Leaving Religion – MOVED – www.leavingreligion.com

Finding my own way…

The Guilt… my god… the guilt!

During my high school years, and even early college, I hung on to my religion and church tightly. I did everything they asked of me and more. I was the poster child for what a person should do to gain entry into heaven, and more importantly, gain acceptance by church going peers. I could not be in the building too much, couldn’t be singing loud enough or evangelizing enough. As I went off to college, I found a group very quickly. Then, as years passed and I became more aware of my true feelings, I came to the realization that much, if not all, of my deeds were to keep me going. To not allow one single moment of actual introspection. To not allow myself to think what I really thought. For if I did, even for a second, I would be overcome with so much guilt it would practically suffocate me.

Guilt is perhaps one of the worst feelings I’ve had. I put it right up there with grief, and believe me, I’ve felt both as strongly as a person can feel them. Guilt will ruin your body and your mind faster than any nonsensical diet. It will mess with emotions you never knew you had, and will cling to you like the darkness clings to other side of the moon. It will not let go. It will not stop at anything. It has taken me 13 years to get to where I am, able to think and feel things without feeling paralyzed by guilt. Fear of hell, fear that I will never fit in or be loved. My husband plays a very large part in this recovery, and I owe him my life for it. While I had been letting go of my belief structure years before I met him… it wasn’t until I met someone I trusted deeply, that I was able to let myself truly separate from my religious beliefs completely. Let myself feel the guilt, deal with the guilt and let go of the guilt.

Now, I am not completely cured (I really do compare having this type of guilt to that of being an addict… guilt is addicting and plays a significant role in religion). I may never be completely cured. But, I am now at a place where I recognize it, deal with it head on when it strikes, and I beat it instead of it beating me. It is a great place to be, and I feel lighter than I ever have. It is a strange feeling to just… not… believe. Not… have… guilt… all… the… time. And by strange, I mean great!

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May 29, 2009 - Posted by | Identity, Leaving Religion

3 Comments »

  1. […] having been lifted off his shoulders upon leaving the religion. Another blogger, Leaving Religion, commented on the guilt they felt while a […]

    Pingback by Christian Guilt « Political Mpressions | May 31, 2009 | Reply

  2. This was my experience entirely.

    By the time I was in college, I spent every day doing some form of Christian activities with rare exceptions. All of my friends weren’t just Christian, but within my group.

    Once I started questioning, though, it was impossible to go back. It felt like a snake whose teeth keep you from escaping until you’re swallowed whole.

    It was only until a couple years or so ago that I finally saw this as a good thing. Asking the right questions to myself and to others freed me from a life of guilt and feeling worthless.

    I actually feel content. It was a strange feeling that I’m fond of getting accustomed to.

    Comment by Janus Grayden | June 1, 2009 | Reply

  3. It stinks that there are Christians churches that could place such a burden on someone.

    Christianity (I’m not speaking about the religion) is about life and peace and joy and liberty — it sounds like your experience was lacking all of those at a very intimate level.

    I’m sorry you’ve been hurt by your experiences.

    Comment by Rich | June 2, 2009 | Reply


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