In between two worlds
I grew up in a very Christian family, but most of my friends at school, later at university and work are from a background that has nothing to do with church. So as long as I remember it seemed to me that I am somehow stuck between two worlds. I was part of both, but they seemed so different.
The last couple of years I spent a lot of time finding out what I MYSELF believe in. I learned these things by sorting out my inner world and reading psychology books. I am still not done with this, but I think I got quite far.
The strange thing with finding out what I believe in is that when I tell what I learned to different people they see it from totally different perspectives. When I tell psychologists or psychiatrists about my experience they tell me that I have various disorders, ranging from "depression" to "probably psychotic". And they suggest treatment of various types, like therapy and even taking a small dose of neuroleptics.
On the other side, when I tell people at church about my experience, they have no problem to see what I learned as part of the christian faith and they tell me bible verses related to what I say. One time I even did a service including a sermon about some of my experience on a sunday when my pastors were away and there was noone to replace them. So the people at church are fine when I tell them WHAT I believe in, but they usually get angry when I tell them HOW I learned these things, namely by reading psychology books. Then they tell me that I should read my bible instead or pray and get away from these psychology books.
For example one of the things that I learned is that I believe that in order to improve my relationships, it is necessary to get rid of the false self image that we have. I learned this from reading book about Gestalt therapy. I learned from these books how to have discussions between different parts of myself and how to overcome false ideas about myself, e.g. that I am chaotic, can`t do things by myself. These are idea I have about myself for such a long time, that I thought that they are part of who I am.
So challenging these thoughts for me seemed like dicovering a whole new "ME" a part that really seemed like me instead of that bad image I had. It seemed like going back in time when I was a little kid and to change the ideas about myself. I have been thinking about the story when Jesus talked to Nicodemus and told him that we have to be born again to see Gods kingdom. For me this sounds like Jesus saying that we have to get rid of our false image about ourselves.
From the exprerience that I had so far I think that psychology/psychiatry and what Jesus taught 2000 years ago might be the same thing, just from two VERY different perspectives.