Author Topic: How to avoid converting as a teenager and burning out in a year  (Read 7939 times)

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Offline Hinterlander

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Re: How to avoid converting as a teenager and burning out in a year
« Reply #45 on: September 23, 2012, 08:00:14 PM »
I don't know enough about where your at currently to suggest converting (i'm not even orthodox either) but here is what I wished I had done when I was your age.

1. Practice the basics: reading the bible, following a prayer rule, avoid indulging in food, entertainment, internet, etc . . .
2. Attend worship and get involved with people, form intergenerational relationships if possible
3. Serve others in your daily life (in school, work, home) and find more outlets to do so (volunteering, etc).
4. Understand it's a long haul and that you've probably not exhausted all the frustrations and challenges of adolescence.



« Last Edit: September 23, 2012, 08:03:21 PM by Hinterlander »

Offline Quinault

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Re: How to avoid converting as a teenager and burning out in a year
« Reply #46 on: September 24, 2012, 11:34:14 PM »
1) Accept that the majority of the time there isn't a clear "answer" on things

2) Accept that it is normal to waiver in your faith. Christianity and faith don't mean that you "feel" it 100% of the time. Belief doesn't mean that you necessarily "feel" it all the time. Faith is moving in one direction. Sometimes we stop along the way. Sometimes we even turn back for a spell. That doesn't mean that we don't believe. The beauty of orthodoxy is that we view faith as a journey. We aren't "saved" in one moment. We are being saved daily in our journey. You can fall down a few rungs of the ladder. You can even jump off for awhile. But the option is always there to keep climbing back up. Theosis is a process. That doesn't mean that we don't revert for awhile.

Faith isn't the absence of doubt. Faith is choosing to believe in the presence of doubt.

Offline Quinault

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Re: How to avoid converting as a teenager and burning out in a year
« Reply #47 on: September 24, 2012, 11:40:36 PM »
Oh! One more thing:

Be aware that the fasts need to be eased into. And if you have issues emotionally/physically it sometimes isn't a good idea to fast. My husband has Degenerative Disc Disease and PTSD. We have found that for his emotional and psychological well being he can't strictly observe the fasts. When you force yourself into a strict fast too quickly the ramifications are enormous on your wellbeing overall. If you have issues with depression, fast with caution. Watch yourself for emotional swings that might be related to fasting.

Fasting is more that abstaining from certain foods. It isn't safe/healthy to knuckle thru and be dishonest. Speak to your godparents and spiritual father honestly about fasting if you find it is effecting you adversely.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 11:41:49 PM by Quinault »

Offline biro

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Re: How to avoid converting as a teenager and burning out in a year
« Reply #48 on: September 24, 2012, 11:48:00 PM »
I thought I was the only one who had the fasting and depression problem. It does aggravate my condition. Next time I have a chance to speak to the priest about it, I will.

Offline JamesR

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Re: How to avoid converting as a teenager and burning out in a year
« Reply #49 on: September 25, 2012, 03:01:54 AM »
Avoid intelligent thought and logically examining religion like you would examine everything else no matter how angry it makes people. Don't stand up for what your reasoning convicts you is right. I use reasoning and people think I am evil because it violates their religious social norms.
...Or it's just possible he's a mouthy young man on an internet forum.
In the infinite wisdom of God, James can be all three.

Offline Quinault

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Re: How to avoid converting as a teenager and burning out in a year
« Reply #50 on: September 25, 2012, 03:03:30 AM »
Avoid intelligent thought and logically examining religion like you would examine everything else no matter how angry it makes people. Don't stand up for what your reasoning convicts you is right. I use reasoning and people think I am evil because it violates their religious social norms.

You know, at least GiC is amusing....Angry self pity is just obnoxious. So you have decided that you are angry with God. Go on a nice agnostic/atheist board and "have a nice day....somewhere else." (Hams Beer anyone in the NW?)
« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 03:08:23 AM by Quinault »

Offline dzheremi

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Re: How to avoid converting as a teenager and burning out in a year
« Reply #51 on: September 25, 2012, 03:05:25 AM »
Don't listen to other teenagers...

