I used to think I was nothing. In fact, it was on purpose. In my mind, that was the godliest thing. Think less of yourself, and think of yourself less. Emphatically, I’d train myself to pray and have faith, the practices of relying on God in my stead.

When I stopped believing in God, it was hard to stop praying. I used to rely on God; now, that’s gone. In fact, I’ve caught myself praying so many times after losing my faith, I’ve lost count. Moments after sensing the practice lingering from my old life, my defensive mind derailed every thought and prayer, eager to protect myself from anything that reminded me of the religion that hurt me in the past. But that “protecting” also hurts. Each time I’d snuff out the expression of my innermost thoughts and desires, I feel like I chased away a part of myself. My over-correcting needed a remedy.

Recently, something changed. I’ve decided to allow myself to pray. To whom or to what? Myself. Us. People.

When I was a Christian, my belief system told me that God was the one who answered prayers and changed the world around me. In my current belief system, I’ve realized we have to work harder, trust each other more, and allow ourselves to make mistakes. I’ve learned that my goals matter, and I’m no longer at the mercy of my circumstances or “God’s Will.” My mind has changed, and it came out empowered. I didn’t lose my faith; I gained myself.

I’m not alone. I have you. You have me. I don’t believe I AM is in control anymore. But I do believe WE ARE.

18011185_562430897962_4661834944927638266_nBrady Hardin-
Founder of The *Life After

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