Feel Injured->Desire Vengeance->Soothe

This is for encouragement, ideas, and support for people going through a faith transition no matter where you hope to end up. This is also the place to laugh, cry, and love together.
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Linked
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Feel Injured->Desire Vengeance->Soothe

Post by Linked » Thu Jul 28, 2022 7:14 pm

I was thinking about vengeance today* and it sparked some thoughts on something that has been a big part of the wedge between me and my TBMs.

There seems to be a common cycle when a person feels hurt by someone else. The hurt person feels injured which makes them angry, and to naturally want some sort of vengeance. In many cases they never get vengeance, but they may get over the event by going to a friend for soothing. Something like:

A guy in a BMW cuts you off while you are driving. You slam on your brakes and barely avoid hitting them, and the car behind you slams on their brakes and throws their hands in the air and mouths choice words at you. You think the guy in the BMW is the problem with the world and you hope that he gets pulled over with a massive ticket. He doesn't, and you're still angry when you get home. You tell your spouse about this jerk. Your spouse says "What a jerk! BMW drivers are the worst. It seems like half of them don't even have turn signals!" You calm down and move on with your life.

This is a case when the person who injures you is a stranger. If it's someone you know personally the soothing may come from a sincere apology. Or by ostracizing that person from your life, making them a stranger, and going to a friend to get some validation.

-------------------------------------------------

During and after my faith transition I have felt significantly injured by my exposure to the LDS church. My self was taken from me. I was lied to and was compelled to lie to others. They took my money. They took 2 years of my life. They caused me to think there was only one path in life. They figuratively welded rose colored glasses to my face with a fake narrative. It was spiritual violence.

I am angry that this happened to me. I am angry that this is allowed in our supposedly enlightened society. I want my money back. I want my future back. I want myself back. I want vengeance.

But the TBMs in my life are both blinded fellow victims as well as complicit in the spiritual violence and would like it to continue for you and themselves. Who holds more blame in my indoctrination than my parents? How could I possibly find soothing from them about the spiritual violence done when they were the ones who did it to me? And for TBMs still supporting the church with every fiber of their being there is no true sympathy.

The injury can never heal because it is always being reopened.

-------------

*The Freakonomics Podcast episode this week on philosophy with Scott Hershovitz talked about former presidential candidate Mike Dukakis' response to a question about the death penalty. Dukakis was against the death penalty and was asked if he would want the death penalty if his wife was brutally raped and murdered. He calmly stated that he is against the death penalty and left it at that. Hershovitz suggested that the answer lacked a needed emotional component, something along the lines of "I would be devastated if that happened to my wife, and would naturally be very angry with the person who did it. I would want vengeance for what they did. But the state is not there for vengeance, rather to mete out fair punishment."
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

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Re: Feel Injured->Desire Vengeance->Soothe

Post by Angel » Thu Jul 28, 2022 7:25 pm

Linked wrote:
Thu Jul 28, 2022 7:14 pm

-------------------------------------------------

During and after my faith transition I have felt significantly injured by my exposure to the LDS church. My self was taken from me. I was lied to and was compelled to lie to others. They took my money. They took 2 years of my life. They caused me to think there was only one path in life. They figuratively welded rose colored glasses to my face with a fake narrative. It was spiritual violence.

I am angry that this happened to me. I am angry that this is allowed in our supposedly enlightened society. I want my money back. I want my future back. I want myself back. I want vengeance.



-------------

It f###ing sucks linked, thank god for everyone else who has gone through this s## too. Don't let it take your future, find yourself. It's wisdom, we can all look at all the crazy human herds out there,can understand all of them better now.

Live your best life - the best way for revenge is to show others a better way of life. Smile. Find a happy place and all that.
“You have learned something...That always feels at first as if you have lost something.” George Bernard Shaw
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

stuck
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Re: Feel Injured->Desire Vengeance->Soothe

Post by stuck » Fri Jul 29, 2022 12:43 pm

Yes it does seem like if you have been born in the church, your family and the church sort of take away our agency. We are not free to explore things and develop our own opinion about things because we are in the church and we must always think about what is most important through the lens of the church. And they have taken our money. Some leaders really believe in the church. But there are probably some at the top who do know about a lot of the issues that have caused us to no longer believe and they don't seem to be doing much about it.

