Phoenix Rising: The Gift That Keeps on Giving All Year Long
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Religion?

Discussion in 'Spirituality and ME/CFS' started by OkRadLakPok, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. OkRadLakPok

    OkRadLakPok Senior Member

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    I am not hoping to open a can of worms and I don't know if we can talk about it, but I am just wondering if religion has helped anyone to feel like they can go on?

    I am not a theologian or anything, ,but I suffer a lot. I don't need to know peoples' specific religion, but just wondering if it helping anyone to go on for years in this kind of suffering? I would like to know. Of course, if this is not allowed, it can be deleted. Again, I am not asking specifics, just over all.
     
    AnnaDove likes this.
  2. digital dog

    digital dog Senior Member

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    It will help me to end my suffering when I choose as I believe we live on.
    It is very hard for me to continue in this life knowing that there is another infinitely better.
     
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  3. digital dog

    digital dog Senior Member

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    I do not believe in a God that punishes people for ending their lives.
     
  4. brenda

    brenda Senior Member

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    Yes I don't know how I could have coped without my absolute faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The pathway of suffering for the Christian is a very special path and there are many rewards. Not talking about the next life but this one. To have an encounter with God and know that He exists and to even have communication with Him is awesome.

    I was brought up without religion and was an atheist until the age of 23 when I had met Christians, I mean real ones for the first time, and knew they had something I did not have so I asked God to prove He was there one night (23rd September 1973 at 9 pm) and suddenly I had my answer.

    Since that day I could never doubt it. I have been outside the church mainly, as they are not good at providing access for the sick, so I have found my fellowship in the books from the past, of believers who suffered greatly in life but because of that got to know God in a very powerful real way. The Christian mystics have written some amazing stuff.

    I cannot even begin to tell how many times it has been proven to me over and over that He is looking after me some of them nobody but a believer would understand. He is my constant companion and I have peace and joy in the midst of suffering.
     
  5. tinacarroll27

    tinacarroll27 Senior Member

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    I feel that my Buddhist practice has helped me deal with this illness a lot.
    In Buddhism we believe in the Bodhisattva practice (which means helping others, having compassion for others and sharing in the suffering of others) and I do feel that through my own suffering I have learned to empathise with others more. If I had an easy life I might not be able to empathise as well (that doesn't mean I enjoy or want to suffer but It helps me to view suffering that way). I also feel the illness has brought benefits to my Buddhist practice through helping me give up attachments to out comes and be at peace with the situation as it is without judgement. I have also learned to appreciate myself as I am rather than desiring to be the person I was or comparing myself to others. I feel I have grown as a human been because of this illness and it has brought a new way for me to view my life (that does not mean I do not suffer but that I except suffering for what it is, an experience that all life goes through, but that we do not have to be defined by suffering). I admit it is not easy viewing it this way and there are times I just want to cry and scream and it can all get too much for me but my Buddhist practice has taught me that's is ok as well. It's all about appreciating yourself as you are, as well as appreciating other as they are.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016
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  6. shannah

    shannah Senior Member

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    @OkRadLakPok

    So well said @brenda

    I too came to Christ from an atheistic background. An encounter while in my 30's left me never the same again.

    I could never have survived this journey without His love and guidance. His mercies truly are new every morning and His blessings really can abound in the midst of this suffering.
     
  7. redrachel76

    redrachel76 Senior Member

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    My parents are completely non practicing non religious Jews. I should have become an atheist or agnostic, like my family.

    But I believe in G-d.
    Two things persuade me:
    1) The fact that I survived this. I think I should have died at age 19 like Sophia Mirza due to not being able to eat from this horrible illness and Dr Myhill's dangerous treatment. I have no idea why God made me survive. I haven't done anything special with my life.

    2) This sounds like a silly reason to believe in God, but one day, I was feeling well enough to go for a 5 minute walk. The neighbour's exceptionatly beautiful Persian cat was sitting outside. I realised that there is no way something so beautiful can exist without a God to create it. Many things in nature are beautiful but there is usually an evolutionary reason for it. But a cat is a useless thing really. :)

    Sometimes I get bothered by why bad things happen to good people. This illness being a prime example.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2016
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  8. Rvanson

    Rvanson Senior Member

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    I too believe in a Creator. I have a firm belief in an afterlife. I do not attend any church. No need to since God is everywhere. This existence didnt come from nowhere. Life and the universe are very intricate things, not accidents.

    BTW, cats are not useless. My two best pals are cats, not humans. They can be quite affectionate, but not like a dog.

