I wish I could believe in the divine or a god or angels. I really do wish that. But the thing is, I can’t force myself to believe in something that is not real.
I’ve spent over a decade praying to any god that I hoped was listening, calling angels and wishing something unexplainable would happen to me. While unexplainable has happened, it has less to do with angels and more to do with the multiverse. But more about that some other time.
But no matter how badly I wanted god to talk to me, he never did. Year after year after year I would find excuses about why nothing ever worked, and it led me to atheism which made sense.
But something was missing. I felt miserable and lost and like life was just too cruel for me to handle it. It didn’t help that I was suicidal and already depressed.
So I pushed it away. The feelings. The thoughts. Everything.
I mourned who I was – you can read who I was before atheism here – but I never acknowledged that I wanted to believe in something bigger than myself. It was scary to think about it because I felt like a failure.
But then a year and a half ago I started listening to the Back From The Borderline podcast. Mollie, the host, was talking about spirituality and at first, it turned me off a bit. It just wasn’t my cup of tea. (Just a note to say that Mollie seems to be anti-psychiatry and anti-medicine currently which is something I strongly disagree with.)
However, the more I listened to her talk about her own journey, the more I felt inspired. I don’t have to believe in anything supernatural to be spiritual. Instead, I can create my own practices and find spirituality in nature and other animals.
As you know, I also found the work of Martha Beck. I talk more about her here.
For me, spirituality is embracing the unknown. Knowing that I know nothing, and not trying to find the answers to questions which don’t fit into my tiny mind. It means that I practice mindfulness and enjoy each moment as it passes.
A few years ago I experienced a second where I felt one with a leaf, and that changed me. I pushed it away but years after, I found myself yearning for that feeling again. That was nature and mindfulness intertwined.
For a single second, I was that leaf, a part of a tree, the sun itself. It was magical, yet also nothing supernatural, just a moment of pure mindfulness.
This is spirituality. And I am allowed to want to seek it and experience it again and again and again.
As an atheist, you can feel like nothing that is not proven by science is real but that is false. You don’t have to believe in angels and a god to feel connected to the whole world and life itself. You just need to be quiet, in solitude and looking from pure consciousness.
This is how I feel spiritual and it has nothing to do with what people think of when they hear the word.
It’s pure bliss and just pure nature.
Magic is just taking a deep breath and seeing all as one and one as all.