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To wonder how to deal with losing my faith?

(48 Posts)
Spudauphinoise Fri 05-Feb-16 14:14:15

I have always had a relatively strong faith. I am Catholic, was brought up with the faith, and I really knew nothing else. While I rarely go to mass, I always felt a strong personal faith, prayed regularly, but kept it private, I don't see it as anyone's business, and my husband has no belief. I don't know why but recently I feel like I just don't believe in anything anymore, and I feel so down about it. My dh doesn't get it, and thinks believing in God or heaven etc is daft. But it is not his influence that has changed things, we rarely discuss, and he has always respected my faith. I have always felt lucky to have faith, as a comfort. Maybe I have just been living blindly, and now that I stop to think, I suspect there is nothing. All of my friends either believe or don't, so there is no in-between person I can speak to. I am about to start my ds at a faith school, and maybe that has triggered feelings. I know that is a whole other debate about faith schools.
Anyhow, has anyone experienced this loss of faith and do you have any advice as i am finding it very upsetting, in a "what is the point" way. Thank you

CalleighDoodle Fri 05-Feb-16 14:31:50

Yes. Same as you too and it makes me question my childrens school choice. my job requires belief on God (and a reference from a priest) and im handing in my notice in may fuck knows what ill do for a career then

Yoksha Fri 05-Feb-16 15:01:37

Spud, hi. I was an active Jehovah's Witness for 32 yrs until 8mnths ago. CofE before. Quite active on both fronts. I firmly believe that organised religion put me off. On studying the scriptures in great detail and joining in some forums for discussion, I understand that books left out of the Bible cannon warn against organised religion to worship.

I'm no longer sure what I believe anymore. I just take one day at a time, and it is getting easier. I'm of the personal conclusion that I don't know where I'm going, but I'll know when I get there

WhereYouLeftIt Fri 05-Feb-16 15:41:41

" I don't know why but recently I feel like I just don't believe in anything anymore, and I feel so down about it. "
When you say you don't believe in anything, do you mean any of the teachings of the church, or anything including God? Because I think it's pretty damned easy to stop believing in the teachings of any church, once you have a good look at them. And if you've recently been dealing with entry to a faith school, I'd imagine you've seen a bit of hypocrisy with that. It would be natural to be a bit shaken by that.

You say you feel down about it. Would you prefer to recover your faith, faith in God at least? Or would you prefer to just stop feeling down about it?

SpoiltMardyCow Fri 05-Feb-16 16:06:37

Your loss of faith in organised religion is understandable but it doesn't mean you can't find your own path and faith in your own god.

My DD's faith school senior high school biology teacher teaches evolution as part of the curriculum but is quite happy to tell the class that "I don't believe in evolution but I have to teach this as part of my job". (yes, complaint made).

The problem with some faiths is that they counter facts. A lot of Evangelicals believe the world is only 6,000 years old when in fact, the facts completely contradict this. How can you believe what they say?

The child sex abuse scandals in the Catholic church have been eye-opening to lots of believers too.

I don't follow a formal religions but I believe in a god. And that's fine with me.

araiba Fri 05-Feb-16 16:12:24

celebrate your new life and freedom

have a look at pictures taken by the hubble telescope and contemplate them. the real thing and the science is far more majestic and awe inspiring than the stories. read up on various things around it and rejoice.

losing your faith doesnt change you as a person but it will massively improve your view of the world

TheHiphopopotamus Fri 05-Feb-16 16:13:16

My DD's faith school senior high school biology teacher teaches evolution as part of the curriculum but is quite happy to tell the class that "I don't believe in evolution but I have to teach this as part of my job". (yes, complaint made)

Astounding. Is this in the UK?

Sallyingforth Fri 05-Feb-16 16:18:01

The most devout believers I know are very comfortable with evolution.

OneMagnumisneverenough Fri 05-Feb-16 16:22:55

Yes, find actual real fact based things to believe in. The wonder of the Earth and the Universe for a start. The wonderful acts of kindness done by people not done just out of religion, the beautiful diversity of Human beings and other life.

