Awkward God Conversations

 

Is it just me, or is it incredibly uncomfortable to have conversations involving a Higher Power?

I just had one of these conversations the other day.  It was not my first, and, since I assume it will not be my last, I figured why not explore this self-consciousness a bit and see what I discover?  The conversations of which I speak are when I am trying to explain the evolution of my spirituality, which should, in theory, be a point of great pride.  And it is, between me, myself and I, but whenever I try to speak of this topic, I convince myself that I sound like a cross between Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.

 

What’s important to note is that the general audience with whom I converse are believers:  folks in AA generally have some sort of spirituality, my family are all born and raised Catholic, and, come to think of it, so are all of my friends.  Quite the homogenous world I live in; nonetheless, the “God” word is offensive to no one in my orbit.  I do not personally know a single atheist or agnostic, and how weird is that?

So why the discomfort?

The best I can come up with is not wanting to scare people off by sounding too Holy Roller-ish.  I went to a small, Catholic college, and there was a group known as the God Squad.  Suffice it to say that they were not the Cool Kids, for sure.

But this self-consciousness also makes me guilty.  If I believe in God, if I love God, if I am grateful for all the miracles He has bestowed upon me, then why be shy about it?

This is a post with more question marks than periods.  In fact, I am really hopeful that something in the comment section illuminates a light bulb in my head with regard to this subject.

These conversations are uncomfortable all across the board.  I remember once when going through the steps with my sponsor, she suggested I get into the ritual of saying prayers with my husband.  First thought:  Absolutely.  No.  Way.  Second and third thoughts:  I agree with the first.  Needless to say, I never took that suggestion.

My Mom is a devout Catholic, and, while it’s probably the least awkward with her, it’s still feels funny to me.

This could be one of those issues where the best advice is not to over-analyze, just accept the feelings as they are, and trust that in time these conversations will get easier.

Let’s keep this one short, in the hopes of generating further discussion:  for you God believers, is it weird to talk about it?  If so, how do you handle the weirdness?

Today’s Miracle:

Not being struck by lightning after admitting I don’t like talking about God?

 

Posted on September 18, 2014, in Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. I don’t have any answers, but I feel it too. When someone talks about their drinking or other addiction, I look for similarities. This makes me feel comfortable. When I hear people talk about god or religion, I tend to look for or at least see the differences. This makes me feel uncomfortable. I guess I feel like it’s such a personal relationship, and someone once told me it should be that way. That it’s the way God would want it (which makes me feel weird to even write!). lol on the God Squad! A fearsome bunch, no doubt. Great post, J. I’m glad you wrote about this in your usual open-minded, inquisitive way.

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    • I have actually reconnected with some of them on FB, and they continue to be a fearsome bunch 🙂

      I am reading the comments in totality (and therefore will see a theme in my responses), and am really getting that light bulb moment from this: it is a personal relationship, and so it makes sense to feel strange talking details.

      Love this, Kristen! Side note: went to one of those fancy running stores for a fancy gait analysis, we’ll see where this gets me (hopefully further and faster along whatever trail I happen to be 🙂 )

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  2. I love talking to God,and I love it when I listen long enough to listen when he talks to me. He and I have just a splendid relationship. But it’s purely between the two of us. He has led me through so much grief and trauma, and healed me of so much damage through the years (with more to go, I hope!). However, I do not like talking about him, only what he has done in me. That’s my only testimony.

    And I we haven’t gone to church since we started going to AA. I’m sure there’s a connection there if I stop long enough to consider it.

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    • Well, if you ever stop long enough to consider it, I hope you will consider writing a post, because I am fascinated in the thought process. I have found myself back to being a regular church goer since being in recovery, so it will be interesting to compare experiences.

      Thank you for this comment, viewing my relationship with God as personal and therefore private has turned my thinking around on my self-consciousness!

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  3. Hello Miracle,

    that is an interesting question! If you would like to catagorize me concerning my religion I would be in the corner of the atheists (well, a rather fanatic one). But…. I have the same feeling about things that are ‘holy’ to me. So I’m coming to think that it has something to do with feeling vulnerable about what is sacred. To me it combines with fear that other people hurt what is sacred to me. And likewise, even though I, in some cases know that the other person has the same believes and spiritual experiences as I do.

    Maybe, maybe, when talking about what is sacred we need to / want to / somehow drop our usual defences. Come to think of it, if I reverse the situation; I doubt the validity of things that are spoken ‘from the heart’ by somebody that is in his/her normal businessy mode. And I dislike that very much, feels untrue, like being lied to.

    Hope this has added something to your thought process. Love to read what everybody comes up with 🙂

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    • Thanks for the comment feeling, and now I can say a “know” an atheist, pleased to meet you! Although your belief systems are ostensibly opposite the others, your thought process is exactly the same… a personal relationship that feels like it should remain private.

      Fascinating stuff, I am so glad you shared this! It has added so much to my thought process!

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      • Hello Miracle!
        Happy to make your acquintance. 🙂 I have a bit of a dark history when it comes to ‘being at the receiving end of the stick of religion’ so I am guessing I know about 6 persons max that are religious. Also, religion is not such a big thing in our country as it is in the USA – where I believe you are from (?). Having said all of that, I need to look up the definition of an atheist because I have an idea of a higher power but it is not a known religion. So maybe you shouldn’t be calling your friends yet to tell them about ‘your atheist’ yet. 😉

        When starting to blog I looked to follow people and found that I am attracted to names that have something of ‘development’, ‘learning’ or idea of ‘path’ or ‘route’, ‘direction’, ‘movement’ or ‘goal’ of the mind or spirit’ in their name. Like ‘A hangover free life’, ‘sober learning’ and ‘the miracle is around the corner’.

        As I try to ‘feel’ my way back to living in stead of drinking and drowning and ‘choosing’ destruction, I thought I should be looking into all kinds of influences because obviously I haven’t been doing so well with my own system of beliefs.

        I was surprised to find that we have similar feelings when it comes to sharing ‘things that are sacred’. I notice now that I found it easy to forget that in this world where religion is in the middle of almost all wars; in the end we are all human.

        And yes, I know that is a strange thought and I have put it in here because I think it is important to me and maybe to you too? And… what is the use of being anonymous if I am still afraid to speak my heart?. 😉

        The strange part is not the ‘we are all human part’ but the part where that thought in itself asumes that ‘religious people are not human’ as in ‘communists are not human and we have seen a ‘Jewish people are not human’ in our history as well. That would be dehumanization, step x in the recipe to start a war. And here I am, thinking war was only made by ‘the others.’

        One of the good things of getting sober is that, apart from some immense upheavals at the beginning, I am starting to notice that I get less aggressive, Still a long way to go but the beginning is there and I am liking it. I knew alcohol was bad but I would have never thought that it influenced my thoughts and feelings as negative as it did.

        Hope your first introduction to ‘An Atheist’ was a good one. 🙂 I am gappy that you quit and are out here. Happy that I quit and we got/get to exchange thoughts. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hmmm…what would Jesus do? That was the first question that came to mind. I’m sure he would wonder why we feel so timid about shouting HIS name from the rooftops and spreading HIS word. But we do. At least I feel timid. I remember when our girls were little and we sat around the table each night and said grace before our meal. We wanted our girls to learn to be grateful to God for our food and our blessings. We went to church faithfully and they grew up to be good Christian girls. Once gone from the home, my husband and I sit at the table together and just dig in – no grace. He no longer attends church and neither of our grown girls attend either. Were we just playing the part of the “good Christian family” ? What changed…what happened? However…when we are all together for a holiday dinner like Thanksgiving or Christmas, we are sure to pull out the grace notes and bow our heads, albiet uncomfortably.

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    • Wow, that is interesting, I wonder if we’ll do the same? We are the same, grace at meals, and church every Sunday (well, Saturday night for us), I wonder if we’ll stop once the kids are away?

      You sure have given me food for thought, and I appreciate your sharing this story!

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  5. our relationships to our HP / God are only unique to us. For some, shouting it out is part of that relationship. For others, it’s more sacred and private. I may or may not talk about God depending on those around me, or how I feel. Even in meetings of AA I may not talk about God much, or that might be all I talk about. As Greg said, it’s an individual thing. I mention God (as Creator) on my blog often. I am not Catholic (although I was for most of my life), but I certainly understand it. Talking about God all the time doesn’t necessarily mean that we have a stronger connection to Him than others.

    These are good questions, Josie, and ones that only you (and the rest of us) can answer within. our relationship with Him is like relationships with people – it takes time, comittment and times of questioning / contemplation. Just the fact that you are talking about this leads me to believe your connection to Him is strong.

    Thanks for this…wonderful post.

    Paul

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  6. I get uncomfortable talking about God sometimes, especially if I sense that the person has an agenda of some sort or looking to see if I believe the same things they believe. Of course, I feel the same way about politics so maybe it’s just that I prefer to converse with people who are willing to keep their hearts and minds open instead of making a stand.

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  7. Oh Josie,
    What a fascinating post! I’m right there with you on the uncomfortable meter. Perhaps it’s because “religion” can be so polarizing?
    I’m right there with Paul in the comments above. It’s such a personal relationship. My sister is so comfortable with her spirituality and able to discuss her relationship with God in the same sentence she talks about changing diapers. Me? Not so much. Like you, I was raised in a very traditional (strict) Catholic household. There are lots of scars associated with that type of upbringing and finally, after years of searching, I’m able to separate God from religious doctrine. It’s just me and Him. I don’t preach it, I don’t talk about it (except here!)–but I do think about it…all the time!

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    • Thanks for this comment, Michelle. Crazy thing: today I ran the meeting I always run Monday mornings. The people there do not read my blog. After the reading, three different people commented on how awkward it is for them to talk about God. Crazy!

      So I’m not alone, and now I can feel better knowing that my self-consciousness is not a bad thing, but indicative of my personal relationship with Him.

      Love it! And love that you can separate spiritual from doctrine as well!

      Liked by 1 person

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