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The Evangelist Within

Old 07-30-2006, 06:06 AM
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The Evangelist Within

I'd been continuning on another thread here, but then realized my response has nothing to do with the original post...so starting a new IDEA, as initiated by Utopia from that other thread.

Originally Posted by utopia
when i came and found recovery working in my life i initally wanted to share it with the world. i now believe attraction works better than promotion.... i also remember that what irritates me about others is usually something within me.
Such a well-balanced approach. People can become such evangelists when they find something that works, that's meaningful to them, often (ideally) with good intentions of simply wanting to share what they've found with others. It reveals a lot about a person, the way they go about "enlightening" others, as well as they way they receive such information/ insight. Having been rigidly instructed the first half of my life, and expected to comply, while systematically silently rejecting that way of thinking/ living/ being inside my own mind, I realize the far more influential method isn't command, it's striving to live according to one's own highest standards and allowing that to be the messenger. In that, one need not preach anything, rather strive to live harmoniously and intelligently, exemplifying respect to self and to others and to all that surrounds. Recognizing within oneself what needs to be improved, internally seeking, more than externally preaching.
-Live simply, simply live
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Old 07-30-2006, 12:41 PM
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I realize the far more influential method isn't command, it's striving to live according to one's own highest standards and allowing that to be the messenger. In that, one need not preach anything, rather strive to live harmoniously and intelligently, exemplifying respect to self and to others and to all that surrounds. Recognizing within oneself what needs to be improved, internally seeking, more than externally preaching.
-Live simply, simply live
I like what you wrote. I think the reason why people feel the need to push is sometimes just human nature. Most mean well. We try something new and want everyone else to learn/try/wear/eat/drive/believe in- what we have experienced. The problem is not in the sharing but involves a lack of awareness. If I love sushi and keep insisting you eat it too.... well that may be offensive and certainly is not respectful. (btw- I hate that stuff!)
Over many years I have had so many instances where people insisted I try this or buy that.... on and on and on. Sometimes I have had to be very blunt and just say 'no thank you, let's talk about something else now.'
There is something to be said about attraction vs promotion too- we can take it or leave it, but sometimes it can work both ways. If I see someone who is not doing well in their marraige relationship- they will be the last person I go to for input in that area. Likewise we can learn secrets of success by using successful models.(ie go ask a wealthy person how they make money!)
The longer I learn about recovery the more I realize that it is about respecting myself and others. 'Live and let live' is a great slogan.
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Old 07-30-2006, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by cmc
If I love sushi and keep insisting you eat it too.... well that may be offensive and certainly is not respectful. (btw- I hate that stuff!)
But sushi won't improve your life. Bad sushi could even cause things to end sooner as well.
Promotion through life style (living it) as well as sharing out of love for others is how and why many evangelise.
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Old 07-30-2006, 01:47 PM
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Hey there, best!
good sushi/bad sushi !!! I still won't eat it! Can't we have somthing else for dinner? LOL
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Old 07-30-2006, 01:51 PM
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Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, chips, pepsi
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Old 07-30-2006, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by cmc
I think the reason why people feel the need to push is sometimes just human nature. Most mean well. We try something new and want everyone else to learn/try/wear/eat/drive/believe in- what we have experienced. The problem is not in the sharing but involves a lack of awareness.
Yes, both responses help me define the point I'm reaching for here. It is human nature to want to relate/ associate/ understand...it's a need for belonging. I think that's where the "awareness" factor comes in. What are the motives behind wanting to share.

How one goes about spreading their message reveals the underlying intent.
Is it simply to share what one has found with others? That is accomplished with relative passivity. "Here is what I have to offer. Listen and try if you so choose." That is "live and let live".

Or, is it forced, preached, commanded, demanded, perhaps even imbued with threat or fear. Then the motive isn't about the message, it's about the messenger, self-serving with intent to build themselves up in their own eyes and/ or in the eyes of others.

You can test motives by saying, "No thank you, let's move on." The reaction is highly revealing.

It all revolves around humility, respect, and ego. The better one geninuely understands their own motives, the more genuine their message will appear to others.

