in our society, most power is weilded through manipulation. you are being manipulated.
the great forces for manipulation are first, religion, second politics, and third education. all of them use brainwashing techniques. none of them want you to think on your own. like the bible says, as you think in your heart, so it is for you. you must guard your thoughts zealously and check everything out before accepting it as truth. for most people, this means wiping the slate clean and starting all over again. otherwise, how can you know which you have been told is the truth and which is a lie? if you cant verify it, dont believe it. unfortunately, you have heard the lies all your life and they rest at the very core of your thinking. it will take work and commitment to dispell them all.
knowing you are being manipulated is a start. the more people that think a certain thing is true, the more likely it is a lie. a rule of thumb that can be used is mass media. since this is the source of most peoples' "truth", you can pretty much count on everything you see on tv or read in newspapers and magazines is a lie.
how can this be? it is because those in positions of authority are professional liars. they are not well versed in the truth. instead, they go to school for years and become doctors of divinity, or medicine, or political Science
so they are well versed in the intricacies of the lie which is their particular craft. they can argue circles around you and speak of things which are over your head to confuse you and make you their subject.
if you are truly interested in your creator, talk to him, not some man. spend some time alone and listen to that still small voice in which he speaks. he has given us all free will, so he will not impose upon you in the manner in which you find your parents and preacher doing, or your doctor, or like your teachers in school did. they all operate from a position of motivating you with fear. god is love, and he will cast away all of your fears. you must earnestly and ardently seek him with pure and honest intention. it is my experience that he will not let you down.
this is a great place to ask your question, kevin. it is a matter of mental health, and if the mind is not healthy, the rest of the body will obediently follow, no matter what else you do to the contrary.
that is the best answer i have for you, son.