It's amazing to me to realize how differently and more honestly I have seen myself in the past 8 months or more. Surprisingly, I never felt the need to "cling to" my new identity as an ex christian like I had when I first became a christian in 1985. It has been more of a comfortable easy chair feeling and kind of like a sweet and soft realization that things really were NOT what I thought they were.
I think this is an explanation of why christians see us as arrogant and "too self-assured". We are not "holding onto hope" as they are; we are not "holding on for dear life" , we are "not afraid" of losing ourselves because we have FOUND our true selves in breaking the denial of our religious delusion...this causes them great panic and consternation. It angers them that we "dare" to speak as we do. We are attacking them when we speak of how we now see and understand the delusion that we once believed.
I feel that my self-esteem, as you could guess and best understand, was fragile when I became a christian. Becoming a christian "strengthened" me in ways that I thought was "divine" and "of God". I could associate MY self with a "higher and more powerful person" who loved me and "knew me". This attracted me. I felt that my self was enlarged and "lifted up". So many of the biblical references, now as I look back at them, use the proper terms that I once "interpreted" to be a spiritual change; it was really a perspective change and I had drunk the "koolaid".
I can certainly understand why those who "become christians" are so steeped in denial that "they are no longer lost"...who wants to be lost???? They desperately share their "new faith" with others; a validating that they have not received by "mortal man" ; now it is "God" who has given them their new found purpose in life.
As christians, we "feel loved" for the first time. We are told that we are special and unique and have been made for "greater purposes" than for what we lived for before becoming a christian. We attribute this feeling to the "work of the Holy Spirit" in our lives.
In all of this new found understanding, I am comfortable for the first time in my life. I don't have fear that I can "lose" it or in some way, bring wrath or judgement upon myself for daring to speak "this heresy". I have found PEACE...the illusive butterfly that all christians chase and run away from at the same time.