We have all taken the first step of discovering the truth about the church and that is great. However, our tbm friends and family don't really respect our boundaries of what we believe. And so some of our spouses continue to expect us to follow the ways of the church even though it is hurtful and seems pointless to us.

I guess that's why it's great when the other spouse comes to see things as we do. But for some of us, it seems like that may never happen and we have to make the best of things for the benefit of our kids etc. Sometimes we have to give in a little and go along to get along, but I think it's also important to take a stand for the truth. How to do that is a good question. I think you have done a better job at this than myself Linked.

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Re: Feel Injured->Desire Vengeance->Soothe

Post by Mackman » Fri Jul 29, 2022 4:17 pm

Yeah it's a tough balancing act, I used to be where you are now about 4 years ago. It gets better with time and you discover ways to make it work for you. I now go to church with my tbm wife and internally laugh at the silly stuff these people fret about thinking to my self poor fools !!!!! If God is watching he must also laugh at them how they try and manipulate the gospel. God bless you.

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Re: Feel Injured->Desire Vengeance->Soothe

Post by blazerb » Sat Jul 30, 2022 8:27 am

Angel wrote:
Thu Jul 28, 2022 7:25 pm
It f###ing sucks linked, thank god for everyone else who has gone through this s## too. Don't let it take your future, find yourself. It's wisdom, we can all look at all the crazy human herds out there,can understand all of them better now.

Live your best life - the best way for revenge is to show others a better way of life. Smile. Find a happy place and all that.
I like what you say. Intellectually, I know it's the best way forward. More often than not, though, my anger comes through. Counseling helps, but I just hope that time will close the open wounds. I'm not even hoping for the scars to heal, honestly.

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Re: Feel Injured->Desire Vengeance->Soothe

Post by Linked » Sat Jul 30, 2022 9:44 am

Angel wrote:
Thu Jul 28, 2022 7:25 pm
It f###ing sucks linked, thank god for everyone else who has gone through this s## too. Don't let it take your future, find yourself. It's wisdom, we can all look at all the crazy human herds out there,can understand all of them better now.

Live your best life - the best way for revenge is to show others a better way of life. Smile. Find a happy place and all that.
Thanks Angel, having people like you with real understanding and support is the way.

In this case I'm not actually feeling vengeful right now, I was just thinking about it. I worded it badly, per usual, but my thought was that wanting vengeance for a perceived injury is normal and ok. Wanting vengeance is a step people go through when they are hurt. The goal, like you point out, is to get through it without doing anything too stupid, be happy, and not have an entity in your life that you know hurts you.

If someone you know hurt you then a sincere apology and changed behavior can go a long way to working through the pain, assuming it's not too traumatic. If it is too traumatic or they won't apologize and stop hurting you then you can never feel safe around them again, and may need distance to feel safe. You may also need support from loved ones who validate your experience and help you feel safe again so you can move on.

With my church trauma, albeit relatively minor compared to some trauma, I need an apology, distance, and validation in order to move on. From the church I will never get an apology or changed behavior. From the TBMS in my life I feel gaslighting, judgement, pressure to forgive/trust/attend/love the machine that spiritually abused me. Even if they don't actively push, their mere continued attendance shows that they are on the side of the machine that hurt me and that they cannot be trusted. If they truly believe, which they seem to, then they cannot provide the validation that I need. So I am stuck, unable to get what I need to move on.

I don't say this to judge my TBMs, more to highlight the impossibility of feeling truly close with them and how that makes it difficult for me to get past my hurt. They are doing what they sincerely feel is right. They have every right to go to church, and serve in church, and love their prophet. Just like I have every right not to. But that means that I feel anxiety when I am with them and cannot find my happy place around them. And I'm always around them.