I have no faith or believe in anything like a god, but I believe for example that no-one is truly dead while you still have them in your heart and memories of them in your head. Being without religion or faith is not a great big dark hole. It is a place of light and wonder and a journey of discovery.

MrsBobDylan Fri 05-Feb-16 16:24:43

I'm in a very similar position op - it is sort of depressing isn't it?In my case, one of my dc has a disability which means I can't bring him to church and it makes me wonder why any of us go. I also find the catholic church much more morally pompous than 20 years ago,for example, constant critism of those who don't regularly attend, needing proof of church attendance to get a baby baptised and the church's refusal to accept gay marriage makes me feel ashamed. Sorry, no answer but you are not alone.

araiba Fri 05-Feb-16 16:28:11

more and more people are leaving religion- youre not the only one

TattyDevine Fri 05-Feb-16 16:28:30

I don't have faith as such as depicted in the bible, etc.

But when you think how massive and infinite the universe is, and how little we really know about it and its vastness, there has to be SOMETHING bigger than us, or something behind it unfathomable to us.

Perhaps it is this concept that is "god". It doesn't really matter what form it takes...we are not "alone"...almost definitely not.

Bananalanacake Fri 05-Feb-16 16:33:29

I was a Christian, I stopped believing in God when I realised if he's so great why is he letting his workers get away with child abuse?

CottonFrock Fri 05-Feb-16 16:52:48

I think the process of losing your faith can be uncomfortable, if it used to be important to you, or even if you just miss the 'community' element of being part of a church. I grew up in a devoutly Catholic environment, but tbh, I saw ceasing to believe as part of becoming an adult, so it was never painful.

On the rare occasions I set foot in a church of any denomination now, the whole thing strikes me as incredibly odd - the illogicality of 'worshipping' and 'praising' as all-powerful an invisible being who is defined by his absence and apparent inability or unwillingness to intervene in human suffering. Watching the local vicar struggle to manage to make this all hang together - 'he cares, he's all-powerful, he sent us his son, who died, but lived, and oh, evil is our own fault, but we should pray all the time and put this invisible being at the centre of our lives, anyway' - is just odd.

I don't think you realise how odd it is when you're on the inside. I remember going to look around a Catholic school with a non-Christian friend and she came out totally shocked at what she saw as the naked, bloody corpses hanging on the wall of every classroom - to me, crucifixes are so familiar, they didn't even register. She thought that small children being presented with that as an ideal symbol was appalling.

Can you find an alternative community based on something non-supernatural? There used to be (maybe still are) 'atheist churches' that got together on Sundays to foster a sense of communion without the God stuff.

SoftBlocks Fri 05-Feb-16 16:56:57

What araiba and OneMagnum said.

I do not believe in a God or anything supernatural but I still feel awe at nature, at beauty, at altruism and love.

FWIW I have found being an atheist enormously comforting in difficult times - bereavement, illness and infertility - because I believe these things just happened. There was no God letting us suffer.

OneMagnumisneverenough Fri 05-Feb-16 16:58:29

Banana - spot on. I've said the same myself on threads and it hasn't gone down well. It's okay though 'cos the Pope says that god weeps. hmm Maybe he could have tried a bit harder to stop his employees raping children rather than just crying afterwards.

The god that people seem to worship is either caring but impotent to deal with bad stuff or powerful but uncaring. I wouldn't want to be wasting my time worshiping that even if it did exist.

GloGirl Fri 05-Feb-16 17:00:03

Following with interest.

liz70 Fri 05-Feb-16 17:03:11

I was raised Catholic too, but no longer feel the need for organised religion in my life, although I still appreciate a lot of the cultural aspects of it.

As a personal experience, I've had getting on for nine years of communication from the other side which have confirmed for me that this mortal life is not all there is. I've had to do a lot of reading around and asking questions in the spiritualist field to try to better understand my experiences. I find that organised religions generally try to demonise people who like myself have such contact, when I know that is b.s. - I know I am not a bad person. A lot of people fear and try to attack what they don't understand.

