THE BLOG
11/30/2015 06:02 pm ET Updated Nov 30, 2016

I'm an Atheist, but That Doesn't Mean I'm Not Spiritual

My choice to leave the faith does not and did not imply that I had no interest in what moves the human heart. I had always had my convictions about Christianity and it was almost two years ago when I decided that I didn't want to dictate my life based on some outside belief. I wanted to be open to all possibilities, and all understanding of life. So I decided to leave my faith behind and live a life where I wasn't constantly judging my actions by some rule or moral code.

Many of my friends were confused. I had went from being a leader in a Christian group one day to not caring to have a conversation on prayer the next. I noticed the obvious discomfort when I would try to explain what it was I felt. "I want to be open." I would say. "I don't want to live a life dictated by judgment or fear of hell or a set of rules and beliefs. What if some of Buddha's ideas are good and true? What if the Bible has some things wrong? What if I am giving up my time on this earth where I could be partaking and experiencing beauty and living a life open to experience because I allowed myself to be restricted by belief?" I didn't want to live in the 'what if' and others didn't understand that because the way I wanted to think, feel, and love didn't align with their understanding of what it meant to be a moral person. "I don't care to be a moral person." I would tell them. "I just want to live my life."

Many just didn't get it. Soon enough I stopped explaining it to people. "What happened?" they would ask. "I just don't care." I would respond. Some suspected that my fall had more to do with my doubts, disagreements, and discomfort with the modern structure of Christianity. That was a part of it but it wasn't it completely.

I just want to know the world for all it is. I don't want my love to be restricted to those who are just like me or my praise to only go to that that is mentioned in the Bible. My being a non-believer does not exclude me from spirituality. In fact, it was the desire to be more spiritual that led me to it.

Perhaps one day I will return to Christ. Who I am doesn't want to exclude the possibility or shut out the love I once felt for God. However, I don't ever think it will be in the same way I once did. I want to be free to experience spirituality without restraint of structure. I want to love without having to constantly push myself to change someone and "set them straight because if not they will go to hell." I do not believe in God, yes, but I feel this puts me in a good place to know him truly if the chance ever comes.