One interesting component is that a TBM is not a real thing. It's a stereotype, and each individual has different capacity to sympathize and compartmentalize in a way that they might be active believing mormons, but also be able to truly sympathize. It can be hard to accept those people because if they are sympathizing then it feels like they could not be active believing mormons too. But they might be completely sincere, but still not someone who can provide the needed validation.
Last edited by Linked on Sat Jul 30, 2022 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

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Re: Feel Injured->Desire Vengeance->Soothe

Post by Linked » Sat Jul 30, 2022 9:57 am

stuck wrote:
Fri Jul 29, 2022 12:43 pm
Yes it does seem like if you have been born in the church, your family and the church sort of take away our agency. We are not free to explore things and develop our own opinion about things because we are in the church and we must always think about what is most important through the lens of the church. And they have taken our money. Some leaders really believe in the church. But there are probably some at the top who do know about a lot of the issues that have caused us to no longer believe and they don't seem to be doing much about it.

We have all taken the first step of discovering the truth about the church and that is great. However, our tbm friends and family don't really respect our boundaries of what we believe. And so some of our spouses continue to expect us to follow the ways of the church even though it is hurtful and seems pointless to us.

I guess that's why it's great when the other spouse comes to see things as we do. But for some of us, it seems like that may never happen and we have to make the best of things for the benefit of our kids etc. Sometimes we have to give in a little and go along to get along, but I think it's also important to take a stand for the truth. How to do that is a good question. I think you have done a better job at this than myself Linked.
Good points. When a spouse demands that you attend church it's not only the church that you feel hurt by, but also your spouse for forcing you to go. It's like if there is a fire and someone holds your hand over it, both the fire and the person holding your hand cause the burn. But they feel like you are injuring them by not going, so it's complicated. Your hands are tied together and there is fire on both sides. I'm fortunate that my DW has been understanding enough to have our hands in the middle.

With that metaphor it's interesting to consider how we got there at all. We were nowhere near the fire until I had a faith transition. But the fire only exists because the church claims to be true but is not. So in one sense I could be blamed for the burns, but in reality it is caused by generational indoctrination in the false claims of the church. Oh well.
it's great when the other spouse comes to see things as we do
I'm hesitant to get my hopes up too much here. Even if the other spouse gets to a place where they no longer believe they may not see things the way I do. But at least the current wedge issue would be resolved. (How's it going RR? ;) )
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

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Re: Feel Injured->Desire Vengeance->Soothe

Post by Angel » Sat Jul 30, 2022 4:49 pm

blazerb wrote:
Sat Jul 30, 2022 8:27 am
Angel wrote:
Thu Jul 28, 2022 7:25 pm
It f###ing sucks linked, thank god for everyone else who has gone through this s## too. Don't let it take your future, find yourself. It's wisdom, we can all look at all the crazy human herds out there,can understand all of them better now.

Live your best life - the best way for revenge is to show others a better way of life. Smile. Find a happy place and all that.
I like what you say. Intellectually, I know it's the best way forward. More often than not, though, my anger comes through. Counseling helps, but I just hope that time will close the open wounds. I'm not even hoping for the scars to heal, honestly.
Something that really helped me with anger is a Taoist story about a guy happily boating in a river, when another boat slams into him. Initially he's angry at the other boat - but then realizes the boat is empty - there was nothing to be angry at. If you google "empty boat anger story" there are quite a few versions and discussions on it. In short, you can train yourself to see what you were angry at as just an empty boat.

There are a few Tao / Zen books I carry around and read to re-center when needed.
“You have learned something...That always feels at first as if you have lost something.” George Bernard Shaw
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Re: Feel Injured->Desire Vengeance->Soothe

Post by Angel » Sat Jul 30, 2022 4:57 pm

Linked wrote:
Sat Jul 30, 2022 9:44 am
Angel wrote:
Thu Jul 28, 2022 7:25 pm
It f###ing sucks linked, thank god for everyone else who has gone through this s## too. Don't let it take your future, find yourself. It's wisdom, we can all look at all the crazy human herds out there,can understand all of them better now.

Live your best life - the best way for revenge is to show others a better way of life. Smile. Find a happy place and all that.
Thanks Angel, having people like you with real understanding and support is the way.

In this case I'm not actually feeling vengeful right now, I was just thinking about it. I worded it badly, per usual, but my thought was that wanting vengeance for a perceived injury is normal and ok. Wanting vengeance is a step people go through when they are hurt. The goal, like you point out, is to get through it without doing anything too stupid, be happy, and not have an entity in your life that you know hurts you.

