A New Road
Whenever religious holy days come to be, I cannot help but think of those who are in the throes of giving up their religion and leaving what has been their way of life. It is not an easy decision to come to, no matter the age of the person. The young will feel guilt especially knowing their parents will mourn their absence at their place of worship and the middle aged who have spent a lifetime with people who have become their friends will feel disengaged as from family. To face all of these people who are affected by such a momentous decision is difficult; not only for the ones leaving their religion but also those who love them.
This decision is significant. It means that avenues have been traveled and thoughts, feelings and facts can no longer be tolerated. It means that the road traveled can no longer be the one for this journey. It means that a new direction must be found and voids filled that once were taken up by rituals and programs. Now comes the work of finding a philosophy that will sustain and not have one buckle beneath the burdens of life. The shoulders are still the same but the head sitting upon them is different.
What must be considered is that not everything needs be dismissed. There is a process that can be adopted that will allow breathing room and space to grow with a broader premise. There are rituals that can still be meaningful and can be practiced. What must be found is support though not everywhere are there groups with no religious affiliation. Some colleges offer strongholds where those searching can find others looking for support also. One may find the road lonely but not having to pretend an allegiance will be an immense relief .
The best and most helpful source will always be the written word. There are writers and poets who know only too well the path chosen. It is not an easy way to go toward one’s destiny but when thought meets a brick wall there is still another step to take and that is Within. To get to this place where this kind of decision is made is a process. And the process is everything. It is not easy nor is it accomplished quickly. One continues to live the dailyness sometimes in the midst of inner chaos and turmoil. But given in return for this life’s effort is a peace that cannot be defined. Worth it? It is the pearl of great price. When you have gone as far as you can go in this life and cannot take one step further, you go to the only place you will always be welcome, Within.
And Within you will find your god has been waiting.
Photo by John Hallissey