I have always struggled to find my place, as far as beliefs go. My parents were not Christian, but I did attend church with family members. In that time, religion was also taught in school. Part of my gift for taking those classes was a little silver bible. I read those words a great deal. For what purpose, I do not know.
In my quest to fit in, I spent over 20 years, sitting in various pews, trying to find myself. I never could. It didn't make sense to me, that there were people in that building, that could buy and sell me many times over, and were happy to remind me of that fact. I know, that some people do better in life than others. That really wasn't the issue, but the boasting sure was. I watched them merrily sitting in those pews weeks after week with enormous do-gooder smiles on their faces.. They didn't love their neighbour. Half the time they didn't love their own families. Yet, there they were, reciting a creed they had long ago memorized, saying they would, as I sat on the outside looking in.
After my divorce was final, and I moved to this big city. I had stopped attending church services completely. But I still hung on to the words in that little silver book. When my new found neighbours began reading, this book. I did too. It brought me to tears, time and time again. But not because the words were speaking to me. However, because I just didn't get it! I didn't feel it! Everyone else in the reading circle was feeling actually feeling the book! Yet, my heart had somehow been untouched.
It wasn't until one night chatting with a long time friend and being told ... "you are not wrong dear, you're just reading the wrong damn book", that it even occurred to me, that I was not the problem, in this life long battle to fit in.
I ordered the Scott Cunningham books, that were suggested to me, and in fact read them I was nudged a few times, as I read his words, but I was not slapped, I still did not get my ah-ha moment. I was beginning to think I was utterly broken.Until I read this . . . ."We are not on this planet to ask forgiveness of our deities"
As a christian we sinners, we seem to never get anything right, all we seem to do is take a knee and beg for forgiveness. I always strived to live a good life. I have never weaved webs of deception. I have never stolen. I have never cheated. I don't have a criminal record.. I try hard not to gossip, and look down on people that. Yet, every single Sunday, I stood in uncomfortable clothing, surrounded by blind sheep, uttering words to whoever was listening, begging for forgiveness for my shortcomings.
I am honest. I am loyal. I am compassionate. I am giving. Sunday school taught me that I was made in gods image. Sunday school taught me that god was perfect, yet hello, I was a sinner!! For what??? I didn't break the law, I didn't get drunk, get in my car, and run down innocent people. I didn't hold a gun and shoot at a school yard full of people in a lame attempt of gaining respect. I didn't have my way with the children in my life just for shits and giggles.
So, what was I begging for forgiveness for?!?! Maybe it was not having enough money to place in the collection plate or wearing the same dress two Sundays in a row. Maybe, it was not knowing the words to the hymn off by heart or not owning a mansion large enough to invite people over to break bread. Maybe, it was being stupid enough to marry a man that abused and cheated on me.
I have no clue at all, what I was begging for. It doesn't really matter now. What does matter is this ... shortly, after I finished reading the correct books, I declared myself human, and at that same exact time, I declared myself Pagan.