How does a life begin? How does it end? The brevity of life I have always understood: ever since I was a little girl. Then, I believed in a biblical heaven...a beautiful place where all the Christians of the world would go after death. Eternal Salvation = Eternal Life.
Now: the Biblical heaven is no longer part of my life. Heaven is used now more as a verb than an adjective in my language. After being brought up in the Church, seeing many times over it's hypocrisy, and manipulation of the people who believe in it, I decided, over a long period of time, that it was not for me. That I could not force myself into a box, regardless of how many times I tried.
For so many years religion had been the mainstay of my life. I went to church every Sunday: did and said everything I was supposed to. And then, when I realised that the church was no longer for me: that I no longer believed in the ethos that is the Christian religion it was like trying to quit an addiction. Outwardly, you wanted to quit, but it took a lot of work because deep down inside you couldn't find the heart to do it: after all religion brings a huge sense of community and support as well as repeatedly enforcing that outside world is evil and should be witnessed to, not just that it is simply made of different people with different beliefs: it tells you that you have all the answers in this book called the Bible. Coming into the realisation that I didn't have all the answers, and that indeed that the "truth" I had clung to for so many years was not (well, at least to me anyway): was incredibly difficult.
I think my deconversion was one of the most humbling events of my life, but also a very awakening time: for my version of self. There is little doubt in my mind that it was the right decision for me: it has left me feeling freer than I had felt in years. Occasionally the old chains do clink, but I try to keep them in the cupboard: there is no need for them any more.