Shifting shadows

Leaving your faith is a massive thing.  They say the spiritual path is one walked alone and today I think I realised what people mean.    When you have a collective faith , you are walking with others,  there is comfort in conformity .

I felt sorrow in my heart today when I left my 3 close christian friends.   Nothing has been the same since I confessed that I just don’t believe what I once did .   There was a loneliness,    a longing ,   for things to be what they were –   I could sense the tension in some of our conversations as they struggled to grasp where I was.

The thing is ; I don’t know where I am &  I don’t mind .    That’s what’s hard for them perhaps,   that ‘  sure and certain hope ‘   is not for me what it is for them.

To step out of the community that you’ve built yourself within is a big leap.   It is at times liberating and wonderful and at others , like today ,  simply sad.    What once was , will never be again .    The shared convictions held so much ,   they were perhaps the glue and without it things become loose and rather lost.   I think when a friendship is built on something ,   it is almost impossible to shift the foundations.    If I had always been a ‘ non- christian ‘  friend ,  it would be normal –  but it’s the land in between where the foundations are damaged  &  shifted .

Now I don’t know where to go to seek friendship.   Nothing feels right. Old  school friends are far away ,  those  which span decades ,  so precious but so rare to behold their sweet company .    Different sets of friends that you cling to ,     to keep that part of yourself alive,   that era of youth where things were wild.   Yet now,   those friends perhaps have changed or grown in ways different to you and they just don’t fill that hole.  Work friends,  keep their distance in many respects ,   where does the line lie?

My husband ,  I am coming to appreciate , after 18 years ,  is my best friend.   At times ,  I literally hate this man with all my being ,  but you know what,    It is about being known and loved for all you are and all you’ve been .   Pot head,  fat ,  thin,   bible basher, anxious agoraphobic ,  arrogant know it all ,  lovingly humble & angry .   To be known on all these levels –   to be able to be what you are at the time you need to be it ,   to not have to conform to any label or box .   Surely that’s friendship.   To hate and then to love.

I am trying to vanquish the hating part.    Eviscerate the ego.

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