“When all else fails there’s always delusion”
– Conan O’ Brien
I didn’t wake up one day and decide to become an atheist. It happened one day at a time. I used to admire people who had faith. I was always trying to find a place to belong. I joined several churches. After years of dead ends and disappointments, I started reading books about the occult and I even convinced myself that I had psychic abilities. By the time I was 18, I was reading books about auras and magical numbers. I wanted to see patterns in the universe. I wanted to see signs that God was leading me to a better place. I was very fatalistic. I was a regular at a local psychic too. I didn’t use my abilities to read people, instead I paid a tarot reader to tell me basically what I wanted to hear. It didn’t help that I had a close friend who would reinforce the crazy thinking with dream interruption. You see, it isn’t difficult to read people and have empathy with what they are going through. What’s difficult is having them pay you for the information. Sure, I believe that there are people who genuinely think they have special magical spiritual powers and that they need to read their horoscopes everyday in order to make sense of this chaotic life. For me, life got a lot less complicated when I accepted chaotic things happen that are out of your control. There doesn’t have to be a reason for everything. But we are humans… and we like making sense of patterns we see. Like the reason you are here reading my story.
I still admire people who have faith. I admire they have a group of believers who think as they do. Then I am reminded of how I used to be. “Blessed be” I would say… in blissful ignorance, reading the souls of those whose paths I’d cross. I miss those days sometimes. People would genuinely want to hear what I had to say. I was an Indigo child, an offspring of the 9th planet, a water bearing spiritual intuitive who carried energized rocks and who could look into the future. I wasn’t religious, I was spiritual.
I was 28 when I met my fiance and I was beginning to come into grips with being a non-believer. He wasn’t an atheist. I had dated three atheists before him and it was starting to gnaw on me. It’s really hard to find an atheist and I was lucky to date three! If there was a God, he was definitely trying to tell me something. But seriously, atheism was a scary thing for me then. I couldn’t begin to imagine myself not talking to God or asking for signs. It was really foreign to me to not believe in anything. To even wrap my head around the fact that non-belief was an option was an incredible realization. I went from a little girl asking who I should believe in, to a disillusioned grown-up who wasted their time looking for the right religion when the answer was so obvious.
It took us about 2 years and lots of reading before we called ourselves atheists. I made him denounce god first just in case (not really). And lighting didn’t strike us! Faith helps people cope with hard things, so I can understand why it’s hard to let it go. Families are built with religion and religion has done lots of good. But In the end we all just want to be loved whether there is a god or not.