if nothing else. :) Just don't stand close to the ones that tend to p*** the cops off. :O

What is it that makes you feel alive inside when you think of doing it that would be accessible to you?

Do you have a local parks and rec dept? Ours have been doing really cool classes lately that involve learning how to make a pot using a pottery wheel, drumming, Native American flute playing, stained glass, cooking classes, healing energy classes, tai chi, yoga, dance, how to plant a garden..................all kinds of cool stuff for pretty reasonable fees.

Hope you find something you really enjoy and that excites you!!! :D

stef
11-16-11, 08:02 AM
Don't do it! Unless of course you are genuinely interested in joining a faith.

As everyone already said, try a club or activity with people who have similar interests.

I get this real sense of "community" from our band (even though sometimes I still feel like I don't fit in).

salleh
11-16-11, 10:18 AM
Oh Nate ......it hurts to see you struggling so hard to find yourself......but unless you feel like ytou need to seek a god out, don't go there......

and others here have just told you some good ideas and I must add to their voices ......think seriously of what interests you and follow that .....


and the "Occupy" movement is a wonderful idea ......but don't get me started on big companies and what they are doing to this country........


.....I paid some serious dues back in the Viet Nam war era ......and there is a huge community feeling in a political movement ......but there it was a generational thing.......if you were part of our generation you were in......just by virture of how old you were......


....but you are part of the 99%, just like all of us I venture to say .....so you ARE part of that group ......of course you live in Orange County, one of the most hyper-conservative counties in the country ( I know that because I lived there for the years out of high school, although down at the beach ....yah ....but in 68 to 71 ......it was very pro-gov't and we weren't )


but I digress.......find where your heart is and go there.......

Luvmybully
11-16-11, 12:12 PM
Nate my son tried this. The problem is most of the people go to church because they feel obligated to honor their religion, and the companionship part of it is secondary.

There are some serios cliques in churches, and narrow minded hypocritcal people. Just like everywhere else. So if you are trying to avoid groups where you will be subjected to that, church is the last place to go.

They will be SO NICE and welcoming at first, then you will gradually see the segregation.

I totally agree that a group that has similar interest to you will be far more likely to foster a genuine friendship.

JCJ79
11-16-11, 01:03 PM
Look into Bhuddism. Its basically non-theistic so its less of a religion than others but they do believe in mystical stories such as re-incarnation and all that. The really cool thing about bhuddism is you work on meditation and being mindfull... both of which can help your mental state more than you might realize.

StoicNate
11-16-11, 10:21 PM
I want to experience something new with people. I want to learn how to be in real friendships and belong in a group and do things together. I want that so much.
I'm so tired and depressed from being alone everyday...If I am this lonely in life the whole time, then I don't want to live anymore.

I will try to find a group/club of some sort in my area that can help me.

RedHairedWitch
11-16-11, 10:45 PM
*HUGS Nate*

You have friends and people who care about you here. If you ever wind up in Ottawa, I will take you out for a nice dinner and show you the sites.

StoicNate
11-16-11, 11:32 PM
*HUGS Nate*

You have friends and people who care about you here. If you ever wind up in Ottawa, I will take you out for a nice dinner and show you the sites.

Awww..that's so nice of you. Thanks :)

Spacemaster
11-16-11, 11:41 PM
Agree with most everyone here. If you don't believe, you'll end up feeling just as empty, maybe more so than before. When I used to do the church thing, I found that many times I felt just as left out as any other social situation.

Ever thought about volunteer work or community service? Maybe help out in a soup kitchen, or shelter where many individuals that use these services feel very alone and unaccepted.

You might try join some kind of activist group, where you meet new people and make a difference in the world. Much better than to fill your head up and confuse it with empty nonsense that you don't believe in anyway.

pooka
11-17-11, 12:39 AM
Hey, you do belong to a group: you're one of us! :)

I agree with Spacemaster about the community service thing, I work at a food bank on some weekends and I've met tons of interesting people.

Unmanagable
11-17-11, 05:26 AM
You could try a local nursing home. Call ahead and ask to talk with their volunteer coordinator and explain to her that you'd like to visit and keep residents company and brighten a day or two.

The staff can tell you a little bit about each patient, their personality, etc. so you wouldn't be going in totally blind. When you meet the patient, just start a conversation and maybe ask things like where they grew up, what was their favorite subject in school, what did they do for a living, what's their favorite book/song/bird/christmas carol/drink/ice cream, did they have pets, etc.

You can just go be a buddy to someone and talk, work on puzzles, they LOVE bingo, they love old gospel hyms, maybe show old school movies like westerns, play chess or checkers, read to someone from a magazine, book, the bible, etc. who can no longer see, take a pet to visit, etc. I used to take my students there and it was so amazing to watch them bond and feel the love. It's spiritual in itself.