    Without cats, rodents would multiply so widely that it would create pestilence everywhere, and cats of all types,
    are the most cunning and skilled hunters on the planet. They have a patience like no other animal I have ever seen when they are hunting prey, waiting for very long periods of time to pounce on their target.

    They were used by the Egyptians to keep mice and rats out of the graineries, else people would have gone hungry. In fact it was a serious crime to kill a cat, back then.
     
  9. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    We do have a rule and guidelines around posting about religion. It is not meant to discourage supporting each other but rather to prevent uncomfortable debates and proselytizing. I'll quote it here and then comment in terms of this thread:
    So, the question asked by OkRadLakPok is a genuine request for discussion on whether religion/spirituality has been supportive to you in living with this illness. Please keep your responses within the guidelines above. Posting about specific religious traditions may be offensive to those who don't share your beliefs. However, posting about the more general question of the role of religion and spirituality in supporting us, may be helpful to those who wish to consider it.
     
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  10. erin

    erin Senior Member

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    The day I stop believing to religion and the god was a relief, I felt better and I felt I was relieved. Everything made more sense to me. I was tired of living senseless. I could feel some sort of eternal energy and this making sense at the same time without the senseless religious rituals and rules. This was very nice, very freeing and necessary for me. This was before I had M.E. and I felt the same way after I was diagnosed. Keeps me going.
     
  11. ahmo

    ahmo Senior Member

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    I have a spiritual framework, one that had been core to my life pre-ME. I let go of it for some time. A couple years ago I fell into despair and looked around for ways to get beyond it. I found a number of helpful resources. I needed to build some sort of scaffolding to support me in the awfulness of this illness and the isolation it has brought. Eventually I found a source for unlimited audio discourses. This is now my bedtime listening, every day a reminder of how to escape misery, to be open to the sense of oneness with Existence. :love:

    Some sites I found in my search:

    http://thedailymeditation.com/meditaton-for-grief-how-to-overcome-grief/ 19”

    http://www.fragrantheart.com/cms/free-audio-meditations/healing/grief-and-loss 25”

    http://www.meditationoasis.com/podcast/listen-to-podcast/
    many meditations available, including below, 20” Grief meditation

    http://hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/f/e/1/fe1...49168616&hwt=f6aeeba2c86d5cd7362dce3fabe8391a 20” Grief meditation from the above, meditationoasis


    http://www.wisebrain.org/tools/articles/neurodharma

    http://tinybuddha.com/blog/3-reasons-to-stop-worrying-about-your-negative-thoughts/

    http://www.threeprinciplesmovies.com/

    http://www.tuberose.com/Conscious_Living_and_Dying.html

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/turning-straw-gold/201107/4-qualities-mind-alleviate-suffering
     
  12. redrachel76

    redrachel76 Senior Member

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    True, good points about the domestic cat.

    But look at this picture of a an "Asian Golden Cat" (middle of the article). That is a rare species less important to the ecosystem/world than the domestic cat. There is no evolutionary reason for it to be beautiful for humans to look at. I'm sure it could camouflage in an uglier way. I like the facial markings :)

    http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/02/the-weird-thing-about-cat-legs/459369/

    I suppose thinking there is a God helps me emotionally too, in the same way that thinking there is no God helps Erin.
     
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  13. GhostGum

    GhostGum Senior Member

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    I think beyond whether you believe in god or not, beyond the endless amounts of subjective ideas and silly rituals religion at its most basic human level can provide tremendous support, especially in a modern society which can appear quite disconnected and selfish at times. It is all going to depend though on how considerate the religion and those involved in it are, some can be quite sensible non assuming while others are way off the page.

    I am agnostic and have thought to join a Buddhist group for sometime, because I know they will not care what I actually believe in and that those involved will likely be decent positive understanding people, which is simply a good environment to be around. Basic connection with the right people can be enough to remind us about and trigger parts of ourselves we have lost, being in a place where you are open enough to appreciate it is another thing though, given how hindering ME can be.

    Like @ahmo as well, I use to be quite spiritual pre illness, became much more pragmatic and rational over the years disgarding it all because of subjectivity, only to find as my health has improved, my individual, emotional and instinctive states returning it all has come flooding back, because there is much to life and existing that is not rational, but about basic intent, individual perception and experience.
     
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  14. Valentijn

    Valentijn The Diabolic Logic

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    I've never been religious, and I don't have much of an active interest in spirituality either. I don't need meaning for why things happen, or a promise that it's for a good reason. Those platitudes don't offer me anything, whereas compassion and respect from other people means the world to me.

