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.


  1. It takes a lot to be honest with how you truly feel in your heart, especially when it comes to something like spiritual beliefs. It is so personal to people. Lately, I've been questioning a lot about religion too and learning more and more that I really don't like a lot about the structure of it all. Which, ironically, has made me love Jesus more because He was so not about religion.

    Anyway, kudos to you! I love your tattoo, by the way!

    1. Thanks Lacey, I really appreciate your comment. :) Jesus was a pretty cool dude. He gave and left the world so many good things to live by.

  2. Thanks for sharing this! Although I was raised in a non-religious family, I was baptised and received bible studies as a child, however I've cut ties from all religion and went from one extreme to the other. I didn't agree with the constant preaching in christianity and felt there was too much negativity in atheism that fueled unecessary hate. In the end I decided to follow my own morals, feelings and how it affects other people, it's nice holding onto your reins rather than to be guided with contraints.. I'm glad you are happy :)

    1. Thank you! We all have to find our own way, and better to find that sooner than later. Glad you found yours. :)

  3. Woah. Very interesting read.

    I have always hated "religion." it makes me think of rules and "you cant do this or that." and it makes me uncomfortable. I have always said I hate religion but love Jesus. Heck, Jesus hated religion too. half the bible is God/Jesus talking about how churches were doing crap wrong and how they set up all these rules that werent getting them salvation. how the Pharisees were living a lie. He thought like you did I believe.

    (I realize now that the person above me said almost the exact same thing so Im going to stop it here.)

    lately Ive struggled with the label I get by being a Christian. I hate that people assume things about me. I hate the way churches do things and its a serious struggle for me. I hate other Christians sometimes even though I know I shouldnt and I know Im no better than them.

    Really interesting read. thanks for being honest. Im sorry "religion" sucked for you.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Faith!

      I've had issues with organized religion forever, I think that's what really started my whole downward spiral. But then I also started having questions and issues with the theistic Christ relationship. Throw in a few very frustratingly bad years with that whole thing in the middle of it, and it was nope I'm done here. Sad thing is religion didn't always suck for me, but then I "outgrew" it. In choosing to either deny certain inherent parts of my nature, embrace it, or continue to live a dishonest front, I had to leave for my own well-being. Guess it wasn't for me, but if it's improving and enriching your life, stick with it and figure it out. Lots of good things in Christianity.

  4. I think when something like religion no longer helps you, then I can see why a person would walk away... I have a Faith that I do believe in but I still have questions myself... As for Jesus, he definitely embodies love, I am drawn to that as I think we all need to learn to love a little more. Such an honest and open post xox <3

    1. Agreed. If more people actually lived the way Jesus wanted people to live, we'd all be in much better shape! :)

  5. I thought it was very interesting to read.
    I'm glad for you that you made this decision.
    At the end of the day it doesn't matter if you are Christian or non believer, because as long you live life in a good way you are already doing enough ;)

  6. I like your tattoo. :) And also I like your perspective on life, religion and love. I was reading in Romans this morning and this stuck out to me, "Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law." Just a wonderful reminder that the law no longer stands and is only there to show us how much we need Jesus and love. Love is so, so important and I have lots to learn about it. Reading this helped me learn more!


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