I've also taken documentaries like "Playing for Change, Peace Through Music" to the local homeless shelter, along with popcorn, hot chocolate, and cookies. They get a stress-free night with something warm, something sweet, some company to vent to, talk to, laugh with, and be loved by. It's an amazing feeling. Come to VA and we can go on a volunteer tour, Nate!!! :D

If you'd rather not have to deal with a bunch of people, you could volunteer to help with animal shelters by walking the dogs, or offer to volunteer to help with computer stuff, or something you'd be intersted in. :)

StoicNate
11-17-11, 10:25 PM
I'm starting to get curious about religions, even though I don't believe in it. Lol.
Well maybe for now I'll be exploring religions for fun. Maybe I'll meet people like me.

mctavish23
11-17-11, 10:53 PM
Okay,

So like back in college in the early 70's, I thought

it might be cool to become a Rastafarian.

I mean think about it, Red Stripe,spleefers,cool

hats,dreads,and of course the musc.

All I had to do was chill on the beach and wait for

Haile Selassie to come back from the dead and go

to Jamaica.

How hard could that be?

Unfortunately, I didn't have the hair for it.

Oh well.

Good luck.

tc

Robert

Rebelyell
11-17-11, 11:22 PM
You need to go get your motorcycle license,go out and get a used dual sport xt 225-drz 400 cc and go get the hell out of mom n dads lair and hair and go explore or vice versa rather.They cant harass what they cant see when you is in the trails roosting and ripping it up.

Redrightnow
11-18-11, 11:05 AM
I've tried this, Nate-- with the added bonus that I feel such pressure to give my kids some kind of "foundation". We don't have a large, close family-- aren't connected to our community and have no religious affiliation. So, my kids are doomed.

Someone suggested the Unitarian Universalist Church and I looked one up. They have no doctrine-- alternate the weekly spiritual focus from all spiritual walks-- Christianity, Buddhism, native American, etc. They are inclusive and do a lot of community activities and social justice. But it looks (from the photos) like any other kind of church and group of people. (I knew I wouldn't be able to get my husband to anything too far off the norm.)

But, that was 3 months ago and I still haven't gone. I think I belong to the church of sleeping in on Sunday mornings and eating pancakes. We have a membership of 4 and you are welcome any time. :p

Not a bad idea at all to put yourself on a path to exploring an interest in religions and go check out some different ones. Meanwhile, though, I did join a photography club from meetup. Have you looked there?

JCJ79
11-18-11, 11:15 AM
You should go to every type of church for every type of religion you can find... just once or twice each and write about the vibe and people there. That would be interesting and I bet you would learn a lot and meet many new people.

buddy
11-18-11, 07:23 PM
Nate,I know you've said that you like animals.What about volunteering at a animal shelter?They are always looking for people who will walk the dogs & play with the cats.
Dealing with animals is very rewarding & they can make you feel better about yourself.
(((HUGS)))

Rebelyell
11-18-11, 07:51 PM
Let me introduce you to the religion of motorcycles ma son:D I rather deal w animals,funny how humans act like total animals but animals are almost humane,its funny how that works in life.

StoicNate
11-18-11, 09:07 PM
Let me introduce you to the religion of motorcycles ma son:D I rather deal w animals,funny how humans act like total animals but animals are almost humane,its funny how that works in life.

It would be awesome to ride motorcycles (don't have one), but I just got done finishing repairing my car (80% got replaced/repaired) and don't have any left over money to buy anything...well until I get a job...some day.

I do volunteer at a non-kill Animal Shelter. Mostly older people (women) volunteer there, like in their 40's and older.
So I don't really talk much to them, but the cats there all like me :D lol

Well, I might try to get in touch with my former friends and hope they don't backstab me again...

I really want to get out there and belong to something. I will try to. That's my only goal for now in life.

Rebelyell
11-18-11, 09:21 PM
Haha ya ***** magnet you:D I dont know cats arent really attracted to me,they seem very skittish and go the other way almost like my luck w women.

Unmanagable
11-19-11, 01:15 AM
Hi Nate! It's me again. :D Thank you so much for volunteering at the no kill shelter. They are so understaffed and so overrun with rescues. Every volunteer is a HUGE asset. You rock! :)

If you've never tried a drum circle, you should check one out if you have a chance. :D

You don't have to know what you're doing, you don't have to own a drum, you get to beat on stuff, shake the crap out of stuff, make a lot of d*** noise, and realize that you sound pretty darn good after all. lol

Then you really start finding and feelin' your rhythm, start jammin' like a mofo and it all just clicks. You feel like you were born to do it. :)

Proven side effects include: repeatedly laughing your a** off, feeling great whether you want to or not, getting to know really cool folks, and making beautiful music with perfect strangers. :D

(I'm thinking I need to get into marketing somehow.....hmmmmm)
If you've never tried a drum circle, you should check one out if you have a chance. :D


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyaiVvzc4t4&feature=related

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyaiVvzc4t4&feature=related)

StoicNate
11-19-11, 01:53 AM
I used to go to a drum circle every weekend when I was younger. ahhh Venice. I loved it so much.
It's so far away from me though. I have to see if there's drum circles near me.
I have Bongos. :cool: