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Thoughts solicited on Thought for the Day -

livealive's picture
livealive
Posts: 127
Joined: Feb 2012

Guys, I met a pastor this morning (no, I haven't crossed over - not yet), but he made a statement which resounded with my experience. This has nothing to do with religion, but you may choose to see it that way, if you wish to.

Many of us read so many things, inspiring quotes, stories, not necessarily cancer related.

He said to me - many of go through suffering and later draw upon that very suffering as strength to help others going through a similar / same situation.

I think it's true our experience helps the new people diagnosed. As anxious and angry I have been, I have found helping others helps me.

This way, these thoughts can be centralized under this one heading.

Or not.

Mulling, not sure, your thoughts ?

j_rod
Posts: 125
Joined: Mar 2012

under St. Paddy's Day. You did help me today.

garym's picture
garym
Posts: 1651
Joined: Nov 2009

I definitely feel that I have received much more here than I have given and it was totally unexpected. Call it community or family or whatever, there is something very powerful in knowing that you are not alone.

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 1911
Joined: Oct 2011

That's why we all come back here. No friend is more valuable than one who intimately shares the same experience.

livealive's picture
livealive
Posts: 127
Joined: Feb 2012

Despite my belief, or lack, it takes a pastor I met on Saturday, who actually helps.

That we draw our strength from suffering, he and I spoke for 2.5 hours - he did not preach, but I did ask for his blessing, and he said the fear of cancer in my mind started way before the cancer came. He said he sees this as a journey, and even though it's overwhelming for me, he tells me it's an opportunity to face my fears head on - anyway, that is his perspective. But, I must admit, all said and done, he helped me.

Raj.

garym's picture
garym
Posts: 1651
Joined: Nov 2009

Raj,

I've found that as counselors the clergy are well versed in helping sort out issues clouded by emotions etc. where calmness and common sense are helpful skills and it sounds like you had a similar experience which is good. Its when they blend their version of belief (preach) that I can't stomach so I'm glad this did not happen.

I think a persons belief, or lack there of, is a product of genetics and environment, its not black and white and there is no right or no wrong. For example, I prefer mechanics, and logic, over science and absolutes, and I have a difficult time believing in chance or coincidence, its just the way I'm wired. Because of that its natural for someone like me to believe in God and be in complete disagreement with organized religions over what that means. I've mentioned in the past that my beliefs are my own, to clarify, I'll add that toeing an imaginary invisible line or else being condemned to eternal damnation is not logical or therefore believable to me, God is about love, not fear. I guess what I'm trying to say is don't get so hung up on the question of God that it leaves you twisting in the wind, it will work itself out in time and you will be fine either way.

You have made a lot of progress in the last few weeks and the members are benefiting more from you every day, it is a symbiotic relationship isn't it?

Keep up the good work,

Gary

MikeK703's picture
MikeK703
Posts: 235
Joined: Sep 2010

Hi Gary,
Regarding your comment that "Its when they blend their version of belief (preach) that I can't stomach." When a politically left leaner tries to "convert" me, a politically right leaner, to his point of view, I usually wonder about his motives and I think, "this guy just wants to prove that he and his political beliefs are superior." And I'm sure the opposite is true also. But if, say, a Jehovah's Witness or a Mormon or a Born Again Christian knocks on my door, I usually don't get annoyed. I figure they are practicing what they believe, i.e., that I may need their help. I may not believe I do, but I think their motive is genuine concern for my spiritual welfare. As a matter of fact I find myself admiring them for their courage to knock on doors like that. That takes guts. I think I have more respect for them than for somebody who actually believes I am going to a place called hell and then doesn't make an effort to tell me how to avoid it because they are afraid of being ridiculed or of offending. Just my thoughts on the subject.
Regards,
Mike

livealive's picture
livealive
Posts: 127
Joined: Feb 2012

But where does the truth lie ? In the end it has to be found your own self, one can't become 'liberated' from the teachings of the buddha. We are also conditioned differently, which in turn makes us think differently, and therefore what we value is different. So back to - each perspective is unique, and is formed based on the experience of the object by the subject. This is an interesting conversation, Mike, you made me think, those Jehovah's guys have annoyed me in the past, I told them they were welcome to come in if they were willing to be converted, they were not, I had their spiritual well being in mind too, but they missed an opportunity :-)

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 1911
Joined: Oct 2011

Another post that I should not comment on. Faith and religion are so important for so many people... Whatever happens is due to the will of a higher being... Whether good fortune or heartbreak. Maybe. But again, I've watched hundreds or thousands of people die and suffer due to injury and disease. I'll never be convinced it is part of a greater plan. ANY god is greater than that..I will say God Bless to all.. often... And mean it..And hope it helps. I think loving your neighbor is what our purpose is..I'll never comment on religion again...Politics?.. not that either...Now, about those UCONN Huskies...

livealive's picture
livealive
Posts: 127
Joined: Feb 2012

Mike, to be fair, I was only trying to prove a point when I asked them to come in if they were open to being "converted" to a different religion. Certainly, I did not expect them to, and it would have become an intellectual debate if anything. So that said, I see your point about their sincerity. Thanks for the perspective.

garym's picture
garym
Posts: 1651
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Mike,

Politics or religion, if/when someone tries to convert me my reaction is pretty much the same as you stated, "this guy just wants to prove that he and his political (religious) beliefs are superior." On the religious side, perhaps you are right and it takes courage to knock on someone's door, but I think the underlying motivation is fear and it is that I disagree with most strongly. Gotta agree with fox, that's enough on this subject for me too.

Gary

MikeK703's picture
MikeK703
Posts: 235
Joined: Sep 2010

Hi Gary,

Two people saying they have had their last say on religion kind of makes one feel hesitant about bringing it up. Frankly, in a cancer forum, it seems appropriate and natural that some folks would be seeking comfort in spiritual things and would want to discuss them. We seem to do a lot of the "I'm praying for you" thing here. The topic of religion has never been uncomfortable for me and I don't really get upset if somebody tries to convert me. Politics doesn't go well in a cancer forum, that's for sure. I don't like to talk politics because I tend to get argumentative in that area. Regarding fear, that can work both ways. Some door knockers may be acting out of fear, but refusing to talk about religion may also be a symptom of fear. In other words, what I don't think about or talk about can't hurt me. So what I am saying is that if I want to talk about it, I should feel free to do so without offending or upsetting anyone. That's certainly not my intention and it's not my intention to "convert" anyone and I don't want to steer the conversation to religion all the time. And if you don't want to talk about it, that's okay. You don't have join in the conversation. Golf or motorcycles don't give me much comfort, so I sit those postings out. When somebody mentions spiritual things or religion, I like to join in.
Regards,
Mike

garym's picture
garym
Posts: 1651
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Mike,

I agree with you, and I did not mean to say I would not discuss or felt uncomfortable discussing religion. I just don't want to be considered as someone that is trying to convert others, that can be a difficult path on threads like we have here and I worry that I am giving that impression. I consider my beliefs to be somewhat unique and feel this would not be the right place to go into it, but I am willing to have a open discussion if/when conditions are right, hard to do here. That said, I don't believe that what works for me is right for others and I don't believe that only like minded people go to heaven, it would be a pretty lonely place. I see most religions I've been exposed to as fear based, I realize that is my perspective and most people will disagree, I'm good with that and don't care to argue the point, I don't feel a responsibility towards what others do or do not believe. I say only one prayer "Lord, thy will be done." that covers it for me.

Respectfully,

Gary

j_rod
Posts: 125
Joined: Mar 2012

a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices. This is from the dictionary. So, from a purely literal standpoint, it appears it can be 'whatever works'.

livealive's picture
livealive
Posts: 127
Joined: Feb 2012

A religion that takes no account of practical affairs and does not help to solve them is no religion.

All the religions of the world, while they may differ in other respects, unitedly proclaim that nothing lives in this world but Truth.

Mahatma Gandhi

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