This Is How I Get By Without God

Jeffrey Wegrzyn
Jeffrey Wegrzyn

It’s tough. Let me tell you.

There are times when I think of my friends or family in danger. I’ll think of my parents falling severely ill or of my best friends having some terrible accident. I’ll think about how, in the culture I was raised in, the automatic reaction would be to pray. You call upon the “power of God” to help you pull through these terrible moments.

I’ll think about how comforting it is to think of a man coming to the rescue to help one of my loved ones. Of course that is comforting. To be able to throw your hands in the air and surrender because “God’s taking care of it.” All because the imaginary man in the sky is going to come down and make everything better.

There are times when  I think about something I shouldn’t have done or said. I’ll think about something I wish and wish and wish I could take back.

I’ll think about how comforting it is to think of a man who resolves all of that guilt and excuses, all of my mistakes simply when I ask him to.

Of course that would be comforting. To be able to commit moral sin day after day and be able to not take responsibilty for my own actions and to simply ask the imaginary man in the sky for his forgiveness. As if he has anything to do with this earthly world and those who live here. You’re asking for the forgiveness of the imaginary dad in the sky and you never think to ask forgiveness from those you hurt, or even further, from yourself.

It’s easier to feel lonely and claim to have Christ with you than it is to sit in that loneliness and really get to know yourself. It’s easy to feel scared and to think of his “guiding hand” than it is to dive into that fear and figure out what it’s all about. OF COURSE IT IS. My god, that sounds so nice.  I agree, it is very comforting. However, that doesn’t make it right. For me.

The longer I live abroad and the more cultures I encounter, the more I view religion as just that, a cultural tradition to be respected just like any other – removing your shoes before entering a house, not touching monks, standing for a national anthem. They are not my traditions, but I respect them because I know they are the traditions of others. We’re all just trying to get through life, I get that. Whatever helps you the most, do that. I respect that.

And, I understand that, at the end of the day, it is a lot harder to rely on yourself rather than some almighty, powerful being in the sky who is the superdad of all superdads. A lot harder. It’s a lot scarier and more lonely as well. But if I’m going to live this life, and I mean really live it, I want to do it justice. That means learning to rely on myself, my energy, and my ability to create the life I want.

To me, this means getting rid of the daddy in the sky who allows me cop out on taking responsibility for things I have control over. I’m assuming for some, Jesus is an extension of themselves. We are all holy, and you are your own savior. However, I cannot believe in the cultural phenomenon of a man named Jesus and The Bible.

I believe in energy, and that my energy can affect the world around me.

I believe in the power of quieting and following your heart.

I believe in being a good person because we are all connected through the universe.

Most of all, though, I believe in myself.

I believe in the reality I create for myself and take full responsibility for all of the good and the bad. I believe in surrendering to the universe and my heart, not a man. I believe in the comfort of the void so many people seek to fill with a god instead of themselves. And, I believe it’s all happening for a beautiful reason that I can’t, and don’t really need to, understand.

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UCLA graduate. Video Producer. Cheese & Netflix & Sangria Addict. Read more articles from Elizabeth on Thought Catalog.