As people shed religion and walk in freedom, they can feel guilt about the changes they are going through. Thinking about this I identified 5 things not to feel guilty about on your spiritual journey.
5 things that may happen on your spiritual journey that you don’t need to feel guilty about:
1. You may discontinue your active involvement in a church or religious organization. This doesn’t necessarily have to be some sort of judgment orcondemnation against the church or organization you were part of, but a choice you make because your involvement no longer relates to or supports where you are on the journey, or may be an obstacle and hindrance to it.
2. You may grow weary of incessant God talk. It’s possible there will be times when you grow sick of the constant theological discussion and debate, and the never-ending wheel of new and improved concepts, beliefs, understandings, teachings, etc. At some point it all might sound like, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…” You might fall dead to the need to be constantly figuring out things with your mind or in your head. One day you might wake up and say, “Okay, I’m done!” Don’t feel bad about this. It actually may be a very important milestone in your spiritual journey. In my view, theology is not even the best way by which God and spiritual truth is known. It may be that subject of “God” as a whole feels a bit overdone and boring, but this is only because you were taught to equate God with all that blah blah blah stuff.
3. You may find that the very people your religion judged and condemned are the people you find the most interesting and enjoyable. Once you come out from under the judgmental labels, views and stereotypes you learned through religion, you start realizing how much you truly like and enjoy the people you were taught to hate. This is a good and liberating aspect of shedding religion. For too long you were shut yourself off from a lot of beautiful and extraordinary people in this world to enjoy and learn from.
4. You may find and express a rebellious or defiant part of you that has been dormant. Don’t feel bad about this. Too often religion turns people into nice, complaint, repressed, timid, inhibited, mannerly, obedient, fearful, amiable, submissive people. By the way, I would not use any of these words to describe Jesus. Here’s the deal, you can be a loving, compassionate, respectful and kind person AND be a rebellious, defiant, passionate, disobedient, subversive, nonconformist, mischievous, self-willed, fully expressed, freethinker, heretic, and free spirit human being.
5. You may find less fulfillment in religious things, and more satisfaction in human things. It’s okay and good to be human, and to enjoy each moment of your human journey. Religion caused many people to create a false division between “sacred” things and “secular” things. There is no such line. All of life is sacred, spiritual, and divine. There’s no need to defend, theologize, or spiritualize your human experience. Just live it! That is enough. Life is made complete by you living each moment. There’s no need to maintain a running commentary about how God is part of it. God IS part of it. Life and God are inseparable. End of story. It’s okay to enjoy life, experience delight and pleasure, do the things you enjoy doing, and that breathe life into you, whatever those things may be.
(Photo by Darla Winn)