, , ,

I have a hard time picking favorites.

I don’t really have a monumental favorite color, a favorite movie, or a favorite book.  In the past year I’ve had 2 identical experiences regarding this… I forget a password to some web site I subscribe to and when I call in, the special question happens to be “what’s your favorite movie (TV show, or book)?”

It just so happens that I can’t ever recall the same one that I answered when I set the password up in the first place.  Do people really maintain favorites and never switch them out?   My favorite book today is the last decent one I read.  It’ll be replaced by the next good one I read.

Am I fickle or just easily entertained?

I saw a show the other day where people related their favorite holiday memory. I couldn’t think of one of those for myself either.  I like the holidays but I couldn’t think of one standout experience that would set one apart from all the rest.

Perhaps I just have a bad memory?

I think I just have a lack of trust in myself and my choices in even trivial things.  I certainly don’t think every odd or negative thing in my life is a result of my involvement in Mormonism but in this case I see a relation.

Hardcover Edition

Image via Wikipedia

When I read Steven Hassan’s Combatting Cult Mind Control several years ago I was fascinated.  I was able to cross-reference so much of it with my experience out of Mormonism.  Steve Hassan apostatized from The Unification Church (Moonies) and that was a bit more extreme, but most of the concepts, principals and practices are the same.

Q: What’s the difference between a cult and a religion?

A: About a hundred years.

And that quip brings me to the one monumental difference between Hassan’s experience in a young cult and mine in a slightly older one.  Since a cult is so new, most adherents are converts, so when an individual leaves a cult they have a past life and a past personality to return to.  When you are born into a restrictive religion your personality is formed by the religion itself.  When you leave there’s nothing to return to.  It’s feels like self-discovery at square one.

I see many consequences of this…having a hard time picking favorites is one. Feeling disconnected from people is another.  Facebook has been a great help with the latter.  I’ve reconnected with so many old friends, classmates and colleagues with whom I feel like I missed out on tighter connections because I was arrogant, self-righteous or too worried about choosing the right to choose anything at all.

I see stuff like that happening with my kids…especially the ones who are most different.  I can see them second-guessing themselves and processing thoughts and choices to gauge their “rightness.”

Wondering how to help them get over that….