Skip to main content

Breathing and Forgiveness

By Heather --

Just something I've noticed- perhaps I should mention though: I've actually posted up here AGES ago but kind of disappeared for a long time. Some things have changed, some things haven't but telling you everything that has has happened isn't why I'm here. But I've been wondering about one particular aspect of my life and wondered if anyone else here felt the same way.

You Will SeeImage by loswl via Flickr

When I first broke away, I was relieved as well as a little scared- the relief came from no longer living in fear of hell, nor in fear that people I both knew and didn't know would burn forever was however the best part. The idea terrified me as a Christian and I felt like a failure because I was an introvert who failed to be a prophet outside the Internet- otherwise known as the sanctuary of trolls at times. Thankfully those days are gone. If you happen to stumble across some 7 year old ramblings of a deluded teenager, I apologise in advance. Heh.

I still am to a certain extent an introvert, though I'm better than I was in some respects (though a part of me suspects I shall always be better at expressing myself in writing than speaking, and as you can probably tell from this short piece- even that is not very good!) ;)

But something has happened to me, something for the better perhaps, something I've realised since I left Christianity almost three years ago this month.

I now find it easier to forgive then I ever did as a Christian.

Sometimes my temper does flare, and I suppose in my weaker moments I will let it get the better of me in terms of the topic of religion at some point, and it almost has at certain points in the past...

However. I feel... better now than how I was as a Christian in this area. I find it easier to forgive past misjudgments. I used to FORCE myself to forgive because of the threat of hell, and then perhaps would secretly still stew over the issue, it never getting resolved in reality.

But now... I can. I just take a breath and take my time. Without the threat of hell I can do this more. I actually DO forgive more often and in an honest manner which is true to myself and others, and find I can do so more easily without the metaphorical gun to my head- because I can think straight without panicking at the thought of the bullet embedding itself inside my skull. I don't have to fear that if I die without forgiving someone immediately I'll go to hell. Also, the idea of THEM going to hell is no longer an issue, so I can look at the entire thing more rationally.

And 'miraculously' (for lack of a better term), it's become easier to forgive the silly things, and sometimes even some of the slightly bigger things too. I am no 'saint' (snerk) and I recognise my own failings- and I know other people have them too.

When I take the time, I realise that this is probably the only life we have, and it is not the place for petty squabbles- sometimes tact is needed too, but sometimes it's okay to be forceful, to air out things, to say to someone you don't feel the same way, and when something is wrong. Sometimes that's just more healthy. Then if possible, we can get back to the issue if necessary and be calm. It all depends really at the end of the day upon the issue at hand.

This is a great site, and it helps people to air out grievances they shouldn't keep bottled up- but in real life they may feel forced to, and sometimes it IS just easier to do so in writing then speaking out- and I'm guessing I'm not the only one.

I now look at Christians, even the most putrid forms, often with pity now when they attack me verbally. Or me personally at least (when it comes to other people or groups of people, my blood will boil, and I somehow doubt that will change, though it has to be said, even then I feel pity for them in a slightly different way). I understand that they're probably just afraid though- like an animal in the corner lashing out. Who hasn't at some point been like that? It's okay for me to be at least a little defensive in response to such people (which I sometimes am), but I shouldn't ALWAYS return to my basest animal instincts and remember it IS a wonderful thing to be human- to be aware of our place in the universe, as finite as it is, and that we have precious little time to waste. It's what gives our life meaning. An eternal life removes all meaning and means we have no reason to do anything of real value.

As for people who simply hurt others for the sake of hurting, they are not worth my time unless it is to defend those who need it. Though I will do my best not to lower myself to their basest argumentative level. After all, just because the Internet is filled with trolls doesn't mean we should always feed them. Over time, they may grow up or perhaps not. Time will tell. They just need to take a deep breath of their own and really look at themselves as scary as the idea sometimes is. Perhaps they'll be surprised at what they find. Perhaps they'll find that really it's OKAY to be afraid sometimes, but the point of bravery is not to attack and lash out, but to face those fears, evaluate them and do the right thing regardless. That is bravery.

Sometimes forgiveness is still hard of course. Sometimes it's not ALWAYS the answer, or not the immediate course of action at the very least. Sometimes forgiveness is not my choice to make- if the misdeed is against someone else for instance. There's still work to do before you can get to that point if at all a lot of the time.

For some people here it's still hard to forgive- and that's OKAY. Of course people have every right to feel angry, and we shouldn't apologise for our feelings. This site for many is like therapy, and when I first broke away, it was there for me in some respects, simply by reading the posts. Many here are not ready to forgive yet, some perhaps feel they never can, because hey we all have had different experiences here after all and we've all had out own heartaches. This is fine to say too. That is honesty. And we must at the very least at first be honest with ourselves if we can hope to get anywhere in life. Some people need more time. Some people need more than just time. We're all different after all.

But for some reason, since I've left and the feeling of betrayal has decreased, and as I've grown a little more contemplative, I now find forgiveness in general a lot easier now than I ever did as a Christian.

Perhaps because now I feel like I actually have a choice in the matter.


