Where does Atheism fit in my life?
I’ve been struggling for the past few months to motivate myself to blog more about atheism, but I realized that the reason it’s been so hard is because it’s just a small part of who I am. When I was a Christian, it was like being consumed by it. Every aspect of my life was under heat and pressure. I had to make sure that everything I did adhered to it and didn’t conflict with any of my beliefs. With that burden lifted, I’ve been able to enjoy things and people for who they are, rather than how my religion told me they should be. I have learned how to appreciate life, to take things one day at a time and never for granted.
Being an atheist is not easy at all. It has forced me to think about what it really means to be human, what my purpose is in life, and how I can make the most of it. At times it has been a bit scary. Facing my own mortality and realizing that time is ticking makes every moment seem much more precious. I appreciate my family more now. Whether we’re just sitting in the living room talking or at the dinner table eating, I am thankful for every second of it.
I realize just how fortunate I am to be alive and to be raised with such loving and caring people. My family has always meant the world to me (especially my mom) both as a Christian and now as an atheist. I remember when I was younger often being afraid that my mom would go to heaven and I would not. If I did something wrong, would God really punish me and keep us separated for all eternity? Religion struck fear into my heart and offered very weak comfort.
The main thing that made me nervous about accepting atheism was confronting the reality that one day I will no longer exist. The idea was pretty terrifying and occasionally still is. The way that I stand strong and fight it is by reminding myself that one day all the people I love will also be gone and then life will not be worth it.
Each person must find their own meaning to life when they convert (or de-convert) to atheism. For me, my meaning comes from my family. My life is fulfilled when they are happy and by my doing what I can for them. Not everyone has a close relationship with their family so this would not be sufficient, but for once there really is no limit. As an atheist you can decide for yourself what your purpose is and what will make you happy. Just don’t make it something silly like stealing cars, and get yourself arrested. ;)
Like I said, being an atheist is part of who I am, but not everything. I’m also a daughter, a sister, a friend, and hopefully one day a mother. If you find that your life is always centered and focused on your religion, perhaps you should consider reevaluating what really means the most to you.