If someone you know hurt you then a sincere apology and changed behavior can go a long way to working through the pain, assuming it's not too traumatic. If it is too traumatic or they won't apologize and stop hurting you then you can never feel safe around them again, and may need distance to feel safe. You may also need support from loved ones who validate your experience and help you feel safe again so you can move on.

With my church trauma, albeit relatively minor compared to some trauma, I need an apology, distance, and validation in order to move on. From the church I will never get an apology or changed behavior. From the TBMS in my life I feel gaslighting, judgement, pressure to forgive/trust/attend/love the machine that spiritually abused me. Even if they don't actively push, their mere continued attendance shows that they are on the side of the machine that hurt me and that they cannot be trusted. If they truly believe, which they seem to, then they cannot provide the validation that I need. So I am stuck, unable to get what I need to move on.

I don't say this to judge my TBMs, more to highlight the impossibility of feeling truly close with them and how that makes it difficult for me to get past my hurt. They are doing what they sincerely feel is right. They have every right to go to church, and serve in church, and love their prophet. Just like I have every right not to. But that means that I feel anxiety when I am with them and cannot find my happy place around them. And I'm always around them.

One interesting component is that a TBM is not a real thing. It's a stereotype, and each individual has different capacity to sympathize and compartmentalize in a way that they might be active believing mormons, but also be able to truly sympathize. It can be hard to accept those people because if they are sympathizing then it feels like they could not be active believing mormons too. But they might be completely sincere, but still not someone who can provide the needed validation.
I had to get through quite a bit of pain - left after my kids, and others were molested by a bishopric member /uncle who is now in jail - without parole- for the rest of his life. When that family is over, it's not just religious beliefs - they still support him, visit him in jail etc. It's all mental insanity.

From being in the church - to out - I know the tricks our mind can play on us, don't always trust my own mind anymore, and so sympathize with others whose minds are in a different place than mine. Because of the severity - they let us set boundaries, have respected those boundaries. I have a little conversation starter game I carry around, if conversation needs to change direction, I pull a card out of my deck.

One thing - learn to be independent, something not taught in the church. When you are perfectly content to be on your own, no need for approval, no need to fit in - independence is freedom of mind.
“You have learned something...That always feels at first as if you have lost something.” George Bernard Shaw
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Re: Feel Injured->Desire Vengeance->Soothe

Post by Hagoth » Sun Jul 31, 2022 6:06 am

I agree with Angel. The best vengeance is to let them see that your life goes on and you can be even happier and more fulfilled - and even more spiritual - without the church, when you learn to do, think, and feel the things that define you, not them. And it's ok to be pissed too. When we free ourselves from religious bondage we gain the privilege of having our own thoughts and emotions, instead of just being a mirror of someone else's. The best life is one that doesn't even exist in the realm of emotions like vengeance; its just personal progress and fulfilment. The vengeance takes care of itself. The people stuck in the revolving door have to try to make sense of the fact that people can be healthier without the church.

I have found new friends and that has really been useful. I allowed myself to pursue interests and experiences that weren't options in the church. It made me happier and more complete. I think people can see that, but my biggest achievement is not caring if they do. Most importantly, Mrs. Hagoth can see that. She loves me more than she loves Russell M. Nelson and not only wants me to be happy, but cannot deny that I am a happier, healthier, more complete person.

When I start feeling angry about the wasted time, money, and brain cells from my mental incarceration I try to turn that remembering that only by having been on the inside can you appreciate the value of being outside. That before/after perspective is a big part of who you and I are. It is our story, it makes us different from people who haven't had that amazing waking up experience.

But really, that's what so many people are looking for. I think that's one reason there are so many conspiracy theories. People revel in the sense that they were once part of the hypnotized crowd and have woken up. So much so that if they don't have a genuine experience they will invent wild realities to make that possible. Well, for us, it happened for real. We can revel in the fact that we had the courage to reexamine the things that we thought were the most important in our lives, stare them down, and take the plunge into the Unknown.

