I grew up in a Christian setting and later chose to leave my faith behind. You can read about it on my post I Stopped Following Christ and Here Is Why. What I didn’t share in that post, however, was the aftermath of me renouncing my religion. I admit, I was depressed when I first left Christ.
*apostasy – abandonment or renunciation of a religion or political view. — I will be using this term throughout the rest of the post.
I don’t want to give the illusion that apostasy is an easy thing because it isn’t. Deciding to change spiritual paths could leave you feeling some “symptoms of apostasy” (as I like to call it).
This Is What I Experienced:
When I first started educating myself on religion, I came to an inevitable point where I questioned God altogether. When you tell people you aren’t religious, the follow up question is ALWAYS, “well, do you believe in God?”
For a few years, I had no answer to that question. I had no idea what I believed. I’d been praying to a white Jesus all my life and come to find out, the man was black. I didn’t know reality from fiction anymore.
It took me a while to map my way back to a spiritual connection with God – or shall I say, my version of God. I honestly had to work my way backwards and that is how I still do it. I start by determining what I definitely don’t believe and leave room for insight on the things I’m still iffy about.
But man, I was lost for some time. Even now, I am on a more guided route but there is still so much more I have to learn.
I tend to get left out sometimes. Anything involving religion, I usually didn’t and don’t get invited to. What made me feel bad about it was realizing why I’d been left out. It wasn’t because people were concerned about offending me with an invitation, it was because they genuinely didn’t want me there.
Two things people don’t talk about – politics and religion. People assume I will ruin their gatherings if I show up with all of my non-believer antics. This mentality basically applies to life in general.
When people find out I don’t follow Christ, many people feel like they can no longer “fool with me.” I have lost some folks along the way. Some of them were very vocal about their reasons for exiting my life, while others were just shady with it. Most of them never really tried to hear me out with an open mind. It really hurt me to be rejected because of my religious views.
I doubted myself a lot. My mind was so programmed to the Christian religion that I felt like I was sinning by asking questions and demanding more logical answers. I’d constantly wonder if I were wrong and if I were just digging my hole in hell by denying Christ as my Lord and Savior.
In my post, I Stopped Following Christ and Here is Why, I talked about questioning how we determine which religion is right or wrong. Well, there was still a lingering part of me that said, ” what if it turns out Christianity was right all along and I had it right the first time then became a non-believer, so now I’m going to hell!” – anxiety much?
THAT was how brainwashed I was. There’s still some residue floating around in there, but I’m working out the kinks.
I was always a firm believer in prayer. From as early as I can remember, I’d always had prayer in my life. I’d kneel to my knees at night, I’d talk out to God while driving in my car, I’d pray silently in my head while in a room full of people.
When I sent a prayer out, it came back to me with answers, which is why my faith in Christ was so strong in my earlier years.
One night, I found myself sitting on my bathroom floor crying. I was feeling lower than low and felt I needed to pray. Not even halfway through, I whispered to myself, “can anyone even hear me”, then, “who am I talking to?” Frustrated by my withering ability to pray, I just got up and soaked in my negative emotions. Angrily.
I lost prayer. I can hardly put into words what that did to me inside. When I lost prayer, I lost myself. My entire world, my being, everything was turned upside down. I literally lost my fucking mind because I had no outlet, no comfort, nothing to grasp onto in a moment of desperation.
I was sinking and I had lost connection with the only way I knew how to get out – prayer.
All of these experiences made me angry. Not knowing what to believe was extremely frustrating. Not being able to pray because I was uncertain of who, what or why was frustrating. Having no clue where to even begin to fix it was discouraging.
I mean, let’s face the facts, we have been robbed of our history. Our history as spiritual beings on this earth has been beaten so badly, it’s barely recognizable. Like, if African Americans were robbed of their identity through colonial slavery, then HUMANITY was fucking HEISTED of true existence completely.
The whole setup is just disheartening and difficult to accept.
I Know What Some Of You Are Thinking
I know there are some folks out there suggesting these are all signs of me needing to get right with God. If I just get to know God, right?
You’re absolutely right. Something was missing from my life, my spirit felt it. Like, I felt empty inside. I felt inanimate.
It took me a long time to understand what I was experiencing and why. Confusion, rejection and uncertainty were all results of choosing non-conformity. Man had made me feel this way. Depression and anger were from loss of my main coping mechanism – prayer.
I did need to know what I believed to be God, and to learn how to interact with it. But, I wasn’t suffering because of the path I chose. Funny we’re conditioned to look at it like that though.
I no longer feel uncertainty and wonder about going to hell. I no longer associate terms like jealousy, anger, or displeased with God. Those are human emotions.
I don’t see God as some big powerful man in the sky, though most speak of God that way. I stopped viewing God in the image of man and began experiencing God as a positive, spiritual influence within me.
At the level I am on right now, I need explanations that make sense to me. By make sense, I don’t mean it has to be scientifically explainable or proven. I mean it needs to sit well with my spirit. My intuition needs to accept it.
I Have Better Clarity Now
It was through religion that I was first introduced to God. It was through religion that I learned to interact with God. So when I chose to get to know God and to interact with God outside of religion, I stumbled for a while. I had to start from the bottom because I hadn’t been taught how to explore the spirit outside of religion.
For most my life, my spiritual practices consisted of me basically worshiping and praying to a man in the sky, committed to seeking his approval for the salvation of my soul. Now my spiritual practices consist of meditation and learning to recognize spiritual energy in everyday life. Way less melodramatic.
To me, God is unexplainable. Maybe one day I will be able to explain the unexplainable, but I’m not that far in my spiritual enlightenment yet. God is neither He nor She to me, God is greater than gender. I feel and interact with God through energy, but I’m not sure if God is energy. I just don’t know and no, I don’t want you to tell me 🙂
Science proves there is spiritual energy that exists within our bodies. Western science (United States is western) focuses primarily on the physical body when educating on the human anatomy. The book below is an anatomy book that focuses on the spiritual energy of the human body. It has helped me understand the natural flow of my body and myself. It also enlightens the reader on theories of other cultures regarding spiritual energy. It’s a beneficial read.