My girlfriend and I recently split up. We were together for almost six years. It's been amicable—she helped me move into my new place and I provided a little financial assistance to her during the transition. But the fact remains that a few years ago we fully expected to be married someday and now we're reduced to communicating mostly through the occasional text message.
It's weird, but I'm not that sad about it. I mean, I'm not really thrilled about it, either. But I've waited two months to see if the crushing misery will set in...and it hasn't. As strange as it may sound, I'm pretty sure that learning the truth about Mormonism helped prepare me to cope with stuff like this.
It's tough to close the door to a bright future you once looked forward to. All that fantastic stuff promised to me in my patriarchal blessing became a non-starter once I realized that the patriarch didn't actually have divine inspiration. Similarly, my ex-girlfriend and I will never be married, we won't have kids, and we aren't going to grow old together or any of that stuff. But as tightly as I clung to those notions during our relationship, a lot of that was external, separate from my identity. When I left the church, by contrast, there were a lot of internal ramifications.
Who was I without the church? What did I believe without the church? What did I want without the church? How would I choose to approach life and its challenges without the church?
I may have to start over in some respects. There are obviously a lot of drawbacks to the situation and certain aspects of my life will require some significant adjustments. But it's so much less debilitating to face a big setback when that setback doesn't threaten your identity. I still know who I am, what I believe, what I want, and how I choose to approach life. I don't have to start from scratch. And that makes this comparatively easier to deal with than confronting the fraudulent reality of Mormonism.
It's an interesting thing to reflect on. My transition away from belief in the church was easily the worst time of my life, but it's worth noting that it produced some positive results. Each struggle can harden us against future struggles and each unpleasantness can have a silver lining, so long as we're able to learn from our hardships.
God, this is starting to sound like a testimony meeting. At least I've stayed away from the phrase "trials and tribulations" thus far.
I guess there's not a whole lot of point to this post beyond gee willikers, isn't life just a funny ol' thing. But it's what I've been thinking about lately. And, to be fair, life kind of is a funny old thing. It's fascinating to consider the many convoluted paths it can take and, for example, how losing my faith prepared me for losing my most cherished personal relationship.
I never would have predicted that.