    I supposed I'd describe myself as an agnostic humanist. Contrary to the "selfish and immoral godless" narrative, most of us strongly value other human beings, and believe in doing good for its own sake. ME hasn't changed me religiously or spiritually, but I think ME has made me more understanding of other people, and more reflective of how I impact them.
     
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  15. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    For me the belief in God keeps me grounded and gives me hope to keep fighting this illness and keep going another day. My family is made up of many different religions and cultures and I am a mixture of all of them and see the similarities and good in all of them (as long as the religion is not used as an excuse to hurt others.)

    I am definitely more spiritual then religious and don't believe you have to belong to a specific congregation or be inside of a temple or church to worship or pray. I do have a prayer app on my phone recommended to me by a former member of PR and when I type in a prayer request or simply type "Thank You", I always get a response back and know that others are praying for me.

    I am on many Prayer lists from friends, family, my parents neighbors (and even from my husband's family in other countries who have never met me) and all of this brings me great comfort. I know it may sound silly to some but for me it is comforting and it is also equally rewarding when I am able to pray for others.

    I hope this answered the OP's question! I used to facilitate a prayer tree thread on PR and stopped it several months ago but could start it up again if people were interested and if the moderators are okay with it of course. It was for all faiths with no agenda and was a way to pray for anyone who added their name to the list as well as for those too ill to post on PR.
     
  16. Rvanson

    Rvanson Senior Member

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    There is a difference in a belief in God, and thinking about God. The latter tends to be in the agnostic camp, IMO.

    As for the Asian Golden Cat, not all creatures see colors the way we humans do, some only in black and white. Cats can see some color, but not all, but they can see six times or better in low light then a human can. Movement, smell, hearing are much more important to most predators to hunt game with.

    And make no mistake about it, humans are predatory carnivores in nature, but we lack the superior senses that most predators have and we have no claws, fangs, talons, horns or beaks, ect to kill game, so we invented weapons. We also are pretty easy to kill since we have no fur or thick hide for protection, but instead we have a superior mind that invented clothing and other such things for protection.

    Back to cats, I think many people do not like them because they do not supply instant gratification the way a dog does. And of course they are too small to act as a guard for
    your home. Then again, as I have always said, if house-cats were the size of a dog, there
    would be no dogs, Like that Golden Cat could do, or any large cat could do, they would be ripped to shreds. That and one never really owns a cat, They own you. Luv my cats:)
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016
  17. msf

    msf Senior Member

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    I think Hitchens said that he wouldn´t go around preaching his beliefs (or lack thereof) to people on their last legs, and hoped that religious people would afford him the same courtesy. I feel the same about preaching to people with chronic illnesses such as ME. Perhaps when we are all better (whether that is in this life or a theoretical ´next life´) we can have a no-holds barred discussion of religion and atheism (obviously it would be much simpler if it took place in a future life).
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016
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  18. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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    I'm an independent thinker and feel that religious thinking is like being controlled by a drug.
     
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  19. OkRadLakPok

    OkRadLakPok Senior Member

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    Thank you all for your very insightful responses!! I see that many of us were quite religious pre-illness. Me, too. I have been all over with religion, without it, exploring, etc........

    I must say Human Suffering really has a knack for making us see things and experience things. I do have a lot of compassion for people who suffer now, but you know? I don't even know what to say to them, especially if they are just starting out.

    I remember being turned inside out not once, not twice, not even three times.......no.....more times than I can even count. . I really wish I had a way to help other people who hurt, but I am sad to say that I actually feel like i am going to vomit when I see someone with that panic in suffering.......just starting........will it end? How long will this go on? When will it stop? Oh, I know that feeling!

    Today is a good day so I don't want to focus too much on that..........and I hope that we all have a good day today.

    So I get a lot of comfort here because you guys have been through it, too. And I will continue to try to connect the religion of my ancestors to give me comfort and maybe help another hurting soul some day. It makes me feel connected and safe and reminds me of the times I spent with my family, happy and secure. But I will stay away from people who judge, that is for sure. When you suffer, the judge-ers comes out of the woodwork for some reason!

    Thank you guys!
     
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  20. OkRadLakPok

    OkRadLakPok Senior Member

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    Rachel....I too could not eat when I was young. My illness kicked in at 14 and was widespread, only one aspect being food, but they dxed me with anorexia!! I did not even have it. Were you dxed w anorexia? It was a false DX. And the treatment almost killed me. It was filled with so many toxic elements that i literally could almost not even walk when I I discharged. Oh, what I went through with that!!! Plus they kept saying I was mentally ill and that I must have been abused, etc......very damaging to my family but we got through it together.
    I loved your story about the cat! I will remember that when I see a beautiful cat next time :)
     

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