Hello, all. It's been a while since I posted about something, so I wanted to update you on where I am on my religious journey.
I haven't been to Church in a couple of months, because I was starting to become a bit disenchanted when my spiritual father left. He had really become a father figure, and I loved his family as though they were my family. It was sad to see a new priest at the altar, but the community has gotten used to him and he's proven to be a fantastic priest.
I took hiatus from Church several times over the last year. Each time they got longer and longer, until I finally just told the priest that it no longer felt like my home. He was very understanding, and assured me that I'm always welcome.
I was having some personal issues, and my therapist and I decided that I either had to keep Church or quit. I chose to call it quits for now, and to be honest I feel fine. **Here is where I'm going to be honest about my feelings, please don't be offended**
People talk about how missing one liturgy leaves them feeling sick and tired. I feel so much better since not going to Church. I was always known as the stick in the mud, nieve, religious guy. Now, thanks to my therapist and a class at school, I've re-evaluated my beliefs and interests, and I'm quite a different person.
I think that I did a bit of growing up. I no longer have anxiety problems (I'm finally able to drive without having a panic attack!).
I'm going through a period of disbelief. It started about a month ago, though I think it's been coming for a while. I used to be so zealous! I was praying before I went to sleep, just talking to God. Then I had a thought - what if I'm just talking to myself? I didn't believe it, but as days went by, I started to feel more alone.
I don't want to say that "I don't believe that God exists". I just don't think that God existed to begin with.
I've tried praying and reading the Bible, but it's just not coming back. At first I thought that God had left me, but I think that "God" and saints and all of it was all in my head. It was real, because I made it real. If I don't believe in it, it's no longer real.
I went to liturgy to see if it changed my feelings, but nothing happened. I mean, let's keep it real - bread and wine/water doesn't actually turn into flesh and blood unless you believe that it does.
I spoke to a religious friend about this, and she said that my "choice" not to believe in God was "suicide". I must say, this is one of the most absurd things I've ever heard. I'm not going to hell. I don't see apparitions of the Theotokos or demons or saints. Nothing is there, and now that I've realized that I no longer feel bad about things that I used to feel bad about.
I don't condemn religion, I still love it very much. I love Orthodoxy, I just don't believe in it any longer.
So that's that...I hope I haven't shocked you all beyond repair
If you wouldn't mind, please let me know in replies how you're doing! It's been so long since I've spoken with most of you, and I love you all very much! (of course, you're also welcome to comment on what I've written).