January 10, 2016


In the New Year, I want to be committed to writing more of what I wanted and less of what I thought people wanted to see. I post so much stuff on social media that I feel like people will read me or not and that should not be what fulfills me. I wanted to share a post that is drastically different but has been on my mind for awhile.

Recently, I was getting my hair braided and the woman and I had been making great conversation for majority of the day. After almost 6 hours together she asked me if I had a church here in England. My answer should have been "no, actually I am atheist I don't believe in god or practice any religion" but instead I simply said "no, I haven't found one here" WHY?! This was almost a month ago and clearly I am still bothered by it. I started reflecting about how many times in my life, I have said similar things or said nothing and sat in silence uncomfortable AF as to not make others feel the same way. I think over the  years I have just gotten a range of responses so as someone who gets annoyed with explaining themselves I avoid or straight up lie.

Some of the most common responses I have received are below, and they are not exaggerated:

1. "oh wow, really? I will pray for you" 
Please don't, my atheism isn't a disease or a disorder or lack of well being or even a lack of faith. I accept when people want to pray for my well being but don't pray for me to start believing in your god OR because you think my soul is damned to hell.

2. "are you sure? you are probably actually agnostic"
No, I am an atheist, and have been one truly since I was 8 but committed at about 18 or 19.  I know the difference thank you. Please stop telling me what I am, person who is not inside my head.

3. "this is a phase, you'll come back to your faith"
see # 2. Also being an atheist in my opinion isn't an absence of faith or belief it is just the belief and faith in something else. I feel confident in my feelings on the nonexistence of a God and my presence here on earth.

4. "Oh, does that mean you believe in the devil?"

I remember a former coworker of mine saying that as a black man he is cognizant of what that means to other people. He said that if he is walking down the street and sees a woman, particularly a white woman he will go ahead and cross to the other side of the street as to not make her uncomfortable. I found that interesting and quite profound, he said for him it isn't a big thing to do and I often think about my atheism the same way. I literally will place others comfort levels above my own.  In my reflection, I realized that my atheism makes people really uncomfortable and as a person who barely can process my own awkwardness it is nearly impossible for me to then process those situations as well. Ultimately, I do not want to bring people discomfort. I have found that people take it really personally, almost disrespected by it. That confuses me, as if my thoughts on religion challenge their personal beliefs. Trust me when I say I am not here to do that.

Interesting enough I enjoy talking about religion and faith with people, it fascinates me and I understand why it is so important to people; it just looks different to me. I like when people ask me serious questions about my beliefs and it leads to deep conversations and understanding. So why post these thoughts? Well it is my blog and I can do whatever I want but mostly I realized that in 2016, I don't want to tell this lie anymore it conflicts with my message of being the best self you can be and owning who you are as a person. To me, lying about it or staying silent is similar to staying quiet about other key issues in my life, ones that I have no problem sharing frequently. This is just a step to doing a better job at living my truth in the new year.

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