Re: trying to recover from the new-age movement
Date: October 28, 2010 11:52AM
I was in it for 5 years. Karen Bishop's energy alerts, Sal Rachele, lightworkers, LOA, the Abraham teachings, Caroline Myss, Eckhart Tolle, channeling. Lots and lots of channeling. All the messages said, "beware of channeled messages, because there's so many chances for inaccurate information. Except ours. Ours is accurate, and only for loving beings." I even had a couple free readings done. It'll really suck you in. I first got involved with the whole thing because I didn't get the job I wanted, even after I did everything I could do. I was depressed, having sent out resumes and got no responses, didn't think I would ever find employment. I'd just gotten out of grad school at 23 and by 25 started to get into the movement. I don't even remember the first site I saw, but it had an email list that led me to Karen Bishop's energy alerts, which basically said, "a new world of peace and harmony is coming, just hold on a little longer." I'd look at them monthly and got so dependent on them because they play the hope card, you know? Then it kinda spiraled. One author's site led to another, and I thought if I changed my thoughts/feelings, I could have whatever I wanted. I did all the worldly actions to get things done, but nothing was getting done or moving forward. I never fit into traditional society, never have. As a kid, I was never girly (didn't care about fashion, makeup, boys. Never wanted kids) but I wasn't a rough-and-tumble tomboy either. I cannot see, and being disabled, I was given a lot of controlling people (classmates, state social workers, an abusive childhood by my parents that would not have been considered abusive then, but is now. It's how they were raised, you know?) who pointed out numerous flaws in my oersibakuty ir aooearance, all in a *loving* attempt, they said, to integrate me into the sighted world so I wouldn't be seen as weird, strange or uncivilized. If I said something kids felt was inappropriate, my classmates would surround me on the playground and berate me until I was in tears. My vission teacher wrote in my high school yearbook, "I know I've made a lot of changes in you, but they've been for the better" leaving me to think, though I could never admit it to them, that I wasn't good enough as I was. In high school, I had to stand up and apologize to the whole class because I'd done a social studies project that expressed my oppinion on premarital sex (the teenage mother was offended even though I showed her my chart beforehand). Basically, I made a chart giving the major disadvantages of premarital sex (pregnancy, STDs, no social life if you're tied down with a baby or relationship, etc.) and said why I was against it. As you can imagine, I was not held in popularity or in high regard for my stance, and was told to publicly apologize to the class for my views, or else I'd receive a bad grade, which would prevent me from graduating. In college I had an extremely critical teacher when I was student-teaching (the director of the music department's wife) and was sent to a meeting after 7 weeks that, even though she had said nothing to me, she had sent a letter to the department saying that though she knew I was trying as hard as I do, and was doing everything I could, I was not living up to her expectations/standards, and she requested I be removed immediately, or I could stay, but she assured me I would fail. Miraculously, another placement was found for me for the last 3 weeks, but the emotional damage was already done.
Then came grad school and beyond, where earthly actions produced no tangible, visible results that my life would get better. I was without a job, without friends (mainly because I'm not into the same social activities as the people in my age group, including shopping, consumerism, challenging romantic relationships with lots of drama, bars, clubs, dating, romance) None of that appeals to me. I tried to get into them, but it made me unhappy, so I elected to be myself, but how can anyone be comfortable with being themselves when they feel so lonely? You're either lonely or unhappy. Pick your poison. Of course, me given 2 choices, I pick a 3rd, the choice that is not given. If someone gave me a choice between A or B, I'd inevitably say, "Why can't I have choice C? You said I have free will and can have whatever I want, right?" which didn't thrill people.
I tell you all this because it primed me for the new age. What did I have to do, I asked eagerly. The lightworkers said they were all different too, and for reasons that most people didn't understand, just as I never felt understood by my peers, so I thought it made sense. I kept waiting hopefully for this coming new world (never happened. Time and space don't matter in the world of multi-demensionality, they say back). I tried the Abe Hicks route, tried action and inaction, but that didn't work either. If you point out a contradiction, you're unpopular and get kicked off the forum, you're not understanding the teachings properly, or you're patronized and talked down to with condescension as if you're a child (you're getting there but you're not there yet.)
