There seems to be this common thought among Christians that those who are not believers are missing something. That they have a God-shaped hole in their hearts that can never be filled. A few people now have shared stories with me detailing how a "friend" of theirs claimed that they felt they were missing something by not having faith. Now, I don't know who these people are, but I imagine they are people who were not raised in very religious homes. They see the grass as greener on the other side and although they can't quite bring themselves to believe something, they do feel like they were missing out.
For me, the opposite is true. As a poster on exchristian.net said, it feels like I have woken up from the Matrix. The blinders have been lifted from my eyes. Religious chains that kept me from exploring or doing anything the church deemed wrong have been removed. I see the world in all the colors rather than through the Jesus-colored glasses I had worn for almost three decades. I have been set free.
I don't feel like I am missing anything. There is no hole in my heart. What I feel is a profound sense of relief and some anger. The anger is mostly at myself for believing in things that I now see as obviously wrong. Why did I hold onto the belief that the Red Sea could actually be parted? How utterly preposterous. Why did I ignore the contradictions that were so obviously in the Bible? Why didn't I stand up for those in the LGBTQIA community when I knew what the Christians were doing was wrong? Why did I allow such dogmatic beliefs to determine how I thought and felt about my body, sex, and relationships? Why was I so scared to pursue friendships with people who believed differently than me? Was it because I knew that leaving my Christian bubble would mean leaving Christianity entirely? I always tried to be a good, thoughtful, kind, and understanding individual, but the truth was, my faith in God made me act like God...jealous, angry, judgmental, exclusive, silent, and distant.
The relief is knowing that there is nothing I can do to earn my way into heaven or hell. My actions on this earth have earthly consequences, but I don't have to prove to a god that I am worthy of admission. Nor do I need concern myself about somehow angering this god enough to be sent into eternal torment. Which, by the way is some serious bullshit when you think about it. A person deserves eternal torment because they were born and a couple ate some bad fruit a few thousand years ago? You have got to be kidding me. How did I believe this stuff? There is no god and if there is one, he seems to be genuinely disinterested in life here on Earth. I do not believe that the Bible was written or even god-breathed. I do believe that despite how nice Jesus is in the gospels he was either a liar or a madman. And as frustrating as it is that I believed that stuff, it is so wonderful to let it go.
Due to decades of indoctrination, I will probably never be able to let religion go or not think about it, although I do hope that as I let go, the constant thinking will lessen. There is no god-sized hole in my heart because my heart is made of muscle, blood, and tissue and my soul, my consciousness does not require a god in order to be whole.
This is a personal, but secret, blog archiving my deconversion from a Christian to a non-believer.