|A skill (sign language) that I felt confident about. (4/5)||Instead of one skill , I am currently learning several skills: web design, photography, philosophy, and writing are the main ones. I have already achieved a significant level of mastery in each of these areas, but I haven’t received enough feedback. (3/5)|
|A direct experience of helping and seeing that I am making some difference in other people’s lives||This is something I definitely don’t have now. The closes thing I have to this I guess is feeding the cats, saving some of them, seeing that they are better of now. I honestly don’t know how I can incorporate this back to my life but I do want it. (1/5)|
|Walking and a sense of adventure. (3/5)||I walk now and write travelogues, which I can expand more (4/5)|
|A group of close friends with core beliefs that are similar. (4/5)||I have some close friends but we are not united in our core beliefs. We care for each other like family, but not support each other’s work enough. (3/5)|
|A larger community where a measure of prestige is possible. (5/5)||I definitely do not have this. For 10 years now since 2012, I have struggled to feel any measure of prestige. Perhaps it is not the prestige that I need but the feeling of being part of something and being seen. (1/5)|
|A rich inner life that consists of learning deep truths. (3/5)||This I do have. I can confidently say I am better with this now than before. (4/5)|
|A platform to teach what I was learning (one-on-one, in an audience). (4/5)||I have my website and writing. But these are not direct and in-person opportunities for me to do this currently. (3/5)|
Although it seems like I had a better life during the 2-3 years of being a devout religious at my previous faith, there are things I have now that are actually compensating what I lack:
- I am intellectually free. I am no longer binded by the teachings of a few white old men. I am free to explore different ideals and beliefs. This freedom is worth everything I gave up, which is perhaps the reason why I am so invested in the truth.
- I take care of my mind and body more now. I no longer sacrifice a lot just for others.
- I no longer feel guilty because of breaking some rules, moral code, or dogma.
- I do writing more (journaling, essays), which is oo personal, I know, but something I neglected in those years while at church.
- I have met dozens of people doing incredible things that inspire me—people I wouldn’t have met if I was still at the church.
I conclude that I actually have a good life now that I have to improve by noticing the Things I had in my past religious life I can incorporate in my current life.