(I've never eaten sushi so I have no opinion on that. But I have eaten cow brains because dad made me. Didn't kill me to try. Tastes like mushrooms. Nevertheless, I won't be eating any more brains. )
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Old 07-30-2006, 01:59 PM
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Motivation....
I have never felt such freedom and joy in my whole life.
I have tried many avenues to seek what I have and once found, I want to share so that others can know the same joy.

No other motivation then that.
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Old 07-30-2006, 02:13 PM
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Motivation....
I have never felt such freedom and joy in my whole life.
I have tried many avenues to seek what I have and once found, I want to share so that others can know the same joy.

No other motivation then that.
Best, I feel the same about being free of faith - yet I'm still aware that sharing those feelings where I KNOW the majority have faith causes discomfort and conflict.

Perhaps the difference is that I don't feel or think someone must be free of faith to have the feeling I have - I believe it comes from being at peace with myself; so if another is better at peace with themself through religion I have no motivation at all to talk them round.

I've found my freedom, but I have no inclination to believe I must show you yours.
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Old 07-30-2006, 02:25 PM
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My family and I cannot talk about religion, lifestyle, nature, perpectives, beliefs, or anything outside of the weather. Mom says she's praying for me to see the light and be saved. Tells me she feels sorry for me. Such misdirected, wasted energy. But she says she's happy in her beliefs, she knows she's right and I'm wrong, so I leave her free to believe as she will.
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Old 07-30-2006, 04:10 PM
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What are the motives behind wanting to share.

Oftentimes, as I said before, they mean well. A motive for many parents and family is fear- fear of unknowns and also fears from their perspective of things.
There are others who have achieved what we have not- just as there are those who have not approached the place where we may find ourselves today.
Knowing what is true and releasing someone- say someone lost in addiction, does not remove that motivation to try to help. We learn in Alananon to let that person do things for themselves. I have learned to allow the other person(s) the dignity to choose for themselves- and to detach in a healthy way from any obsession about their choices.
Family has to be the hardest area to do this successfully.
Understanding on my part comes when I see that someone has my very best interest at heart- and then I can forgive/accept them as they are as well.
note: as much as I hate sushi.... I love a medium well done steak! Of course if you come to my house I will offer you some!!!
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Old 07-30-2006, 05:03 PM
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The best thing that ever happened to me was finding out I was wrong by discovering "truth" in a different light. All that truth did was show me I had a lot to learn. I was believing from within "The Matrix". Many things can be true in "The Matrix", but the whole "Matrix" turned out to be a lie for me.

One discovery can knock your reality out from under you, whether it is with faith, self, or science. I have more questions now than answers. It really promotes growth within myself to find someone who shares the same questions rather than the same answers. Any answer that I get just ushers in a new question and my reality gets kicked out from under me quite often.
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Old 07-30-2006, 06:11 PM
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I know that as well, MG. In my experience finding a bit of truth does not mean that something is entirely true. Black and white thinking leaves no room for what is bigger than ourselves. In practical terms I may have correctly placed one piece in the puzzle and yet fail to complete the rest of it correctly. There can be a little bit or a lot of truth within a lie- and that is where we maybe miss it.
IMO people share ideas of faith and philosophy of life because the struggle to find our way is so great- it validates who we are, where we have been and where we are headed when we finally 'arrive' and then we may want to share that. Maybe it has alot to do with seeking approval. IMO
It feels good to 'crow' about our victories in life and our joy- maybe that is a motive for sharing. Here on SR especially, nothing is better than seeing someone achieve their goals!
Best described the joy he has and so did equus- I see nothing wrong with that. It would be selfish of us not to mention a good thing we have.
What/who we love will be evident in our conversations.
When something I say or do threatens,offends or harms another that is crossing over to manipulation. But, alot of times it is my perception of that 'offense' -especially if there is a 'chip on my shoulder' or I have some insecurity. Most people realize that bullies have low self esteem and many people on the soapbox hate in others what they see in themselves. This brings me back to the original quote on the start of this thread about the thing that irritates us the most is actually our self! I guess if we love ourselves it helps us to love each other too.
I will end with this quote from equus, I like it.
I've found my freedom, but I have no inclination to believe I must show you yours.
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Old 07-30-2006, 06:14 PM
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The terrible irony of clinging to beliefs out of fear of unknowns/ change/ losing someone to something they don't believe or understand, is the more rigidly one adheres to that belief and insist that everyone do the same (family unity, identity, belonging) the more impossible it becomes to allow alternate points of view/ ways of living into consideration, which drives those who deviate from the norm away. There is no acceptance or understanding in force, manipulation, command, demand.

