09/04/2016

I have mentioned on here a couple of times that I take part in the very “fun” practice of online dating.
Or app dating, which I feel is in the same category.
Which many may roll their eyes at, but it is really not as bad as online dating used to be and almost is necessary nowadays.
But I will save the for another post.

One thing I made sure to do when I am on these sites is put on my profile that I am LDS.
I do this, because being religious (outside of Utah at least) is not such a common thing anymore.
By putting it on my profile, I am hoping that I am letting people know about a huge part of my life upfront and saving some time with certain questions that might be asked.
A big one is the hooking up question or grabbing a drink.
It doesn’t save this time though.
In fact, to date, one of my favorite first messages I have gotten on one of those sites was:

“What does ‘LDS’ mean? Likes dirty sex?”

Super close.

Anyways, this past week I got a message from a man who in the first couple of messages let me know that he used to be LDS until he had an “awakening” and realized that all religions are wrong and to just do the best with the time that he had here.
My response was just “Oh, well that’s nice.”
Cause really, what was he expecting me to say to that?

“What?! You’re so right! I’m going to change my entire life right now!”

That was said with sarcasm, in case you cannot tell.
But not meant to sound rude, just to illustrate that there was really nothing else I could say in that moment.

He then said “If you found out today that I was right, would you keep living your life the way you are now?”
Continuing with my simplistic approach, I just responded with “Yes.”
He then said:

“Really? You wouldn’t try all of the things you haven’t been doing because they are ‘bad’ or ‘sinful’?”

Okay, it’s in moments like these where I get this huge smile on my face.
Because when these moments happen, and not just with religion, where someone is trying to apply a stereotype or social stigma to me and I can’t help but smile and think in my head “Oh, you’ve got the wrong person.”

I responded back letting him know that I had left my church for a while and did a lot of those things that, in his words, were ‘seen by my church as bad or sinful’ and that they did not make me happy. That my church was what made me happy and even if I found out that it wasn’t true, I would still do the concepts in the church because it’s how I am happiest.
I ended by saying that I would want him to continue to do the things that make him happy.

…he blocked me after that.
Which is why I couldn’t take screenshots of this conversation for this post.
But keep in mind that this conversation happened over the course of 10 minutes and was only about 6 messages back and forth.

Now, maybe I am sounding like a jerk here in this post in how I responded to him, but I used to try to do something similar when I was not in my church.
I cannot say how he was feeling, but when I left I felt like I had been repressed and that everyone who is in that religion is ignorant and repressed and secretly wanting to do all the things that they “aren’t supposed” to do.
So, I would try to get them to admit it, because for me when I used to do that (I cannot speak for this man) it was a way for me to justify myself and what I was doing.
It was that small moment of condescension and “HA!” of proving that they were wrong and I was right.

I would be lying if I said that living a religion isn’t hard. It’s not popular right now and it is definitely not cool.
And there are a lot of people who do feel repressed in religious settings. I know a lot of people who wish they were out partying or doing some of the things that they would do without our religion.
I know a lot of people that follow my church just because that’s what they’ve always done and that’s what their parents did, so stick with what you know, right?

But that’s not everyone and that’s definitely not me.
I go to church every 3 hours every week, because I choose to. When I am faced with a situation that is, again in his words, ‘seen by my church as bad or sinful’, I actively choose to not be a part of it.
Why?
Well, I would be lying if I said it was easier or that if I said I have no desire to partake in some of those things.
But I choose to, because I know that I will be happier in the long run when I do follow the concepts in my religion.

I feel like I am probably rambling at this point and that relating this story is not as impactful as it was for me when it happened.
So, I will just finish by saying that I am a huge believer that people should conscious choose what they believe. Whether it is religion or lack of.
That in order to truly devote yourself to any belief, as you should or is often required when choosing a belief, that you should do so actively.
If someone is having doubts or feeling repressed, they need to work through those feelings until they can find what makes them happy.
That is something that I have done in my life and has made all the difference. It has made it to where when I am faced with a situation like I had with this man, I can easily tell them that I know that my church is true and that even if it wasn’t, I still would be doing the same things I am doing today.
And that either way, I am doing so with every bit of awareness of what my options are.

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