A lot of organised religion is about trying to control people through fear and threats. I can see through that. Fair enough if it gives some people comfort, but it's not for me.

I think ultimately that we are all free to determine our own spiritual destiny - we don't need an external organisation to guide or lead us. Just be kind, tolerant and non-judgmental and I think we'll be largely there. smile

RaptorInaPorkPieHat Fri 05-Feb-16 17:10:10

I haven't so much as 'lost my faith' as 'found my atheism'. I probably didn't fully believe for at least 5 years before I admitted it to anyone (I was your full blown tambourine swinging, bible bashing, god squad bod) but since embracing the fact that I don't believe, I'm far stronger in my disbelief than I ever was in my faith.

Now, I know I'm an atheist, and I should be enticing you over to the dark side with cookies but maybe you should go and talk to your priest about it. It sounds as if you're at a bit of a crossroads with it.

Also the philosophy/religion section on here might be of help to you.

we do have nice biscuits though, on Fridays we have chocolate hobnobs wink

Pseudo341 Fri 05-Feb-16 17:10:37

I was actively Christian until the age of 17, went to the youth group every week, Church on a Sunday and Christian summer camps every year. I sunk into a deep depression when I finally concluded it was all a load of nonsense. I'd been talking to God about all my problems all my life, suddenly my best friend who had always been by my side had effectively died. It took me a long time to figure out who I was without God but now 2 (and a bit) decades on I'm very passionately atheist, and a member of the British Humanist Society. I think in your position I'd go looking for a support group. The internet didn't exist when I lost my faith but everyone's on it now and I guarantee you there are people out there going through exactly the same thing right now, I encourage you to go and find them. Also talk to your husband, he sounds like a pretty sympathetic chap.

StillMedusa Fri 05-Feb-16 17:15:06

I lost my faith almost overnight. Having been raised a Christian and continued as an adult, I found myself at my usual service one say and suddenly realised 'I don't believe this anymore' I was a surprise to myself (and to those around me!)... but 16 years later I still feel the same.

I spent a long time really thinking about it, and for me it just didn't make sense.. all loving all powerful god who allowed such suffering. I don't think I'm an atheist as such... there is so little we understand that I feel there is probably more to existance than 'you are born, you die' but I dont believe in an almighty super being who is INTERESTED in us let alone one who answers personal prayers for some, yet allows some of the most innocent and vulnerable to suffer. I just don't... because if he IS interested...then he is cruel.

I miss the ritual and comfort of religion but I don't believe it any more.

VoldysGoneMouldy Fri 05-Feb-16 17:16:03

I was very religious for several years (personal, my family aren't) and then one day it just 'went'. At first I felt a bit like you do now, and sometimes I still have a moment of "I wish I had that comfort", but overall I feel happier. I'm somewhere between an atheist and a humanist now, and it's really helped me deal with my fear of death, which really tends to be the focus of most religions, at least on a basic level.

You're not alone on having gone through this journey.

liz70 Fri 05-Feb-16 17:23:07

Agree that the internet is a great help whatever path you find yourself going down. I've had some wonderful advice and support, freely given, which is just as well because I don't have anyone IRL to talk to about my experiences. DH refuses to, even though he knows something is going on; I think it freaks him out a bit, so I was just left to deal with it on my own. Some lovely folk on spiritualism/metaphysical boards have helped me reach the understanding I have of my situation today.

ShelaghTurner Fri 05-Feb-16 17:32:36

I felt very odd and a huge sense of needing to question when dd1 started at catholic school. For me, brought up with it, mass attender despite a gap in my teens, it's all second nature. But for a while it did make me wonder if this was the path I wanted for her. I didn't feel that at baptism and don't now she's about to make her communion this year. DD2 starts at the school (hopefully!) in sept so it'll be interesting to see if I feel the same with her.

OneMagnumisneverenough Fri 05-Feb-16 17:33:42

I quite like this article which tells you about the myths about those of no faith that simply aren't true.

www.alternet.org/story/152395/10_myths_many_religious_people_hold_about_atheists,_debunked

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