Which brings me back to what originally prompted this thread,
Originally Posted by utopia
i also remember that what irritates me about others is usually something within me.
I learned fierce adherence to Truth as I understand it VERY well. My family and I are ALL that way. Therein lies the conflict, you see. After the religious foundation crumbled I moved every ounce of that conviction into drugs. Kept me in active addiction for 19 years. They had expectations and preconceptions of what I should believe and be, I gave up trying to explain my thinking (keeping information about drugs completely out of the discussion) and let them believe what they wanted. Failed communication all around. Drives me nuts! About them, and about me.

Originally Posted by morningglory
The best thing that ever happened to me was finding out I was wrong by discovering "truth" in a different light.
It's mind-expanding! Freeing one from the rigidity of preconceived beliefs. That thinking that we have the answers then forces us to defend our position. Better to admit that there's so much to be learned, and be open to the possibilities of greater understanding, than to claim to have it all figured out. I'm in the process of another major reality shift right now. It's uncomfortable. But I'm getting used to it. Good to know I'm not drifting out at sea alone this time. Thanks for engaging me in this.

(I don't eat steak, but these free range eggs and vegetables from this farm are mighty delicious and nutritious...all parts of a whole meal...)
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Old 07-31-2006, 03:45 AM
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For myself, I feel no need to push my ideas on anyone. But I do feel a need to push back when things that matter to me are misrepresented. Someone elese has mentioned (on this thread?) that anything which discomfits us about someone else is telling us something about ourselves. Can't remember which psychologist said that, but I see the truth in it. I quite obviously feel defensive about some things. More interestingly for myself, I have always been very defensive around absolutists, I suspect because I'm an absolutist myself in spite of my best efforts. So I'm not justifying being defensive, just describing it for my own benefit. But it's never as simple as that, is it? In my job, I evangelise, to sell ideas and projects to investors. But curiously, they're all secular projects...... I wouldn't have ended up doing what I do, if I couldn't evangelise. lol
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Old 07-31-2006, 04:25 AM
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Better to admit that there's so much to be learned, and be open to the possibilities of greater understanding, than to claim to have it all figured out.
to that!

Shalom!
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Old 07-31-2006, 07:12 AM
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I never try to invest to heavily in one belief. I believe (lol) that doing that can make you mentally and emotionally ill. I try to live without conflict, so my mind skips along instead of me stomping around shouting about what I believe or not...alhtough I have done that in the past and it got a bit ugly.
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Old 07-31-2006, 07:14 AM
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I guess you can only have degrees of certainty...
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Old 07-31-2006, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Five
I guess you can only have degrees of certainty...
...that expands incrimentally in the consideration of conflicting ideas or points of view.

While I merrily engage in internal conflict-resolution inside my own mind, oh how I detest and avoid arguement with people directly. There's tremendous difference between discussion/ debate, and defensive arguement. The former encourages free expression of ideas and awareness, indeed it fosters an environment for learning. The latter suppresses thought and reverts to base defense techniques, sometimes very crude and base and off-topic. It gets very primal. I SO prefer the calmer, rational approach. But that requires participation on BOTH sides of the discussion. So I try to keep myself in good intelligent company, and avoid the mess.

Originally Posted by paulmh
For myself, I feel no need to push my ideas on anyone. But I do feel a need to push back when things that matter to me are misrepresented.
Ah, that's where it gets so tricky, and so maddeningly frustrating! Complicated. Impossible to effectively "push back" when the audience with whom you're conversing isn't interested in listening, only defending. Know your audience! And then choose whether or not to engage. If the conversation is one-directional and based in arguement (not open discussion/ debate) there may be nothing to gain on either side, and it may be better to walk away.

I don't directly evangelize in my work (by design, it's largely solitary), however I do have outside interests in music and writing in which I'm free to evangelize to my mind's content. If anyone wants to listen, they're free to tune in. If not, their choice. I have no desire to force anything on anyone. I have my hands full just trying to sort things out for myself.
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