I've been thinking lately about other ex-Christians and the spiritual paths they have chosen. It occurred to me that it is a bit unusual that I left all of my supernatural belief behind in one fell swoop. A glimpse through the forums will offer deists, agnostics, Wiccans, etc. The only thought that crosses my mind when I see that is, "Why?" I respect them just the same, just as I respect when my parents say "God bless you", because, in my opinion, belief is not entirely voluntary.
My parents, like myself, were conditioned to believe that Jesus died on the cross for their sins, and that if we do what the Church tells us and munch on Christ Chex every Sunday, we will go to Heaven. What happened when I truly stopped myself for a moment, when my world stopped turning and I really looked at it, was that I realized that belief is nothing but conditioning and that in truth it involved the unreal by definition. To make something which does not exist seem to exist requires belief. Real things do not require it.
So where did I make that turn that few others seemed to make? How come I hopped off the train while most others moved back one car at a time until (maybe) they hopped off the caboose? Is the supernatural so precious to them that they are unwilling to relinquish their hold on it? Or is it the old adage that old habits die hard and the years of conditioning have a hold on them? I can't answer for them.
What I've realized about myself is that I have no spiritual needs. I never needed to go to Church, never needed the threat of hell to be good. The month or two I spent last year trying to connect with God was awkward and painful. I had an idea in my mind for years before that that I should learn how to pray and spend time working on it, but I never did. It isn't natural for me. I attempted meditation. I listened for anything from God (of course there was nothing) and it was hard work spending the time. It wasn't for me, although I wouldn't admit it.
I would much rather go on with life and absorb reality. Just because I am not spiritual does not mean I am shallow and materialistic. I enjoy peace and quiet, the sounds of the woods that surround my perch in this barn. Small things stike me as amazing and beautiful, but there is no need to worship them. To worship, to me, is to leave that most beautiful moment one is in right now. A huge mistake and a loss.
Life right now for me is more like it should have been than it ever was. It is still new and many things are painful, but I get to be the real me. Parts of me that were always there and always showed themselves in some way are now allowed to come out and be recognized. I feel like I'm being reunited with someone I've known forever but have come to forget. And my unspirituality is a part of that. I no longer have to feel one ounce of guilt for not being the way other people think I need to be, and boy does that feel good.