When I feel sad that I had so much of my life taken (I was in my late 50s) I turn that into gratitude that The Cosmos gave me a do-over.

Be the Whole, not the Ass.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Re: Feel Injured->Desire Vengeance->Soothe

Post by jfro18 » Sun Jul 31, 2022 8:30 am

This is a great thread and one that i think everyone experiences to a very large degree because when we leave there are always family/friends/community that will blame us for leaving.

Linked's example is also a great one because for me I feel like I was cut off by the church and thus slammed my brakes which then caused problems with my wife who blames me and refuses to even look at the car ahead of me.

But Angel and Hagoth are also right - living well is the best revenge. Sometimes we just have to do what we do and stop worrying so much although I admit that is extremely difficult to do when we're surrounded by people who are looking at us differently.

Anyway... it's a great thread and a good reminder of why this board has been so helpful to me over the last ~4 years because when I do get pissed I can come here and vent and it's so much more constructive than arguing with people we know in real life or going to other places that just fuel the anger more like exmo reddit. Don't get me wrong - exmo reddit has value but can really be unhealthy sometimes as well.

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Re: Feel Injured->Desire Vengeance->Soothe

Post by Linked » Sun Jul 31, 2022 11:35 am

I also agree with Angel and Hagoth that living with a chronic desire for vengeance is a terrible place to be for lots of reasons.

My first point is that a temporary desire for vengeance toward someone who injured you is natural and human, and we regularly go through that reaction/emotion/pre-rational response and have ways to move on; not having that reaction at all makes one seem robotic and inhuman like Mike Dukakis did. Hagoth and Angel you have listed some strategies for moving on.

My second point is that the TBMs in our lives can make it very difficult to use those ways to move on by siding with the one who injured you among other things. Angel and Hagoth, you have both provided great recommendations for dealing with that, and Hagoth it sounds like your DW is awesome and doesn't make you feel like she sides with the church over you.

I don't feel like my TBMs side with me over the church. They tolerate me and give me these dead smiles until I shut up. It makes me feel anxious around them. That constant church-related anxiety makes moving on difficult. There are very few people inside my real boundary. Some of my favorite people aren't safe to have there, and it's hard to find new favorite people as an adult approaching middle age.

To fully heal/move on I need distance, but I can't get it.

Anyway, this seems to be a pity party. But my initial post was meant more as an interesting view of the predicament of those who leave with family and friends who stay. I think that the reality of the situation is pretty bleak, but it's important to stare it in the face to find the best solutions.
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

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Re: Feel Injured->Desire Vengeance->Soothe

Post by Red Ryder » Sun Jul 31, 2022 11:45 am

Linked wrote:
Sat Jul 30, 2022 9:57 am
Good points. When a spouse demands that you attend church it's not only the church that you feel hurt by, but also your spouse for forcing you to go. It's like if there is a fire and someone holds your hand over it, both the fire and the person holding your hand cause the burn. But they feel like you are injuring them by not going, so it's complicated. Your hands are tied together and there is fire on both sides. I'm fortunate that my DW has been understanding enough to have our hands in the middle.

With that metaphor it's interesting to consider how we got there at all. We were nowhere near the fire until I had a faith transition. But the fire only exists because the church claims to be true but is not. So in one sense I could be blamed for the burns, but in reality it is caused by generational indoctrination in the false claims of the church. Oh well.
it's great when the other spouse comes to see things as we do
I'm hesitant to get my hopes up too much here. Even if the other spouse gets to a place where they no longer believe they may not see things the way I do. But at least the current wedge issue would be resolved. (How's it going RR? ;) )
I patiently waited 17 years! What I had to learn for myself during this time is that my happiness was always independent on the outcome. I knew that if my wife chose to stay in the church it didn’t affect my happiness. Therefore I had to grow up and mature in my thinking. Yes, it sucked to tag along and it sucked to use lame coping mechanisms but the reality is my happiness couldn’t hang on some fantasy outcome I held in my head.

Two things we will never get from our TBM relationships.

