I need tips from you seasoned pros. How do you all deal with life's serious challenges?

Relatively recent convert here ( 6 months ago) and I am still in the post- break-up somewhat- disoriented phase. My life has a few very trying situations, which in the past would have turned me toward asking for divine assistance.

I abandoned my belief in God because I just could not justify the problems of suffering with a loving, caring and omnipotent God.

My most current version of God was formed by 12 step group think ( 18 and a half years of it) ie, the everything happens for a reason, let go and let god variety...

I realized that that is basically bullshit in the face of certain life events that are clearly not for my benefit...and I refuse to believe that "character development" was the purpose for the loss.

In any case, please share with me how yo cope with prolonged stress, and other "threatening" feelings and events. I'm afraid I am floundering at times.

Thanks in advance!

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I couldn't agree with you more:

Epicurus:
"
Death does not concern us, because as long as we exist, death is not here. And when it does come, we no longer exist.


I don't know of anybody who has put it better - yet!
Perfect.
I agree!
Thank you so much for all of these fine suggestions. The reading list will be helpful!
I'm delighted to have helped - I hope you enjoy the reading. Just remember not to take any of it too seriously.

To know all is to forgive all, but it's a fine course to steer between the rocks of belief, gullibility, cynicism, ennui, loneliness, needfulness, emptiness, and depression.

Understanding can encompass them all, but only mindfulness, measured optimism and a sound grasp of reality (in all its wonder and horror) can lead you to the shore.

The shore of understanding and being yourself.

Another experience comes to mind, Songs of Love and Hate, Leonnard Cohen - aka songs to commit suicide to. Again, not to be taken too seriously, but an important perspective.

We're born alone, we live alone, and then we die alone. This can seem depressing, but, once you understand it completely, then you can really start to find the joy in the moments of touch that you find with other people.

The joy of being.

Now.


Nothing beats that
Just listened to Monty Python's Always look on the Bright side of life..."Life's a piece of shit, when you think of it" etc etc, laughed and cried!
Yes. If life wasn't a joke, and a tragedy, then would it be worth living?
well, I'm all for the joke, the tragedy, I can do without. Not that I have much of a choice.
Nope. No choice at all.

At least not in what happens.

We do, though, have every choice of how we interpret what happens.

As I see it, I"m one of the luckiest people alive. I believe I'm right.

You might disagree, and see me
as a very unhappy and unlucky person.

That doesn't matter to me. After all, there might be a whole crew of little green men on Betelgeus who think we're all a complete joke - and they might be right.
no, not at all, I do believe we are the 'perpetrators" of meaning...I feel the same way. I am responsible for my interpretation of things which happen to me...I decide if they are good or bad....I am trying to live in the middle somewheere...like with a shade of gray, or even in a state of what difference does it make ( in the long run). It's hard not to take my life personally--lol!
Truly, life is what you make of it and the world is exactly the way you think it is. Not thinking the world is crappy goes a long way towards it not being crappy.
This is exactly why I refer to religious belief as a security blanket. It is difficult doing without. Quite frankly, I think it would be fantastic if there was an after-life and you would see all your loved ones again. The truth simply doesn't give you that kind of comfort. It can be quite unsettling and at times you will long back to when you still had faith, since it made things easier. Thinking that there is an invisible, all powerful friend out there who is on your side is a very comforting thought. Realizing it is just a story and getting used to not being able to light the Batsign and here comes assistance takes time.

I can only promise you that time does wonders. You will need your blanket less and less and you will find ways to cope with difficulties that does not involve a god. Just go easy on yourself. Nobody is expecting you to be the perfect atheist and feel totally comfortable at all times - you will literally need to redefine big aspects in your life.

"I'm afraid I am floundering at times" - of course, you are breaking a very comforting habit you have had since you were a small child. Try out different things and after a while you will feel that you found another way of coping with stress and anxiety. Give yourself some time :)

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