When I believed in god, I put my dreams on hold for "god's plan" even though there was no way of knowing "god's plan" - I mean he didn't write it on a napkin or burn a bush for me..

When i realized I was an atheist - I realized it's all up to me.  And that was very freeing - my dreams were mine again.  My dreams to write and to create were mine to make come true to let go - my decision.

I also realized every second counted - no more "well if I don't see that person now I will see them in heaven"

So I find myself mourning wasted time.  I mourn the words I did not write, the art I did not create and currently the Aunt I didn't say goodbye too before she died because I thought "that situation makes me uncomfortable - I will see her in heaven"

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life" ~Steve Jobs

Tags: artist, dreams, writer

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Michael

Yeah, the Peace Corp is still around, although I seriously doubt it maintains the same ideals of it’s early days. Still, I’ve often wondered the same thing about going back. I think I’m still physically fit enough for a guy of 52 and I’m pretty sure my life experience would be of some benefit...

At 67 I have a PSR (primitive survival rate) of 8.2. We took the tests for that online and my wife decided that somehow "I must have cheated." I was laughing myself silly...

Wait a minute... what is this!? I never heard of a PSR. Where do you take this test?

Googgle "test your PSR" and you can go to the websites of ones that had the survival programs.

Well, I tried it. Got a 9 although I definitely question the validity of most of the options it gave for answers.

peace corps over 50  No age limit.

I read somewhere they have taken people into their 80s.  Lilian Carter went in at 68

No, the Peace Corp isn’t a religious organization. The reasons for why I joined it however were spiritually motivated. It’s was but one of a long list of events that contributed to the erosion of my spirituality. In any case this was back in the early 80’s and I was doing relief work in Ethiopia

So how did the Peace Corps erode your spirituality? 

That's interesting.  In Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov, there's a passage where the wise elder monk Father Zossima is answering questions from people. 

One person asks Father Zossima, "I find myself unable to believe in God.  How can I become convinced that God exists?" 

Father Zossima answers (paraphrased) "There is one infallible way to become convinced of the existence of God.  That is, practice active love."

It's a very striking passage.  But apparently you proved it wrong - you practiced active love and ended up becoming an atheist instead!

Cool David, your response really resonated with me. Thanks for sharing the link to The Atheist Files. I'm putting it on my "to watch" list.

Kelly you can only live in the now.  Prepare for future, while accepting it will have unexpected turns and may not even be there.  Find things that are important to you and empower yourself to do them.

 

I had a rough time for many years despite being atheist.  Bad choices and bad luck, and too much misdirected dedication.  So being nonreligious did not make those times better.  In the end I knew I had only myself to depend on, and the only acceptable way was to move forward, so I did. 

 

I'm glad I did.  There have still been major challenges.  Life does that.  But I remind myself of Ingersoll's words:

Justice is the only worship.
Love is the only priest.
Ignorance is the only slavery.
Happiness is the only good.
The time to be happy is now,
The place to be happy is here,
The way to be happy is to make others so.
Wisdom is the science of happiness

 

"The time to be happy is now"

I do wish I'd known then what I know now, especially in the God department.

Kelly, "I realized it's all up to me" YES your dreams, words, feelings, thoughts, actions. all "up to me". I recognize the feeling of mourning wasted time and it is all up to me. I have choices: 

1. Do nothing. 

2. Mourn, whine, complain, suffer, grieve. 

3. Blame my upbringing, family, education, society, the world. 

4. Understand the difference between waiting for god to direct me and me directing me. 

5. Think and act, in the here and now. 

6. Celebrate freedom and self-responsibility. 

7. Join with others who take responsibility for their own lives. 

I hope that as people grow they come to an understanding of being, doing, belonging, thinking, and participating in life. A mentally healthy person can do these things; others hang on to superstitions, delusions and denial. 

Quite frankly, I find those that hang on to religion fit the description of the "left behind" crowd. A problem comes up, some "let go, let god". A conflict arises, some want "god's way" whatever that is and however that is identified. A values clash occurs, some "declare god  defines values". A scoundrel exploits and manipulates others, some believe god will forgive and open the doors to heaven if the scoundrel confesses belief in Jesus. An honest, caring, loving person yields, prays, obeys, turns the other cheek, sacrifices him- or herself for others and wonders why feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, anxieties and depression haunts him or her.  

Kelly, I am very happy to read your work and meet you here on Atheist Nexus. This group of explorers, experimenters, doubters, and communicators enrich my life and I am sure you will find community here. 

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