1. Validation
2. Understanding

So to cope with these relationship gaps you have to:

3. Not give a f*ck what anyone else thinks.
4. Give yourself permission to move forward.
5. Become your best self so that your relationships are built on anything and everything OTHER than the church.
6. Be honest with yourself. Self realization promotes healthy mental growth it takes a ton of energy to work through.
7. Self care: diet and exercise are invaluable. Find your routine.
8. Invoke the right to change your mind on anything.
9. Endless learning will fill your sole, find your interest.
10. You will find your happy place but it will take time.

Now that the wife and I are starting to see things the same in regards to church, it’s still on o going journey. It’s been exhilarating, exhausting, and awesome all at the same time!

Great comments Angel!
Great post Link!
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Re: Feel Injured->Desire Vengeance->Soothe

Post by Hagoth » Mon Aug 01, 2022 5:15 am

Linked wrote:
Sun Jul 31, 2022 11:35 am
I don't feel like my TBMs side with me over the church...It makes me feel anxious around them. That constant church-related anxiety makes moving on difficult. There are very few people inside my real boundary. Some of my favorite people aren't safe to have there, and it's hard to find new favorite people as an adult approaching middle age.

To fully heal/move on I need distance, but I can't get it.
It's bad enough to be stuck in the revolving door, but even worse to be trying to get out while your are handcuffed to people who are devotedly going around and around.

I apologize if I was being too dismissive, Linked. It's easy for someone like me to talk about moving on and healing, but all of us who say things like that have also been where you are. Some were able to work through it quickly, some not so much. It's a tough place to be. I was in a pretty dark place for years. But there is sunshine, and you have to find peace within to generate stronger defensive shields. A big turning point for me was when I became less interested in discovering all of the things wrong with the church and started looking for new ways to discover personal spirituality without any kind of church. Meditation helped a lot. Reading alternative points of view and studying non-Christian religion helped too. My deconstruction of Mormonism helped me wade though the BS and find some of the gems.
Linked wrote:
Sun Jul 31, 2022 11:35 am
They tolerate me and give me these dead smiles until I shut up.
I know what you mean. I have learned that the best response to them can often be the same. I just smile and nod at the mormonisms coming out of their mouths and try to find something good in there and hopefully something nice to say while showing that they can't ruffle me. If what they're saying is really stupid I try to respond with something that is thought-provoking rather than reactionary and offensive. It seems like questions are often more useful than facts. Or invitations. Rather than lay a bunch of Book of Abraham or polygamy facts I invite them to read the church's essay. I remember when almost any comment would get my blood boiling and my heart racing, but I have reached the point where everything just seems like some degree of silliness or lame justifications of their own thinking and behaviors. After all, that's the biggest part of this religion, right? Getting together and saying the silly stuff out loud and with conviction so everyone can feel good about believing the same silly things.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Re: Feel Injured->Desire Vengeance->Soothe

Post by stealthbishop » Mon Aug 01, 2022 12:06 pm

I think this is where the rubber meets the road for any person who has been traumatized or abused or injustice has happened to them by someone or a group. Linked, the feelings you are having are normal. And also, it is normal under these circumstances to have revenge fantasies. I know I have had them when I have been severely hurt or traumatized by others. There is an urge in human beings to fight back and right the wrongs and to seek a measure of justice. We're not always good at it and so we have built up institutions to seek redress and justice because there is a long and sad history of humans going too far and a cycle of violence and atrocities. Unfortunately, those institutions are not always effective or available.

It would be arrogant of me to say that I'm an expert because I struggle myself with bitterness and resentment over lost time, money and my life and other people's lives that have been damaged by the LDS Church. Other people have even tried to sue the church. It won't work in most cases. All we can do is recognize that our feelings about the LDS church are justified and normal.

Allow yourself to feel these feelings and accept them. But with your actions, put the energy into building a life worth living and sharing with others who are worth the investment. Many TBMs, as we know, will never understand us or at best it may take years or even decades if at all. They may or may not be worth our time and we all need to evaluate that for ourselves on a case by case basis.

As Angel said, live you best life. It takes a lot of work and mental and emotional and physical energy to build a life worth living and sharing. In the end, while bitterness and resentment are normal human emotions, we don't want to dwell too long there because it can get in the way of our own goals and dreams. It's like drinking poison everyday and expecting it to hurt someone else.

