Do You Feel You Don’t Fit In?

Do you ever look around yourself and feel like no matter what you do, you are not a part of “the group?”  For me sometimes it feels like pretty much the only group I feel like I have ever been a part of is the LDS church.  There are really no other groups that have been a part of my entire life.  While I have maintained my tentative relationship with the church, it seems like I have been symbolically/psychologically jumping ship on a lot of smaller matters.

Naturally, this breaking away from what I consider the core orthodoxy of the church has left me uncomfortable and feeling like I don’t belong in the only real social group I’ve ever really known.  Yet when I look around me, I have trouble finding a direction in which to travel where I will feel more accepted or comfortable.

My journey out of orthodoxy actually has its roots in politics.  As a radical conservative dittohead type, there came a time in my life when I started to question the methods that the Rush Limbaughs of the world used to demonize and condemn people who had different ideologies.  I actually can remember watching Bill O’Reilly interviewing Jon Stewart way back in 2004 and completely disrespecting Stewart, who from what I could gather from the interview, seemed like a nice enough guy.  I had never watched the Daily Show prior to that interview.  But after being disgusted by O’Reilly’s rude comportment, I decided I would start watching.

Thus began the long slide down into what sometimes has felt like a total loss of initial belief.  All of a sudden I didn’t fit in with my family, with friends, really with anyone.  I started searching out those ever so dangerous “alternate voices.”  Although I liked what they had to say, I am not sure if it was because I actually thought they were right on everything, or just because the rush that came due to liberation from prior belief constraints was a feeling I wanted more of.

The story could go on for quite awhile, but I mainly just give this much of it as a sound background to explain where I sometimes feel I am at today.  I find myself stuck in between what seems to me as an orthodoxy on both sides.  I definitely don’t fit in with republicans, but I also have a lot of problems with the democratic party.  I take issue with a lot of the answers the church gives with regard to issues like creation or homosexuality, yet I still don’t feel like science has all the answers either.  So I can’t just dump religion and embrace science as the only way to go.

As a participant in the Mormon Expression community, I sometimes feel like I must be in the minority in that even though I have a lot of questions and issues with the current position of the church on many issues, I still feel that the church overall has a positive societal impact around the world.  While I have been upset and shocked at some of the things I have learned about the church, I don’t feel like the church is a cult and that its members are a bunch of brainwashed lemmings.

I look around myself and I see true believers of mormonism telling me I have to be a certain way to return to God.  Then I turn around and see the true believers in anti-mormonism telling me if I don’t convert to their personal worldview, I am aiding and abetting; I am complicit in the lie.  I definitely don’t feel comfortable on either side.

I see name-calling and hostility on both sides and I say, this is not for me.

So what is the answer?  As a person who has a tendency toward black or white thinking, I often feel like I need to take a stand either on one side or the other; I need to argue; I need to discuss.  Yet I am not comfortable just sitting back and basking in my own correctness.  In the end I find myself wondering, why this seemingly innate need to be a part of a group?  Why am I uncomfortable just being me and being content with that?  Why does it seem like we need so badly to not only say, “I’m right, but look!  He/she agrees with me?”

Do you ever feel like you don’t fit anywhere?  Is it possible that there is a majority group out there that makes a difference just by going along and not getting caught up in the extremes on both sides?  I think it is possible to be vocal and opinionated about a third or fourth way.  I am tired of simple dichotomies.  I am sick of binary thinking.  Who’s with me?  (See, I can’t just be alone out here.  I have to fit somewhere!)

Maybe not fitting in is right where I belong.