What Losing Your Religion Feels Like

Losing your religion is a gradual thing. It creeps on you over the years, until one day you cannot take it anymore and say, “I need to do something about this.”

Losing your religion empties you. After all you can still recall your childhood. Every Sunday was a Church day with the family, you sat in the pews, coloring in the kids section in the Catholic News. You recall glowing in your little kid pride when the warden asked if you could hold the Children’s bible to lead the kids for their children’s mass. You remember pretending that you were playing the organ during all the hymn singing. You remember the Sundays of catechism classes, and the first time you proudly received the host and thought, “NOW I am an adult!” (even though you were only 8). And who could forget the countless wonderful midnight Christmas masses, or the long Good Fridays where it would rain no matter what? For since you could remember, that was how you lived your years as a Catholic.

Losing your religion happens when you realise you weren’t exactly living as a Catholic. God came secondary to studies, friendships, basically everything else in life. Prayer was just a once-a-week activity, in church. If you had some project or some deadline to meet, you’d skip mass. Forget about going for Confession, you never truly saw the reason for it when you could have prayed to God directly in the first place. It never concerned you before, but now it has.

Losing your religion is like losing all you’ve ever been brought up to believe was the truth. It throws you back into the big, scary ocean. But the one thing that anchors you down is your own belief, the ones you don’t question. And that gives you your starting point.

Losing your religion is stifling, yet liberating. Stifling because you have to find ways to convince your conservative parents that the path you’ve chosen is the best for you, even if they are so convinced that you’re being pulled away from God. Liberating, because you know you can start from scratch, to find something that fits.

Losing your religion opens you to the world where prejudices end and the objective becomes subjective. Different viewpoints are just that- viewpoints. No one can know the answer, and no one can argue that they are right and you are wrong.

When you lose your religion, you begin to find it. Just like finding a shoe in your correct size, it should allow you to finally stand up and start to walk.

Losing your religion doesn’t mean losing your faith.

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