I was walking the Christian path seriously from around 7th grade to 10th grade. By serious, I mean, it was a huge part of my life, was actively pursuing it and had a deep hunger for it.
I began to realize my sexuality sophomore year. This is where the departure began. It was a messy one. With me going back and forth from gay to straight, nonchristian to christian. I was confused and at odds with myself. I had a lot of guilt. That and my parents didn’t make any of it easy on me.
Junior and senior year, I accepted my homosexuality and moved away from the church and religion. I remember thinking to myself, I’m going to have to come back and deal with this- sort these things out. But at that time I was more concerned with living my life, working, getting a car, saving to move out and partying. I would think some times, “What if I was dying in an amnulence?” I’d pray for salvation so I’ll go to heaven- just in case. Better safe than sorry. That instilled Hell-fear can be a bitch to shake.
During this time I was hurting underneath. I had pain, self hate and turmoil inside. I would wish i could throw everything away and start fresh, in regards to myself, my life, my experiences. But I was moving so fast I never really noticed or delt with it. It all went ignored. The nights I’d fall into that black abyss, I can’t explain how awful I felt. My mind would rob me of sleep. Then the next day I’d feel better, go on to work, go on to see friends. Drinking and smoking were masking those problems. I wasn’t doing it consciously, but it was still a distraction, an escape. After a while it became how I self medicated. The need to deal with those feelings became greater as time went on, but I never talked about it with others. I would write stuff down occasionally, journal here and there, never really getting into it.
I’m not good at opening up to others. I had this idea in my head that what everyone else was dealing with was bigger, more real or more valid than some thorny, mixed up feelings and self esteem issues I was experiencing.
The first night I was really able to write out some of my experiences and emotions, soberly, which I believe was important, was when mom was in the hospital after she broke her ankle (2013). I had a clear, crisp moment of realization that I do not believe in Christ. That, that religion was not for me. I didn’t feel those strings or attachments to it. Then I was just floating with no beliefs or understandings or thoughts on religion, spirituality or the world. I just didn’t know and things stayed that way for a while.
Until that following Fall when my curiosity in witchcraft started to bud and I jumped down that rabbit hole. I wasn’t too focused or concerned about beliefs or spirituality. I planned on addressing it later on, but the Universe had other plans. Maybe it was that book ‘Beyond Religion’, but my first year in exploration and study went right to spirituality, beliefs and self development. I’m just now refocusing on getting back to witchcraft.
The transition from religion to personal spirituality was gradual. It happened organically, with out any effort, consciously. Partly because I didn’t have any knowledge on different spiritualities. I grew up in an over protective, sheltered, controlled home. Even self knowledge was something I always hungered for. Looking back on it, that’s why I always had a fascination with Astrology. I was just not aware of that because I didn’t know that was a thing.
Maybe growing up religious is one of the reasons spirituality is important to me. I want to say that it’s a universal quality/need in humans. But I also know some people never have those desires or explorations. We all walk different paths.
Whatever it was, this has been a road I was on from way back. I couldn’t have continued without this journey taking place, because it is a part of me. Just like any other interest or passion. It’s in my make-up and it feels so damn good to be where I am today!!