Popular posts from this blog

Are You an Atheist Success Story?

By Avangelism Project ~ F acts don’t spread. Stories do. It’s how (good) marketing works, it’s how elections (unfortunately) are won and lost, and it’s how (all) religion spreads. Proselytization isn’t accomplished with better arguments. It’s accomplished with better stories and it’s time we atheists catch up. It’s not like atheists don’t love a good story. Head over to the atheist reddit and take a look if you don’t believe me. We’re all over stories painting religion in a bad light. Nothing wrong with that, but we ignore the value of a story or a testimonial when we’re dealing with Christians. We can’t be so proud to argue the semantics of whether atheism is a belief or deconversion is actually proselytization. When we become more interested in defining our terms than in affecting people, we’ve relegated ourselves to irrelevance preferring to be smug in our minority, but semantically correct, nonbelief. Results Determine Reality The thing is when we opt to bury our

Christian TV presenter reads out Star Wars plot as story of salvation

An email prankster tricked the host of a Christian TV show into reading out the plots of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Star Wars in the belief they were stories of personal salvation. The unsuspecting host read out most of the opening rap to The Fresh Prince, a 1990s US sitcom starring Will Smith , apparently unaware that it was not a genuine testimony of faith. The prankster had slightly adapted the lyrics but the references to a misspent youth playing basketball in West Philadelphia would have been instantly familiar to most viewers. The lines read out by the DJ included: "One day a couple of guys who were up to no good starting making trouble in my living area. I ended up getting into a fight, which terrified my mother." The presenter on Genesis TV , a British Christian channel, eventually realised that he was being pranked and cut the story short – only to move on to another spoof email based on the plot of the Star Wars films. It began: &quo

So Just How Dumb Were Jesus’ Disciples? The Resurrection, Part VII.

By Robert Conner ~ T he first mention of Jesus’ resurrection comes from a letter written by Paul of Tarsus. Paul appears to have had no interest whatsoever in the “historical” Jesus: “even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, we know him so no longer.” ( 2 Corinthians 5:16 ) Paul’s surviving letters never once mention any of Jesus’ many exorcisms and healings, the raising of Lazarus, or Jesus’ virgin birth, and barely allude to Jesus’ teaching. For Paul, Jesus only gets interesting after he’s dead, but even here Paul’s attention to detail is sketchy at best. For instance, Paul says Jesus “was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” ( 1 Corinthians 15:4 ), but there are no scriptures that foretell the Jewish Messiah would at long last appear only to die at the hands of Gentiles, much less that the Messiah would then be raised from the dead after three days. After his miraculous conversion on the road to Damascus—an event Paul never mentions in his lette


By David Andrew Dugle ~   S ettle down now children, here's the story from the Book of David called The Parable of the Bent Cross. In the land Southeast of Eden –  Eden, Minnesota that is – between two rivers called the Big Miami and the Little Miami, in the name of Saint Gertrude there was once built a church. Here next to it was also built a fine parochial school. The congregation thrived and after a multitude of years, a new, bigger church was erected, well made with clean straight lines and a high steeple topped with a tall, thin cross of gold. The faithful felt proud, but now very low was their money. Their Sunday offerings and school fees did not suffice. Anon, they decided to raise money in an unclean way. One fine summer day the faithful erected tents in the chariot lot between the two buildings. In the tents they set up all manner of games – ring toss, bingo, little mechanical racing horses and roulette wheels – then all who lived in the land between the two rivers we

Morality is not a Good Argument for Christianity

By austinrohm ~ I wrote this article as I was deconverting in my own head: I never talked with anyone about it, but it was a letter I wrote as if I was writing to all the Christians in my life who constantly brought up how morality was the best argument for Christianity. No Christian has read this so far, but it is written from the point of view of a frustrated closeted atheist whose only outlet was organizing his thoughts on the keyboard. A common phrase used with non-Christians is: “Well without God, there isn’t a foundation of morality. If God is not real, then you could go around killing and raping.” There are a few things which must be addressed. 1. Show me objective morality. Define it and show me an example. Different Christians have different moral standards depending on how they interpret the Bible. Often times, they will just find what they believe, then go back into scripture and find a way to validate it. Conversely, many feel a particular action is not

On Living Virtuously

By Webmdave ~  A s a Christian, living virtuously meant living in a manner that pleased God. Pleasing god (or living virtuously) was explained as: Praying for forgiveness for sins  Accepting Christ as Savior  Frequently reading the Bible  Memorizing Bible verses Being baptized (subject to church rules)  Attending church services  Partaking of the Lord’s Supper  Tithing  Resisting temptations to lie, steal, smoke, drink, party, have lustful thoughts, have sex (outside of marriage) masturbate, etc.  Boldly sharing the Gospel of Salvation with unbelievers The list of virtuous values and expectations grew over time. Once the initial foundational values were safely under the belt, “more virtues'' were introduced. Newer introductions included (among others) harsh condemnation of “worldly” music, homosexuality and abortion Eventually the list of values grew ponderous, and these ideals were not just personal for us Christians. These virtues were used to condemn and disrespect fro