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A Bleeding Rose

By Mystery_F ~

I stumbled upon this site a few weeks back, and ever since it has truly been inspiring to read and connect with people with similar perspectives. So thank you!

I am eighteen years old and all my life I was raised in a Christian home. All with well-intent, my whole family have been ministers and growing up I showed these signs as well. Being pressed by this "call" to lead.. I began teaching at a christian organization at school all through high school, and youth group.

Blindly I lead my peers, unknowingly at this point, to what would eventually corrupt not only myself but those I cared for deeply as well. I always felt I had to become perfect, and would wake up and make my daily goal to literally be perfect until I go to bed that night. My strive to be accepted in this christian community, to impress my pastor, or make myself feel useful I made it my life's goal to become to best christian humanly possible. This intensified and
poured into my external life in the form of OCD and extreme anxiety. I started developing major issues and becoming socially crippled in the sense that I was postponing natural experiences and dismissing them as "evil". My first girlfriend was supposed to be my "wife" I was taught. First kiss should be on the wedding day.

I began to feel extremely lonely and extremely unsatisfied. While all this was occurring within my own life, one bro started doing drugs and the other came out of the closet, both, according to my upbringing, are damnable offenses. It was a very trying time personally. My soul was pointing toward change and glimmers of doubt arose.. I no longer believed what I was taught and/or teaching to others. Cracks within my belief system was becoming apparent and with this knowledge opened hell for the next few months.

Seeking advice and comfort I opened myself up to ministers and friends and all they said was, "You must not be reading enough. Go read your Bible more, and be sure to pray. God has a reason for everything." It's not like I haven't heard that, or even used line that myself.. However, this is exactly what I did. Me obeying and seeking "god" more is exactly what convinced me, one-hundred percent the god these people are proclaiming is not the one I believe in. All I found was cruelty and injustice.. hypocrisy and tyranny. On the surface he looks appealing, but rarely does anyone venture past the surface, or else we'd all be an agnostic or atheist.

The castle of cards I build up, the one I thought would be my lifelong constant, came crumbling down, and with it all sense of self and confidence in life. Friends left me and proclaimed me a backslider for simply doubting and asking the tough questions. Verbally stoned and beaten down, I was in a major crisis of faith, love, and life.

To rebuild what I felt I "lost", or to regain ground, I tossed aside Christianity and frantically began searching once again. I would read 5-6 books at a time. When finishing one book there was always another to fill its place. Ranging from various mythologies; to disproving the bible; to witchcraft and shamanism; to middle age philosophy; to basic psychology I tried to find "me", I was looking for answers that couldn't be fully answered.

At this point every aspect of life had changed, and I starting shaping into a literal new person. This search scratched but the surface... but it opened my eyes up to wondrous things.. different things.

Things that I previously thought evil and malicious actually helped me on basic levels in a few months, where Christianity failed to do in years of devotion. Freedom in my soul has not been this clear and this refreshing ever in my life. I actually feel progress and weight being lifted from my shoulders. All OCD and anxiety has stopped.. I am truly living.

I respect Christianity and thank it for giving me the basics of morality.. but any association is over and done. I graduated from the spiritual high school called Christianity and im moving on with life.. reality.. never to look back. What people don't understand is that this change was by no means voluntary. Life.. the universe.. my soul changed my course all on it's own, and nothing could be done to stop it. One of my favorite poems now is Emily Dickenson's poem, "The Soul selects her own Society" and yes.. it truly does.

I no longer think twice of "sin", hell, or trying to always know what's going on or being right. I have embraced the mystery of the true "god" and laid down my perspectives, and ironically I have never felt closer to God/Goddess, been more moral, or focused.. I just let things go and run their course in its own time, and focus on thouroughly soaking in the amazing journey along the way.

I currently struggle with what to call myself, and by no means am I breaking free of one master to simply waltz into the arms of a different one, but experience; confidence in myself; and to truly enjoy life is all I need and in that regard I feel rich, peaceful, and finally.. satisfied.

This is a poem/short story(?) that I wrote in frustration of organized religion. And thank you for reading thus far. Hopefully it is understandable. I can never tell. Enjoy!

"Guile filled fountains, are seen scattered across the ornate courtyard floors, full of astonishing color and design.

A fragrance of honey spiced with fatal poison, floats through the air, twirling in the wind, intoxicating the mind and the soul.

Bogart rock columns supporting thick walls towering steep and strong, surround and trap every living being inside, and carved to trance reason.

Altars fuse at the base of the fountains, taunting elegantly, but house the strings of vile puppeteers. Stringing emotion dry.
Books, in an odd and sinister way, remain like new beside these old, worn stone structures, hiding their chants.
The vines, tinted in color, but entirely lost of life crawl up the walls crying out, in warning.

A fire, the only visible light, can be found in the center of this courtyard occupying the top of a short, beautiful pillar.
With sun-like similarity, everburning, all in eyesight orbitally, cauciously, approach in hopeful stances.
It brings warmth to the skin, but over time, once trusted, it soaks into your soul the most ancient, and effective of motivators, fear.

Tears litter the floor, flooding the small creases of exalted torure, forever etched in the ground.
Blood mixes in to add much-expected favor and hoped release. Eventually crusting over in vain.

Whenever our endless routines are even slightly broken, Voices, many in number, speak to us from a nearby unknown place, in a tone as if spiders were crawling out of
thier mouths sent to infest. With our hearts and souls, grasped and strangled, they say to stay put, or we'll lop your freethinking off clean with our new and improved guillotine.

To escape it's taught we die.

But once a little girl; an innocent girl, managed to escape.
The little girl, once out into reality, danced through the still, silent woods surrounding the now faint courtyard. She swung around trees, disturbing snowflakes and sending them back up in little puffs.
Slowly, so slowly, she was bleeding to death from the head wound she had recieved, as promised, spattering the snow with every jubilant twirl.
Slowly, so slowly, but she did not slow her dance, until she fell finally, a bright smile on her face. So delicate and enchanting, yet subltly full of sorrow and longing. Gentle falling snowflakes melt onto her warm, reaching hand, her deep eyes containing hope.. like a pictured face staring out from its frame, wanting to live again. Soon, left of life, her last breath was one in complete freedom."