One of the challenges for people who leave religion is grieving the death of god. Most who leave come to see the god relationship as a conception of the mind, like an imaginary friend. This does not detract from the meaningfulness of that relationship for the former believer. Even though this relationship was imagined, it still felt (or still feels) real. The god relationship may have been your #1 relationship, your highest love. God played all kinds of roles: comforter, best friend, husband or wife, creator, guide. There is often a grieving process involved in getting over god. It may take time to get over a relationship with a part of yourself you formed and carefully cultivated for thousands of hours in prayer and worship, over many years. You may hear worship songs running through your head or scripture passages that brought you comfort. You may even hear what sounds like the “voice of god” calling you from the grave. You may feel alone in the universe.
The deity was always in your mind; it was you. The task is to form a new relationship with your self. The god relationship was a kind of drug, a substitute for the real thing, which is your self, YOU. Perhaps the imaginary god relationship did some good. If it did, what aspects would you like to preserve? Now, intuition will come to take the place god once had, just as god took the place of intuition. Some people refer to your relationship to yourself as “your higher self.” The god relationship kept you from fully experiencing your truest and best self. Now you get to! All that time you spent projecting love, devotion, and imagination onto an idea you now get to lavish onto yourself, others, and life! There is an inner guide that is YOU which I have found to be far more powerful, wise, loving, and ever-present than my old god concept. It is kinder, gentler, more humane, wiser. All the roles god played were really you all along. There is so much more to our inner humanity than we even know. Self-realization is a tremendously powerful force, and inherently a threat to dogmatic and oppressive systems. I have learned to access my internal realms, I have found a kind of lovingly creative and powerful inner guidance system and self-relationship that is so profound, I want everyone to know about it. I never look back, although there are times when I experience fond memories of aspects of the old system. Letting go of god can be a painful process that takes time to grieve. But it is worth it. It is worth having full access to your true self, which is far more mysterious and profound than the imagined god.