I am so glad you posted this Linked. Really important topic that I think many of us struggle with. I know I do.

Solidarity with you Linked. We got you!
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blazerb
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Re: Feel Injured->Desire Vengeance->Soothe

Post by blazerb » Sun Aug 07, 2022 7:58 am

Angel wrote:
Sat Jul 30, 2022 4:49 pm
There are a few Tao / Zen books I carry around and read to re-center when needed.
Would you mind posting a couple of titles? I think they could be really helpful.

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Angel
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Re: Feel Injured->Desire Vengeance->Soothe

Post by Angel » Sun Aug 07, 2022 4:25 pm

blazerb wrote:
Sun Aug 07, 2022 7:58 am
Angel wrote:
Sat Jul 30, 2022 4:49 pm
There are a few Tao / Zen books I carry around and read to re-center when needed.
Would you mind posting a couple of titles? I think they could be really helpful.
So excited to share books I love!! This could be a new thread if others were willing to share books/people who have inspired them. Defining one’s own new spirituality to me is a big part of the healing process. I now introduce myself as SBNA/SBNR – spiritual but not affiliated/not religious/nature spirituality. I’ve seen people go to routes of theistic rationalism/deism, Unitarianism, stoicism, all of which have inspirational texts to lose oneself in. It’s a breath of fresh air to explore and discover all of it.

Taoism/Daoism – philosophy/religion/way of being - seeks to live in harmony with the Dao or “the way” Embrace minimalism, simplicity, wu wei - action without intention - do what needs to be done without overthinking, calm, follow natural rhythms, not grasping, mindfulness, relaxed and present.

* Laozi’s Tao Te Ching is a small book that is easy to carry around. There are many different English translations of it (250+) as classical Chinese is such a different language. Jane English was the first version I was introduced to so has sentimental value to me. It is all “finger pointing to the moon” ie- don’t concentrate on the finger, try to see what it is pointing to. “The Tao that can be spoken of is not the enduring and unchanging Tao” – The book starts by telling you the Tao cannot be written in words, kind of funny – to write about what cannot be said. You can go the technical translation route or explore the individual spiritual routes of so many, the point is not literalism or proving anything, it’s finding a simple peaceful way to live however that works for your circumstances. No dogma, no “official text”, not “inerrant” – you are supposed to play with it, make it your own, add to it, and enjoy how others have added to it too.

*Tao of Poo by Benjamin Hoff. A fun simple book, especially if you are familiar with the very small piglet, pompous owl, busybody rabbit, pessimistic Eeyore, hyperactive tigger, and simple old poo – characters that describe who we all are at some point or another.

Zen/Buddhism:
Alan Watts – comical entertainer, writer and lecturer, wonderful introduction to all things eastern and western. He introduces you to many different lines of thought in search for your own spirituality. Books include “The way of zen”, “The Wisdom of Insecurity”, “The Book”, “Become What you Are”

Thich Nhất Hạnh– “The Father of Mindfulness, apostle of peace and non-violence”
I have deep respect for those who have proven themselves – who have made heaven from hell. Nhất Hạnh is a Vietnam war exile who entered Vietnamese monastery at early age, an ordained monk, humanist, multilingual, student of sciences as well as philosophical thought. His diverse views drew criticism within Buddhist communities, truly a free thinker who explored and experienced many cultures. His is a message of peace and reconciliation – he did not just write books and give talks, he led corpse of Buddhist peace workers who built healthcare clinics, rebuilt villages destroyed by war, rebuilt schools and farms. Martin Luther King nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize. He wrote many books or “manuals” - The Miracle of Mindfulness was written as a survival manual for refugees. He supported the “boat people” etc.

Speaking of those who made heaven from hell – whose lives validated their words -
And There Was Light: Autobiography of Jacques Lusseyran: Blind Hero of the French Resistance Paperback
- if you can find the version with a blue cover with polaroid-type pictures on the front, there is an extra chapter at the end that other editions do not include.

Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

Ok – those are books that have saved me – would love to hear everyone else’s books / new spiritual views / meditations / what brings you peace.
“You have learned something...That always feels at first as if you have lost something.” George Bernard Shaw
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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