Losing My Religion! Part One
In a previous post Spiritual Awakening- I Saw The Signs, I wrote about some of the signs I experienced during the awakening process.
During my awakening I experienced a shifting or a removal of some deeply entrenched things in my life. I left my marriage and my job of many years. One of the situations in my life that also shifted was my religious beliefs. It is one of the signs of awakening as referenced below:
“Craving more and more to break free from traditions, outdated institutional thinking, blind conformity, and useless beliefs that do not serve the higher self anymore. This breaking free takes a lot of courage.” -Roya R. Rad, MA, PsyD (Huffington Post)
From childhood my beliefs were set in stone. Like most people, I never questioned what I believed. I was told it was true and was always shown “proof” that this was the case. However as an adult, with an ever increasing ability to make my own choices and decisions, many times I found what heard or saw to be contradictory. However I chocked that up to my own inability to grasp the teachings and immersed myself into studying more. I did not want to be labelled “spiritually weak”. Within this belief system there is a constant requirement of studying and evangelizing. As much studying and preaching as I did, I never could find the joy that I observed in others in the group. I was constantly filled with guilt because I could not measure up to these standards. I lived in fear of God that because I could not seem to meet these organizational requirements I would be destroyed in Armageddon. I wrestled with these emotions constantly and eventually over time; I broke down completely exhausted from trying to live by this routine.
One day I came home and prayed: ‘I can’t do this anymore. I am tired. I take full responsibility for my life. You can send me my own personal pretty pink fireball and I am fine with that”. I stopped attending the meetings and noticed something very interesting: I felt better! My mind was clearer, my sleep improved and the guilt and fear subsided. But like a true captive to a concept, I returned to the organization briefly in a moment of panic for fear of eternal destruction. And then I realized that all those negative feelings came right back. That is when I left for good and I have never looked back.
Leaving my religion, walking away was not as easy as it seemed, however. You would think that if a person no longer wanted to be a part of a religious group, they could just walk away. That seems normal to most people. But in my case leaving started a firestorm among my friends and family. Because I stayed true to myself and stood by the lies I eventually found out about this group, I lost hundreds of friends and the majority of my family. In simple terms I am persona non grata. I am avoided by most when my paths cross with these people. But as time has progressed I have learned to release them and move on with my life.
When you start to spiritually awaken, things that were solid in your life will be removed, or you will extricate yourself from them. You see, the truth really is as you wake up you can see falsehoods. As you become more authentic your spirit cannot sit in the same place and believe lies. You will start a process of making sure that what you believe is true and when you find out it is not, you will shift away from it.
Despite what I have lost, I have no regrets. There are too many positives. For one I am no longer controlled by a group of men I now know I cannot trust. I am also able to read and research anything I chose to, which was something that was not allowed in this organization. I am able to expand my mind and learn to a larger degree. I am free of the dogma and doctrines that kept me in fear and guilt, which are base emotions. I am helping people in a way that truly refreshes my soul and brings joys to their lives. I sleep in peace at night knowing I will not be destroyed by a vengeful God. But best of all I am able to expand my life and live it fully while alive, without waiting for a promise that was only designed to keep me entrapped.
I am free. That is what a spiritual awakening will do to you. It will free you to ask the questions that really matter to you. And the question I asked: What is truth? I am not really searching, because I have always known. It is imprinted on my soul and on yours. If you listen to your soul very carefully you will know what is true. I dare you to tell me!
In a future post I will delve a little bit more into what I experienced during the process of unbelieving.
Until then, Live the Life!