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lisa2712

How to Practice Spirituality, with Social Anxiety Issues?

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Hi,

I have severe social anxiety problems. I tried going to a few weekly religious services years ago, and it was hard for me, so I stopped. I most recently tried going to an Episcopal Church for spiritual support, and I really liked kneeling in the pews in front of a large Jesus statue (this is different for me because I was raised Jewish and only attended Jewish services before.) I felt like I had a friend, and my problems in life weren't only mine to handle. But again, being around people at the Church was very hard for me, and so I didn't attend again, despite liking the service.

For those with social anxiety issues who want spirituality in life, what do you do? It has to be a private form of spirituality, because for people like myself, it's hard to go into a place with lots of people. 

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try for an early service time besides the expected 11 am on sunday morning (for most christians) or for another day with a service (ie mid-week service); does the church you're interested in have a smaller group for a bible study or host small groups? those can be opportunities to interact with fewer folks and still get spiritual needs met. also i really like quakers: gentle, silent, extremely accepting of all folks/beliefs. good luck!

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Hi Lisa,

 

some of the churches have newcomers groups where they explain what it's all about and it's a great way to meet people one on one. Then they may recognize you at the next service and be friendly and you will feel more at ease.

 

I went to an Episcopal church for several months in my area, it was a new denomination for me. I have tried several "brands" of churches after being raised Catholic and Fundie. The people were extremely friendly at the Episcopal church and I still am in contact a little bit with a couple of people from there, even though I stopped going. I still think of going back.

I have become the type of person who only goes to church on Easter and Christmas, though I do sprinkle in some odd things here and there. One time I just randomly picked a church on Christmas Eve and went there because it seemed to be the only one having a true midnight mass/service and I had just gotten off work. People are almost always glad to see a new face

 

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17 hours ago, yarnandcats said:

try for an early service time besides the expected 11 am on sunday morning (for most christians) or for another day with a service (ie mid-week service); does the church you're interested in have a smaller group for a bible study or host small groups? those can be opportunities to interact with fewer folks and still get spiritual needs met. also i really like quakers: gentle, silent, extremely accepting of all folks/beliefs. good luck!

Yes, they have study groups. 

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Have you thought about talking to someone you trust about your MI and religious path? I'm a practicing Buddhist and had practiced for awhile before I caved in and told Roshi I have a MI. I'm so glad I did because he was compassionate about it and now he can understand if I engage certain behaviors that its the MI, not me. 

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If you want the experience of being in a consecrated place without having a religious service going on around you, all over the world, many Catholic churches leave their doors open during the day, and people can come in and sit (or kneel) in the pews quietly by themselves. Some Episcopal churches do, too. You can check in your area. 

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I would add to what @Gearhead suggests above, that your spiritual experience need not be limited to a designated house of worship. Many people are inspired spiritually by places in nature, or locations in urban areas that speak to them of the Divine. If your goal is not to have a socially spiritual experience, but to commune on your own, consider whether there is a solitary place that would be conducive to prayer for you. You may discover that you can find God in other places besides churches and synagogues. "Seek ye the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near." Isaiah 55:6  (Hint: He's always near, if you are a seeker.)

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On 8/25/2019 at 1:44 AM, Gearhead said:

If you want the experience of being in a consecrated place without having a religious service going on around you, all over the world, many Catholic churches leave their doors open during the day, and people can come in and sit (or kneel) in the pews quietly by themselves. Some Episcopal churches do, too. You can check in your area. 

yes. And to add, if you're specifically looking for a religious place and enjoy the rituals of services, most Catholic Churches have early morning masses, like 6am, or around 5pm, during the week, and very few people (generally elderly people) seem go to them. It would probably be easy to sit in the back and not encounter many people. 

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