I walked away from religion when I realized all I was wanting was just a little normal and not so much tragic, not so much horrible...I got tired for thanking god for something bad not happening...for then thanking god for not making the bad even worse. It was then I realized how nasty this god was if that was the best I could hope for with all my devotions and prayers.
I was pious and devout. I was not a fanatic but a quiet religious person...for decades I felt a contentment in the ritual that I embraced as not empty but full of the wonder of god. Until a small cat suffered and died for no reason except god willed it. I thought it was the will of god....then I thought....and thought some more that if this was the will of god this god was some nasty piece of work.
One day during a prayer I head myself begging this nasty being to allow me some comfort in my hours of real suffering. Just a moment of peace to abate the fears. Just a feeling of peace to enter this torment. Nothing. I knew then that it was not that god was nasty. The simply was no god to hear. Or maybe god could not help me then what was the use....then I was back to a nasty god...then I settled on the Nothing. Once I embraced that concept that nothing was hearing me, that there was nothing that could influence my inner self but me( with a lot of work) I felt a huge burden lift from my heart, my stooped shoulders. There was fresh air as the door to the prison opened....the door was never locked and I just had to se the handle and open. It took s bit of time to leave the door way since I knew once I left I would never want to go back. Many had returned. But not me! If was to free myself I would do it like I did most of my life.... leave the past and never look back.
My imaginary religion was a great castle huge and beautiful safe....but there was always something sinister lurking in the courtyards.......Once I stepped through the door I walked to the meadow and the forest. I knew I was on my own. I could not ask for help. Then I laughed and said When did I ever get any help anyway?! Yes I was alone now. But had I not always been alone in the dark?
So dear friends that is how I escaped. It is hard to most people to escape. I am not bitter at those who stay but I am sorry for them but never would I encourage them to leave the castle. Most people can not endure life as a fully adult thinker responsible for all their actions and thoughts. I am now a kinder person because it is the right thing to do, not for some after death reward. I now live and relish this life since it is all I will have. I may recycle back. I am not sure of the other ideas that have invaded religions besides a god/gods/goddesses. There is no proof or anything god or not. Except what happened to me when asked for a simple thing as a moment of peace in the midsts of my storm way back when. I am content to live each day with its frustrations and troubles but I now know it is just the life and not some punishment or reward. It is easy to do the right thing and it is easy to be thankful for life each day.