Another contradiction: If you're perfect just as you are, the self-improvement industry wouldn't exist. If you're imperfect, it means you're supposed to improve to an implied "perfection" an unattainable goal you can strive for but will never reach. What's the point? This whole "goal" thing is just a trick in the new age movement to keep you moving forward. If you want us to achieve something, don't make it difficult or near impossible for you to do so.
So my head was swimming with all these contradictions, made worse by the fact that my pointing them out got me kicked off an Abe forum, and as I appeared to be the only one to find anything negative to say about Abraham teachings until now, I thought there was something wrong with me, or I was missing the boat, because they seemed to be working for everyone else and they were happy, they said. I wanted that too, but it was so fake to me, just take negative observations/situations/disasters and "put a happy sticker" on them by reframing them in a positive way, even though the Abers said they weren't putting on a happy sticker on anything. So that made me think maybe they knew something I didn't.
Basically, I notice things they won't admit to, I'm unpopular for it, and I get kicked off. So much for peace and harmony.
That's my new age story, and how I came to be here.
I didn't realize how far I'd fallen into it until I had a dream that I was at a new age conference (though I'd never attended one before) and in another room were 2 real-world people I wanted to see, but when I pleaded to go see them, I was told to wait just a little longer, I'd find the next new age speaker hilarious. And I said I wanted to leave, but I woke up with this horrible feeling like "oh crap, what have I gotten myself into?" And since the new age movement is all about extreme self-responsibility, it didn't help I was blaming myself.
What was your life like when you were involved in it? I mean, were you happy? Or were you trying to force yourself to be? Was it fake? Did you feel the way all those Abers were, or all those new-agers felt? You know, "I followed these teachings/went to this healer, and now I am so happy! My life couldn't be better..."
I live in a low-income apartment building with people who are physically/mentally disabled or elderly. And though I like a lot of things about the situation, the only thing I don't like about it is the clientel. I got into the new age precisely because I was just so tired of hearing people talk about their illnesses, smoking, drug/alcohol habits, how their partner/kids/housework was such a huge part of their lives that it *was* their life. I love classical music and Olympic sports, but not enough to make it the only thing in my life. That doesn't mean I'm not dedicated.
But I've had an acquaintance tell me that I don't listen to support her through her problems, or if I do, I listen with the goal of finding solutions to the situation. Yeah, that's true. I'm empathetic to a point, but I balance that with action. I'm slowly getting out of this new age cult by doing things, like you say. That's why I came here. I teach voice, take spinning classes and music lessons. I find solutions to problems. I love watching documentaries and learning what science discovers. I like to talk about religion with people secure enough that they won't get offended. I like to make fun of politicians. I like to ask someone how their day was and have them not complain about their house/spouse/kids because they're conscientious enough to know they chose to have that life so they shouldn't whine about how it's their whole life and they have no time for fun activities (I know 2, count 'em, 2 people personally with this positive attitude, and they're adults in their forties who have all their stuff together, with a good head on their shoulders.) People who treat me like everyone else and only acknowledging my disability when it's absolutely relevant to the situation at hand (same 2 people again).
Those are the kinds of friendships I want. Not "I'll be a shoulder to cry on when you have problems" or "ohmigod, you're so amazing, how do you do that" people, as 95 percent of people seemingly are. There's a difference between admiration and worship. Difference between asking me questions out of genuine curiosity and asking with a preconveived notion, followed by shock that I didn't answer the way you thought I would.
So in accepting reality, I acknowledge that I am mostly happy but very lonely, and that's the way it is. I will never be completely, truly happy, except in the afterlife. Maybe nobody is completely happy in this life anyway.