Of Miles and Time

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A few days ago, I passed a roadside monument that caught my attention. It was a once-white cross, now moss-covered and dangling at a treacherous angle. A bouquet of brown flowers had somehow clung tight to it through winter and now hung, withered and weightless, towards the earth. Unlike many roadside monuments, this one made me smile. Its miserable abandon spoke of time’s precious healing. Someone was allowing it to die, so that they could begin to live again.

It struck me that there was a similar monument in my heart. When I left religion, I planted a sign along a busy, virtual road for all the world to see. It told a tale of anger and injustice. But I also realize that it told a tale of grief. It was my sorrow and my loss that compelled me to write about leaving religion. Maybe it was my way of grappling with my own mistakes or coming to terms with my own life changes. Or maybe I felt like Miley Cyrus did after she left the Disney Channel. I needed to make an unforgettable statement about the new me, so I shaved my head, climbed naked onto a wrecking ball, and started shouting. (At any rate, I think it’s safe to say that neither one of us will be invited to sing in a Disney musical or in a church choir anytime soon. Mission accomplished.)

Then I wondered if my monument would also be overtaken by time, the sadness of that cross and my broken heart slowly overcome with dew and sunshine. The time I spent, or wasted, tending to my roadside monument would be replaced by an inadvertent journey down my new road. Instead of spending every weekend debunking religion, I would simply begin to live religion-free. Being halfway through my life already, my time is now more precious to me than being right, or even being noticed. So I am allowing myself to fully release the me that believed in Christianity, and I am embracing the wholeness of me without religion. And part of that change might mean blogging less (if at all), although I will miss you all dearly in the slow process of my perhaps-departure.

I find that debating religion does not bring me joy. It’s difficult to have a conversation about these things without it turning into a yelling match and with members of my human family getting hurt along the way. Also like Miley, I never meant to start a war.

I do have some thoughts still to share on magic and a very special interview I simply can’t leave unpublished, so keep watch for sporadic entries. Time will tell if writing continues to be a healing process for me, or if it begins to impede my forward motion. Meanwhile, I will leave you with this blessing:

May all of your roadside monuments slowly change into milestones along the journey of life.

18 thoughts on “Of Miles and Time

  1. Well, if your blogging diminishes I hope you at least hang around in the comment sections. I think people can relate to your wisdom, and as more deconverts struggle the process, it’s people like you that make sense if it. But I get it. “If your hangin’ on to something and it’s hurting you, let it go” Great post and imagery. Superb.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks so much, Jim. I haven’t made a decision, just allowing myself to unlock the door. I certainly agree that our voices are necessary. I struggle with the fact that most religious people are not going to be swayed or convinced anyway. I also wonder if, by blogging about religion every weekend, I am still allowing it to control my thoughts and my free time to some degree. So as I juggle these pros and cons, I’ll probably continue blogging, but less frequently. Thanks so much for the kind words!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Wouldn’t that be something to actually never contemplate religion again? I could yearn for the blank slate of birth, but alas…. I already know too much to erase the damage, so I’ll make fun of it. Haha. That is a dream world. Lol.

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  2. …or if it begins to impede my forward motion.

    Yes, indeed. The healing or renovation process is just that: a process. Sometimes a very long frustrating and/or painful process, huh? I’ve learned to pick my battles very carefully. There are pros and cons to EVERY single religious debate whether it is nationally televised or private in your home. Each secular person’s “process” is different and how they engage religious (zealots, apologists, etc) is different. For you Danica, a healing and peaceful process is your prescription. 😉 IMHO, every circumstance is different with religious debates and how you choose to speak-up and approach the debate is important — you should be prepared for several/many tactics for the best chance of your own survival, integrity, and outcome… whether positive/negative, seen or unseen.

    I do want to share for all secular, heathens like myself, a favorite apropos quote of mine about the (possible) risks or consequences of passive SILENCE in the face of theocratic-minded, Evangy-Fundy proponents and institutions:

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—

    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—

    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—

    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
    —- Martin Niemöller

    Niemöller, a German Lutheran pastor in the 1930’s, spoke this during the rise of Nazi Germany, Hitler, Himmler, Goebbels, and the extermination of some 6-million human beings, not soldiers… non-combatant human beings. Hence, I remind myself of this when there are public protests at civic buildings with religious monuments or Christian terrorists with assault weapons in hand outside of Mosques. There comes a very specific point in time when passiveness or non-confrontation will allow another religious-fervored(?) “Nazi Germany” to rise if not acutely aware and proactive. Pick and choose your fights carefully based on your personal ramifications as well as your community.

    Wonderful post Danica! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. All the best Danicanallen, I was never religious, and I guess I do not fully understand what it is like to transition to a non-believer from Christianity. I guess I could be called a troll, however I sort of believe I am assisting some unfortunate people with a dose of reality who are similar to addicts hanging onto a mind controlling drug that has taken over their lives. Maybe I enjoy this too much.

    Enjoyed your posts and I hope things get easier for you and I cannot imagine that you could ever start a war.

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    1. I wouldn’t call you a troll at all. I always enjoy your doses of reality! I’m definitely not done with the blogging community completely. I just need to make some decisions. Thanks for reading and commenting. 🙂

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  4. Danica, I see this in a different way. I think it’s by dialogue that people can actually draw closer together, and come to deeper truth together. We clarify and sharpen our thinking. If we are looking for love, grace, and truth we are on the same side of the equation. To me, much is lost when people simply stop communicating.

    People are not our adversaries because they have differing perspectives. To me, part of the reason that people become so agitated concerning differences, and even look to find ways to marginalize, ridicule, and exclude others from conversation is because often they are actually insecure within themselves, and within their own views.

    I’m a Christian believer so we don’t fully agree, but I hope that you will not give up in sharing what is close to your heart. Your voice should not be silenced.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Rebecca. How very kind of you! I don’t intend to fully remove myself from blogging, but I think I’ll reduce the frequency. I do agree that keeping the conversation open is an important goal. Nothing happened within the blogging community that has turned me off to conversing. I just think I’m coming to a place where I am embracing my own journey without needing to convince anyone or defend myself, and perhaps part of my motivation for blogging was to do just that. I’m not there yet, though, so you’ll be seeing posts here and there. I always appreciate your input and your wisdom in the comments. I wish there were more people like you. The world would be a better place. 🙂

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    2. Can’t help but think that comment here -> “To me, part of the reason that people become so agitated concerning differences, and even look to find ways to marginalize, ridicule, and exclude others from conversation is because often they are actually insecure within themselves, and within their own views.” has something to do with me Rebecca. LOL!

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  5. Luck marching on.

    > Its miserable abandon spoke of time’s precious healing. Someone was allowing it to die, so that they could begin to live again.

    Beautiful. It took me a few seconds to re-read it but it’s a great self-made quote. Congratulations. “Its miserable abandon spoke of time’s precious healing.” It’s not neglect, but a choice to move on. Great. Really good stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is NOT meant to pressure you, but I surely will miss you, dear Danica. I love your refreshing perspective of life and I truly hope you find you in writing again.
    As you noticed, my late response to your decision (and post) is due to a realization of my own and I needed to put some energy into it, to create a new path of happiness and hopefully for many others. Not quite ready, but close. Anyways, I hope our paths will cross again! Until then, all the best on your future adventures.
    With love, Patty

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