Am I enough?? No New Years Resolutions. Just hopes.

comments 3
the godless side / the post-God side

The traditional New Years Resolution appealed to me more than normal this year.  My lack of religious influence in my life has created hole easily filled with new sets of rules.  Like the addict that triumphs quitting one only to find herself entrenched in another, I feel a strong draw towards legalism and self-disciplined structure.  I don’t have a god telling me what to do, so I tend to create one within myself.

This isn’t to say structure is evil.  On the contrary, the form in and of itself is neutral.  But when used to determine one’s success or failure in life, such self-discipline easily morphs into a seemingly righteous form of self-judging.

Am I enough??

That is the question.   Every human asks it of themselves several times a day.  Religion multiplies those askings ten-fold.  Did I pray enough?  Read enough?  Serve enough?  Think enough pure thoughts?  But that question haunts even the nonreligious.  Did I sell enough at work today?  Did I eat enough green veggies?  Do I weigh the right amount?  Am I enough for him to say hello to me?  Am I enough for her to say yes to?  Do I have what it takes to succeed?

I am in a place where I want severely minimize my asking myself that question.  I want to be so free that I say YES to that question so often that I needn’t even ask it anymore.  And I think creating resolutions will do just the opposite for me.  So does this mean I have absolutely no structure or goals for 2015?  Of course not.  But let’s call them hopes.  Here are my 2015 hopes:

  1. I maintain an attached relationship with my daughter.  My time with her is naturally fulfilling, intentional, and quality.
  2. My husband and I find the balance between jobs, our new business, being parents, and strengthening our relationship.  Date nights increase.
  3. Our business grows to the point where we become entirely self-employed.
  4. I maintain good physical health.
  5. I find new ways to increase my “spiritual” health (since I don’t believe in spiritual things, I put that word in quotes.  I’m talking mostly about mental/emotional/inner-self health here).
  6. I find new meaning and purpose in life.
  7. I continue to explore and grow in creative outlets.
  8. I am able to serve others from a good place in my heart, rather than feeling obligated, coerced, or even jaded.
  9. We continue to develop a stronger community of friends outside of religious circles.
  10. I am more free.

Here’s to the best year of our lives — let’s create an incredible 2015 together!

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The Author

I'm a closet atheist christian missionary. Paradigm shifts happen frequently for those who allow themselves to think critically about currently held beliefs and openly about new ones. I’ve developed the skill, or perhaps addiction, for change but the community around me is slow to catch up -- and would damn me if they knew where I stood.

3 Comments

  1. Your #9 states – [I hope …] “We continue to develop a stronger community of friends outside of religious circles.”

    Why is it that people “inside religious circles” are not included? Do “religious people” no longer qualify for friendship? Are they now cast aside because you have reached an epiphany of self understanding and they are now either a threat to that or a bane to your new enlightenment?

    I realize this statement is harsh, and I apologize for it, but I wonder how that would look to you if the shoe were on the other foot? Please forgive me, but I have seen people on both sides of this issue make statements of the like and I feel it is so counter to what we ought to be feeling, whether we are Christian, Atheist or something else entirely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, yes, thank you for confronting this!

      Let me give you a little bit of context to explain. For the past several years, we had lived in community (very literally– sharing a home, groceries, social events, etc.) with our Christian friends a part of our church. Our friends in religious circles weren’t just seen once a week like many church-goers, but honesty 7 days a week, many hours a day. I don’t feel better or smarter or more enlightened than them. (In all honesty though, I do feel more open minded than most. But that doesn’t prevent community, just trying to honestly answer your question).

      So, it’s not that I don’t want to spend time with these people, fellowship with them, or see them. It’s just that at the foundation of our core beliefs, we are different, and therefore have very few people in our lives who can relate to us or understand us in that way. It is incredibly refreshing to spend time with nonreligious people. But again, not because of the people in and of themselves, but because of our extreme over-exposure to Christianity and our need for variety and understanding.

      Does that make sense?

      Like

  2. Yes, that makes perfect sense. What you seem to be saying is you are seeking a balance in life, one that is no longer dominated by one influence or another. I’m not sure I can get my mind around “over-exposure to Christianity” but I can understand the concept of being “over-churched”. To me (and maybe I’m just naturally defensive since I am Christian, so forgive me), Christianity is a belief and a way of life and doesn’t necessarily manifest itself in glaringly obvious ways, whereas sometimes “religiosity” does.

    I once saw a marquee on a Christian church sign that said “Share the gospel; use words if necessary.” That to me is what evangelism is about – expressing love for others first through our actions, and if people really want to know what is behind it, they will ask.

    Thanks for your response!

    Like

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