The feeling of being lost on this path is stressful and depressing. By not following the predetermined beliefs and laws prescribed by mainstream religion, one is left to find their own way through self-discovery and soul searching. For many, the idea of total freedom from the chains of religious tyranny is liberating and exciting, but I’d be lying if I didn’t acknowledge the fear and uncertainty that I’ve experienced since I decided to denounce Christianity as my religion. This fear isn’t rooted in the idea of Satan or going to Hell, but it’s more the fear of what others think about my spirituality and the attempt to express myself without drawing attention to my “alternative” religion. And this is always followed by the statement, “stop caring what other people think!” Well I do care, and I don’t know how to change that. Maybe I’ll eventually get to that point, but I’m not there yet. Since I was a kid my religion has always been a huge part of my self-identity, and being a Christian, it was very easy to find others to accept that and those that rejected me were easier to deal with because I had a community to belong to. As an adult who has left Christianity and is seeking a path of my own, I don’t know what scares me more, what others think of me or the loss of that sense of community. I’ve been studying pagan and esoteric traditions for quite a while now, and deep in my heart I know that’s the kind of path I belong to. I wish I knew the way to eradicate these fears, otherwise I will never progress anywhere. I think it’s also important for me to realize that these fears have very deep roots that not only affect my spirituality, but every aspect of my life. As the season shifts into autumn, and the shadows are growing, I’m feeling the effects of my own shadows and it’s time to stop being afraid of them. It’s the presence of light that causes shadow, and you can never have one without the other. I can either choose to stay in the darkness and never grow, or I can continue to look up at the light and face the shadows of myself. I’m just tired of not knowing where to go next. Everyone else seems to have everything all figured out, I want to find my own self-confidence to be exactly who I want to be without worrying about what people think.