Offline Quinault

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Re: How to avoid converting as a teenager and burning out in a year
« Reply #52 on: September 25, 2012, 03:08:42 AM »

Offline Quinault

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Re: How to avoid converting as a teenager and burning out in a year
« Reply #53 on: September 25, 2012, 03:09:42 AM »
James,

See if you can do this three times to make a statement. Go to church, stand before the icon of Christ on the cross, point your finger at him and say with all the indignation you can muster, "You died for me and I don't give a damn!"

While I do feel that way, I do not think I could do it because I am afraid Christ would punish me. I cannot even keep eye contact with the Icon of Christ because whenever I look into His eyes I feel like He is angry with me. When I look into the eyes of the Icon of the Theotokos I feel like she feels sympathy for me, and when I look into the eyes of John the Baptist I feel like he is saying 'you know what you must do, why not do it?' but deep down I do not know what I am supposed to do. I honestly do not care that Christ died because I feel that it has not made any difference in my life at all. But blatantly pointing to His Icon and rudely condemning Him is something I am afraid to do. Satan may have been brave enough (or foolish enough) to risk punishment by opposing God in crazy ways, but I am not. I still recognize that He can punish me at any point.

Forget it, I will just admit it. I cannot accept that challenge because deep down I still love and appreciate Him even when I do not understand Him and feel like I hate Him.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 03:10:50 AM by Quinault »

Offline Kerdy

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Re: How to avoid converting as a teenager and burning out in a year
« Reply #54 on: September 25, 2012, 04:09:45 AM »
Avoid intelligent thought and logically examining religion like you would examine everything else no matter how angry it makes people. Don't stand up for what your reasoning convicts you is right. I use reasoning and people think I am evil because it violates their religious social norms.
When I was your age *cough* years ago, I thought I was smarter than everyone and had all the answer too.  The older I became the more I realized just how stupid I am and looking back to then am completely embarrassed about how totally ignorant I was about almost everything.  In time, you too will become wiser and realize how little you currently understand.  Just don't take as long as I did.

Offline Nicene

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Re: How to avoid converting as a teenager and burning out in a year
« Reply #55 on: September 25, 2012, 04:28:08 AM »
I find myself, just being a new convert, that having a firm and reasonable basis for the faith helps. That no matter my emotional state, there are the facts that Christ rose from the dead and I try from this to conform myself to Christ.
Thank you.

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: How to avoid converting as a teenager and burning out in a year
« Reply #56 on: October 04, 2012, 01:11:40 AM »
Here's the ultimate solution for teenage burnout, offered by Conciliar Press:

http://www.conciliarpress.com/products/Special-Agents-of-Christ:-A-Prayer-Book-for-Young-Orthodox-Saints.html
Πάντα μὲν καθαρὰ τοῖς καθαροῖς
Τοῖς δὲ μεμιασμένοις καὶ ἀπίστοις οὐδὲν καθαρόν

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Offline Alpo

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Re: How to avoid converting as a teenager and burning out in a year
« Reply #57 on: October 04, 2012, 02:10:46 AM »
Here's the ultimate solution for teenage burnout, offered by Conciliar Press:

http://www.conciliarpress.com/products/Special-Agents-of-Christ:-A-Prayer-Book-for-Young-Orthodox-Saints.html

Here's the ultimate solution to protestantize Orthodoxy. Contemporary liturgies coming soon to your closest parish.
The user should probably be sleeping by now.

Offline Rufus

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Re: How to avoid converting as a teenager and burning out in a year
« Reply #58 on: October 04, 2012, 08:35:51 PM »
Here's the ultimate solution for teenage burnout, offered by Conciliar Press:

http://www.conciliarpress.com/products/Special-Agents-of-Christ:-A-Prayer-Book-for-Young-Orthodox-Saints.html

Here's the ultimate solution to protestantize Orthodoxy. Contemporary liturgies coming soon to your closest parish.

