One trend that disturbs me even now is how someone who leaves one faith immediately seeks out a new one. If it were simply a conversion after careful thought, research, and contemplation over what he or she believes I wouldn’t bother with it. I find it disturbing because I know how vulnerable a person feels after leaving a religion. There’s always that sense we made a wrong decision, letting go of the old beliefs, and even relearning what we do believe. Part of my relearning focused on experimenting with a couple of faiths. I tried out Wicca at one point, which I found didn’t work for me. I found myself back at square one, and after a some research into other faiths I decided not to define what I believe and just work on my spirituality.
Looking back, I learned a lesson in that: don’t be afraid of the void that remains after leaving a religion. In fact, it should be the best time for anyone to figure out what they truly believe. This is where one can sit back, reflect on what worked or didn’t work for their religion. This is a time where one can find out why you believed a certain way and if it still works now. In other words, it’s time to do some soul searching. Honestly, trying to decide what one truly believes can be very scary. Sometimes, it means admitting to ourselves something society teaches us contrary. Sometimes it can take months, even years to really find out what someone truly believes.
When a few of my friends became atheist, they had searched long and hard and tried a couple of religions before reaching this decision. After some soul searching, they decided they were atheists because of how they felt about religion and they didn’t need that means for that end. It felt right to them; it wasn’t pretty taking the long way, but they found out what they believe.
At the same time, I’ve found people who have done this soul-searching and discovered they were agnostic. There are also those who chose not to name their religious path. For some time, I did not put a name to my religion until I discovered the Ancient Egyptian gods through my personal religious experience. When Het-Hert (Hathor) came to me in a dream I felt a presence of love. It was a type of love I’d never experience that upon waking felt compelled to offer to Her. After some time I researched the Ancient Egyptian religion and found it was similar to what I believed. The more I’ve learned about myself and the religion the more I’ve seen how right of a fit it is for me.
When leaving one religion don’t immediately try to find another religion to take its place. Instead concentrate on what you truly believe inside. No one can answer what you truly believe but you, and asking others to do it for you without first trying on your own is a disservice. I can’t guarantee the answers will come instantly, but they will feel right when they come. After all, nothing is more assuring in faith than an understanding of oneself.