2019 and 2020 have been some of the most in­flu­en­tial years in my life. I left the re­li­gious cult I grew up in, had some pretty life-chang­ing break­throughs in ther­apy, and I’m slowly find­ing a po­lit­i­cal voice I was­n’t al­lowed to have pre­vi­ously.

It’s a strange thing to have one’s whole be­lief sys­tem and sense of re­al­ity chal­lenged. It’s dis­ori­ent­ing; full of grief, sob­bing, and deep emo­tional pain. While many of my for­mer re­li­gion would say I’ve taken the easy way out, I can say con­fi­dently that there has­n’t been any­thing easy about it. As I ex­plained last year, death has been an in­cred­i­bly dif­fi­cult thing to grap­ple with now that I don’t be­lieve in an af­ter­life.

And yet, I’ve found hap­pi­ness. Not a hap­pi­ness rooted in rose-col­ored glasses, or with­out chal­lenges. I’m lonely. I feel as if I have no close friends or fam­ily who truly know me ex­cept for my part­ner. People who claimed to love me don’t talk to me any­more. That’s tough to deal with in a nor­mal year, I can’t be­gin to de­scribe what it’s been like in a pan­demic.

But for me it’s al­ways been about truth. Was what I be­lieved true? Not does it make me feel good, not does it sur­round me with mostly lov­ing (albeit con­di­tional) peo­ple, not be­cause it would dis­s­ap­point my fam­ily if I did­n’t.

Is it the truth?

The an­swer for me is a re­sound­ing no.

Ultimately, go­ing into 2021, I’m a com­pletely dif­fer­ent per­son to who I was just two years ago. It’s change at a mag­ni­tude I did­n’t ex­pect, but as the storm in my head set­tles, I’m a per­son I love deeply and ac­cept fully. I know who I am, what I stand for, and the val­ues that guide my life. I want to live a lov­ing and thought­ful life, and I’m do­ing my best to do so.

Happy New Year y’all.

Webmentions 5 3

  1. John Locke John Locke
    I appreciate your honesty and chronicling this journey. It's difficult to leave a belief system and re-think everything. I don't think that process ever ends. I wish you peace and the truth you seek in 2021, Tim. 😃
  2. Justin Jackson Justin Jackson
    As someone who left the religion I grew up in (fairly late in life, in my late 20s), I know a bit of how you’re feeling. I’ve found way more freedom outside of the church than in it. 🙌
  3. Tim Smith Tim Smith
    Thanks John. It’s been a process for sure. I appreciate your kind support 😊
  4. Tim Smith Tim Smith
    Oh wow! I didn’t know that. I’m so glad you’ve found freedom. I definitely agree

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