Hey all, first time post on here. It feels weird to finally accept the fact that I am an Athiest and not care about the existance of a God or not. Weird in that I actually feel like I belong, and not as the only one who feels the way I do as an "Ex-Muslim".
I have been brought up in a strict "shia" muslim household, and have seen all the good and bad (some ugly stuff too). In regards to that experience I can't completely be angry with myself over the fact that I lied to myself, but am glad that I am able to take some lessons away from all of it.
In the hopes of not boring everyone and spewing out a load of crap we are all aware of, I have summarised these into 4 semi-brief points:
No matter what, you will NEVER make everyone happy in life: From inter-faith dating, to attempting to learn more by asking the hard questions, I had found out the hard way that Religion can really decimate one's rationality in life.
Listen first, answer the question, wait for the response: The most important lesson I have learnt in dealing with peole hands down. Irrespective of how you feel towards someone or something, the least you can do is to entertain their thought process for one second. When all is said and done, you now have mutual trust and can learn to move forward. With this, you may also have all the arguments to kick someone's points in the balls, which is what ended up happening nearly all of the time when conversing with idiots.
Faith is something that may be hard to earn, but can be priceless in the long run: Wanting to belong, wanting to see positive change, or even wanting to better yourself are all things every human yearns for (as I even mentioned earlier, I am glad to finally belong). In learning of this, I have felt what is needed to allow someone to really committ to a long term plan, and hope I can build upon these lessons for setting up my own future, and finally
In a debate, no one may walk away with a changed perspective: This was the hardest lesson to learn, as I know that if I am to confess my actual hatred of Religion, and how it divides us as humans, my family will see me as the worst person to have ever existed. So what should I do? I don't know. For now, I bite the bullet and work towards expanding their mind to rational thinking.
If ever I have felt more at peace with knowing I can be myself, it is now. I was shunned by friends, people of my own sect of religion, my family at times, soley for the reason that I was not religious. So I ask myself, and you guys: "So fucking what?"
It is disheartening when people we are close to can not respect our autonomy in thought & opinion. Rigid mindset does not serve us well. How are we to evolve if we are mired in doctrine & a mind closed to new ideas. I celebrate your courage to hold true to your independence as a human with a free mind. With the current administration controlling our nations direction, I hope you feel accepted & welcome here. We need you. We are here to support you as you transit from doctrine to a free thinking person. Questioning is not wrong. Seeking is not wrong either.
Welcome. I hope you find a way to maintain your relationships with the people that you love . Sometimes we lose people as a consequence of our lack of belief in their god but as painful as it can be, it's better than trying to subjugate who we are to satisfy someone else's wants. I wish you well. This site will help a lot
Welcome and it's "so fucking what" with me. When I "gave up the ghost" and opened my eyes for the first time I was scared shitless. It took a while to adjust. Once I did I, too, found freedom. I'm still pissed at myself that I took so long and wasted my life but things are as they were. whatever.
I have to listen and ignore people many times. Lots of my rides are religious people. They haven't tried to convert me, not yet, but I get lots of "bless you's" and "I'll pray for you" and stupid shit like that. I just let them ramble. My family is full of religious shit, too, including my wife who lives up in Lufkin. Can't shake that tree so I climbed out of it.
I am working on my "second life" now. It's an adventure. It's lonely at times but such is life. Good luck man, you made good points and, again, welcome!
Well done! No doubt the road that led you here has been difficult but hopefully you have found some inner peace as well. Not having to deal with the cognitive dissonance of a ridiculous belief system has its own rewards (I speak for myself, coming from Christianity, but maybe you can relate?)
I like the quote, "everyone has two lives. The second one starts when you realise you only have one". You've been on a difficult journey and now a new one begins. Your life is more free and more yours than ever before. Enjoy it my friend.