Monday, September 28, 2015

Why I Left Religion

It was killing all of my life and joy.

If you want my reason in a little nutshell, that's it.

Beyond that simple statement, I could talk all day in an abstract form about my whys. Letting go of the chains that tied me down for so long is something my brain is still reeling from, and thus I still cannot perfectly articulate in the way I would like best all the reasons that stand. Maybe someday I'll be able to take a deep breath and move past the mayhem completely, but for now, everything is still fuzzy. So I'll try to keep this simple and to the point.

I grew up in a religious family. As people who have grown up in strongly religious families would be able to relate, I was taught that this is the right way and the only right way so live this way because it's the right way. And that was all fine and great, until it wasn't.

Too many questions were left unanswered, and forbidden to be asked for too long. Eventually I started having an on and off relationship with my faith. Sometimes it was fine, sometimes it was not. Soon enough, it was not fine more often then it was fine. This was right around the time when I was supposed to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up, because hello college is right around the corner and everyone and their grandma is asking you where you'll be going to school. So I chose Bible school. It was a last resort to convince myself that everything I had been brought up in and had been learning my entire life was worth hanging on to, even though it pointed against integral parts of my inherent nature. Just one last chance.

I loved every minute I spent there. And contrary to what one would think, by the end, I had truly taken the first step to leaving. That in and of itself is another conversation entirely, and if you're curious and catch me at a good time I might tell you about it.

A few years later, all was said and done. I was finished. No more. I was done with everything. I didn't like the person religion wanted me to be, I didn't like the association with the title, I was ashamed of so many representing the title and I was tired of fighting my nature. Little by little, over the years, I had been dropping out parts, til one day, I realized I was living a lie. I decided I did not want to be miserable anymore. So I left, and started fresh. Ever since then, I've been happier, healthier, and in a much better place.

I don't hate religion, I just found out it wasn't for me. It's been a very hard lesson for me to learn how to cut out things in my life that are effecting me negatively, but thankfully I learned before I tanked completely.

Religion has taught me a lot of things; some I never want in my life again, and some I'll always have with me. That's why I got agape inked onto my skin. In spite of everything, religion, specifically Jesus' philosophy, taught me the importance of unconditional love. The kind that's patient, kind, good, gentle, and selfless. That's a philosophy I want to carry around with me forever.

However, I am done with religion. Not from a lack of knowledge, but simply because it was no longer improving my life. Since writing is my way of processing, and so many still think I'm a person who no longer is, it didn't seem right to keep silent anymore.

Just my two cents.

Part 1

The poem (this one) I posted before this one is actually a response to this one. The subject of this piece probably has no idea they are the subject, but the subject of the response knew exactly what was going on. That's why I had to write the second part.

These two people are soulmates. This fascinates me. They will forever be a part of each other, but they should probably not ever be together ever again. It's just one of those things that will always be, but mustn't be. It's a beautifully tragic thing.

So for your reading pleasure, here is the first.