“I'm sitting and waiting wanting to know the meaning, but your breath is slowing down. Remember my shadow? He's caught up with me and he won’t let go. As I sit in the darkness, I don’t feel you near, where did you go? I'm unsure of what I’ll find, maybe its daylight to bring you back in my eyes. So I step out to into the light just to find my shadow still by my side. I feel this new days light bringing warmth for the first time. I touch and feel what’s now only mine. So I loosen my grip, and move on. This path is so unclear but I know it’s mine I'm on. Thinking thoughts without you is what I was told to fear, and I know I may be wrong but maybe we all are wrong. I think I have lost you, and weight on my shoulders doesn't feel so heavy, now who am I? That is the question I think I can answer now, in time.”
This song, “A New Days Light” was written by me about the most important change in my life, the loss of my religion.
I remember it was about 8 or 9 years ago, I had to be somewhere around 16 years old, I was dealing with personal issues and internal struggles. Now it’s not that these issues were of great importance, simply because of the fact that most struggles a 16 year old has aren’t really important anyway. But either way, I wasn’t comfortable in most social situations; I lacked a good education mainly because of my fear of being in class where I had to be more social. My insecurities were eating me alive. This was also around the time that I became involved with Sara, my soon to be ex-wife. I later found out that Sara did not believe in a god. Now, I never really thought much about god. I always believed in one because I always had. But it was with Sara that I really thought about the whole idea; because she was the first atheist I had ever met.
I began to acknowledge the idea that maybe he didn’t exist, that there are better ways to explain things around us and at first, it scared the hell out of me. I didn’t know how to fully accept it because I was scared that if I was wrong, I’d go to hell. But now, it was no longer just this idea to me, it stood by me like a shadow I couldn’t shake. I accepted that I could no longer believe in the idea of a god. There is no one watching me, I do not get punished in an afterlife, there is no afterlife. There is no afterlife? This idea scared me too. But it made me realize just how beautiful life is and how much we really should cherish it. Because once it’s gone, you won’t even know it. The fact, to me anyway, that there isn’t a plan set out for me made from someone higher, gave me a blank slate. I make my plan, I create my own fate. This decision I make right here and now determines what I grow to be, and I grow because of me. That is strength you will never feel anywhere else.
I came out of the shadows of religion, making my days brighter giving myself more room for growth. I became a stronger person because I let go of the idea of god. I still struggle because life is a struggle, and no one ever gets past it. But when I overcome a situation, I grow stronger knowing I did it by myself.
I don’t look down on people who believe in a god. We all follow the paths we desire to take. But I do urge all people, in all situations of life, to put the essence of doubt into their lives. Doubt is the single factor that will make you think harder and clearer about all things. Have doubt, and you will find what you truly believe.
If you have never seen this, you should. It's Julia Sweeney's "Letting Go of God." She talks about her journey from a catholic upbringing to atheism. It's a great story, if you have the time, it's on youtube. User bowman2062 has the whole special in 13 parts. Here is the first part.
If you don't have enough time, she does the first 16 minutes on TedTalks here.