I just hate it when people try to appeal to youth by pretending to be hip. I hated it all through childhood and until now. It is condescending.

Maybe some people like it, but I have yet to see it work on Orthodox.

Offline LBK

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Re: How to avoid converting as a teenager and burning out in a year
« Reply #59 on: October 04, 2012, 10:33:18 PM »
I just hate it when people try to appeal to youth by pretending to be hip. I hated it all through childhood and until now. It is condescending.

Maybe some people like it, but I have yet to see it work on Orthodox.

This.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2012, 10:33:53 PM by LBK »
Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

Offline JamesR

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Re: How to avoid converting as a teenager and burning out in a year
« Reply #60 on: October 05, 2012, 12:13:36 AM »
The funny thing is, I have never been hip either and have found myself more comfortable around older people opposed to people my own age.
...Or it's just possible he's a mouthy young man on an internet forum.
In the infinite wisdom of God, James can be all three.

Offline orthonorm

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Re: How to avoid converting as a teenager and burning out in a year
« Reply #61 on: October 05, 2012, 01:02:51 AM »
I thought I was the only one who had the fasting and depression problem. It does aggravate my condition. Next time I have a chance to speak to the priest about it, I will.

Vitamin D & Cholesterol.

Some people need both to feel well, especially some given over to depression.

You are not the only one.
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Re: How to avoid converting as a teenager and burning out in a year
« Reply #62 on: October 05, 2012, 07:09:04 AM »
At nunc desertis cessant sacraria lucis:
aurum omnes victa iam pietate colunt.
-Propertius, Elegies III.XIII:47-48

νίκας τοῖς Βασιλεῦσι κατὰ βαρβάρων δωρούμενος

Offline dzheremi

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Re: How to avoid converting as a teenager and burning out in a year
« Reply #63 on: October 05, 2012, 07:35:04 AM »
Haha. Yes, I suppose that comment looks funny now that JamesR appears to have repented of the kinds of thoughts that he was posting in this thread that inspired me to post that bit of advice, though I think it still generally works... ;D I've nothing against teenagers as people (I was one myself not so terribly long ago), though the experience needed to guide a new convert is probably more often found in people who have decades of their life (or all of it) in the Church. I suppose I do not have a specific "spiritual father", for instance, as everyone in our little Coptic community has helped me in some way, but the man who I am closest to in the Church is about twice my age, so sometimes I will call him for guidance, as it is not always possible to get in touch with one of our priests, and really not every single question requires the priest's time. If he were 17, I would probably want to run his answers or opinions by someone with more age and experience, anyway, so yes...still stay away from the advice of other teenagers. Consider this: If they had the wisdom they're often convinced they have, this thread wouldn't be called "How to avoid converting as a teenager and burning out in a year". ;)

Online Cyrillic

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Re: How to avoid converting as a teenager and burning out in a year
« Reply #64 on: October 05, 2012, 07:44:55 AM »
still stay away from the advice of other teenagers. Consider this: If they had the wisdom they're often convinced they have, this thread wouldn't be called "How to avoid converting as a teenager and burning out in a year". ;)

Hehe you're quite right (as always).
At nunc desertis cessant sacraria lucis:
aurum omnes victa iam pietate colunt.
-Propertius, Elegies III.XIII:47-48

νίκας τοῖς Βασιλεῦσι κατὰ βαρβάρων δωρούμενος

Offline ialmisry

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Re: How to avoid converting as a teenager and burning out in a year
« Reply #65 on: October 14, 2012, 07:30:48 PM »
One of the reasons that we have a convert Issues Forum is that many people are asking the same questions and because they are new we want to give them simple and consistent answers from Holy Orthodox. Many converts forget that we need to first be like children and  take our milk first and the meat later. Most who "burn out do so by trying to know it all before they learn and practice the simple Orthodoxy of the child. My spiritual father reminded me that although I was was 38 years old when I was converted, in Orthodoxy I was the baby and I needed to learn as a child. My recommendation is enjoy your childhood in Christ and learn the practice of daily orthodoxy before you start looking for the deeper controversies of theologians.

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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth