Over the years in my spiritual direction practice, people have shared with me their experiences of breaking free from a damaging or toxic religious background.
What follows are 37 ways people expressed this part of their spiritual journey. Life after religion can initially be a volatile experience, as shown in these statements.
37 ways you know you're shedding religion
losing your religion but gaining your sanity left church to get closer to God know you're on the right path but can't explain it thinking for yourself have fewer answers but more peace don't know where your Bible is replacing revelation with education seeing something deeper in people than their label divesting yourself from performance-based mindsets shifting responsibility for your life from God to you wishing someone (anyone!) would accept you where you are liking the people you previously classified as "them" uninterested in theological diatribes and debate refusing to divulge the books you are currently reading exploring more of science, psychology and philosophy stopped telling people "I will pray for you" fully inhabiting your humanity questioning everything don't know how to answer, "Are you a Christian?" nurturing a vital connection with nature feeling drawn to explore beyond the boundaries set by others divesting yourself from fear-based beliefs replaced concern of suffering in hell with suffering on earth seeing the label of "heretic" as a good thing replacing blind faith with critical thinking discarding books from your previous religious life embracing simple but profound realities such as love seeing the world through eyes of compassion, not judgment not feeling the need to have a defined belief system nauseated when you hear Christanese replaced your focus on the afterlife with the herelife fully expressing your authentic self appreciate the spiritual wisdom from diverse sources seeing Jesus and Christianity as two different things no longer dividing the world up into "sacred" and "secular" having a more highly developed bullshit-detector caring less what people think replacing prayer with action letting yourself be happy