Peace. I really hope that I don't sound like a broken record to you all.
I keep committing the same old sins over and over again. Harboring slanderous thoughts, fighting them off with other slanderous thoughts, jerking off, falling into lust, being internally angry with others when they judge me, criticize me, or play jokes with me to arouse my temper. The more I try to fight them off, the more I fail and be driven to uncertainty, apathy, and meaningless-ness.
The more I try to repent, the worse my sins appear to me. It makes me feel like I'm further away from God than I originally thought and that I'm not repenting correctly or that I'm not praying right or with true repentant fervor. It's like paying lip-service.
There are times when I harbor righteous thoughts, but my faulty self won't act upon them at the risk of being hypocritical. Then again, I just try to perform good acts towards others (helping my family in day-to-day activities for instance), but something tells me it's not enough to receive God's mercy and spirit within me. It's like the thorns of this world are choking me by the moment. I understand that living a life in Christ calls us to be not of this world, but I can't shake the notion that includes being "above it" as in being in the "in-crowd". So now I'm having a bit of an identity and faith crisis.
Believe it or not, before my quest into Orthodoxy I was part of that SNR (Spiritual but not Religious) crowd when I was fed up with the state of Christianity in the West. Now that I'm on the path to Orthodoxy, all the hypocrisies that I was fed up with are really revealed within myself. This has caused me to feel at war with myself internally. If I can't be at peace with myself, who in God's name will I be at peace with?
All my life I sought to avoid getting on everyone's bad side and be right with them (God, family, friends). Now I realize that that you can't be right with everyone no matter what happens. And some of the things I ask for, I don't deserve at all because I think my motives and intentions are completely off track, if not perverse.
Pray for me,