I’m taking a break from this blog for the summer. (Summer includes September, for me.) Talk to you on October 15, 2023!
1. Cut unnecessary words.
Print out your draft and go over it with a pencil. For each word, ask “Can I remove this without losing my intended meaning?” Cross out as many as possible.
Al-Anon and other twelve-step programs seem to require faith in “God.”
For example, step three is:
“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”
Since God doesn’t exist, how can anyone take a twelve-step program seriously?
Here’s my solution.
I use “God” as shorthand for higher powers, plural. This lets me embrace the program without deluding myself.
Update—Jan. 28, 2023:
This video says everything I wanted to say and more.
Video: “Worshipping narcissists” by QualiaSoup and TheraminTrees.
/end of update
Here are some beliefs I used to have about God (as a child raised Christian) and my partner (as a woman in an abusive relationship).
1. He sets the terms.
You’re entitled to your opinion. He’s entitled to be the voice of reason and authority.
For example, if he says he loves you, he loves you. That’s what “love” means.
(If you say you love him but you also disobey his express wishes, you don’t really love him.)
A few months ago I knocked one of my favorite glass teacups off the shelf and broke it. I was having a bad week, and this made it worse.
Then I read this passage by Mark Epstein, a psychiatrist, about his encounter with “a renowned Thai forest master named Ajahn Chah:”
Your Life in Weeks by Tim Urban
Wait But Why, May 7, 2014
Thanks to this post, I keep a life calendar in Google Sheets. It’s a satisfying memento mori, and helps me see the shape of my life as a whole.
(This website, reviewmylife, offers a free template, but I haven’t tested it: Weeks of your life calendar – free Excel download.)
Note: This post is a work in progress. I’ll remove this note when it’s done.
Although I’m an atheist, and always will be, I have had a spiritual awakening.