I don't really talk about my atheism here that much, but it seems to be a good time to bring it up.
I'm not an atheist because of any despair or anger. It's simply a matter of disbelief. For a long time, I considered myself an agnostic that didn't believe in organized religion. The amount of history that seems based on a premise of "my God is better than your God" just seemed silly. I know that usually, it's not about religion, but about power doesn't persuade me that religion itself is worth the enormous divides in our humanity based upon the differences in religion.
I thought that I believed in a God, but I really never did. I never could quite phrase a sentence about it without saying, "if there is such a thing."
Which isn't to say that I'm not spiritual, or don't believe in the wonders of nature. The lunar eclipse the other night was awesome. The planets are awesome. The way a tree or grass can grow is awesome. But I don't need to put a name on it or try to explain it somehow. I simply enjoy the wonder of it.
I do appreciate the scientists and others who do want to understand it, and I think their talents and appreciation are worth so much to our humanity.
I believe in humanity. I believe in doing the right thing simply because it's the right thing to do and makes one stand a little prouder because of it. We need to be able to depend on one another to be there for us when a helping hand is in order. And we give a helping hand when we can because of our humanity, our longing for connection.
I believe strongly in our Constitution, and our right to be free to believe, and to say what we think, but always being conscious of how our actions can affect others. I wouldn't interfere with anyone's right to believe in the God of their choosing, but I would ask that they not interfere with my right not to...nor do I truly understand the need.
We all have good times and bad times. We all have been hurt by others. However, if we shut ourselves off from others in our times of need, we shut ourselves off from their experiences and what they've learned and how they survived it. This is why support groups are so successful. It's also why I look outward to others when I need help. What people have learned and what they're willing to share can be so valuable, and has helped me many times.
I'm much better today because I put myself back out there again. I got myself back into a conversation which I'd been avoiding. Now I have interaction with people I missed again! Now I have the opportunity to ask theoretical questions again. Having that back was really all I needed. I had shut myself off, and now I'm welcoming it all with open arms.
That's not to say I won't be hurt again. However, I know have support from others. I know I have places I can go and people I can talk to when I need them who will pick me up again. For me, it's more effective than any prayer I've attempted.