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This Is What It's Like to Not Believe in Any Religion

"I do not believe in any deity or any portion of heaven or hell."
IMAGE unsplash.com ART Clare Magno

Being a pre-teen in a school that practices Catholic values and principles wasn't easy. It always has this hold on you, wherein you know all of the prayers and every single thing you should recite during mass and what is right and wrong in the eyes of the church, and therefore, God. You are free, yes, but there's this hesitance you have before going into any decision.

During the sixth grade, I started questioning a lot of things. I felt like several of my decisions were pre-made for me, and even though I wasn't completely aware, I was being restricted. So I pored over books and documentaries, trying to find explanations to those concepts that seemed like there were more to them than what anyone in my immediate environment told me.

My heart and my mind often conflicted with the way they saw these things, and I felt so confused and so lost at that point.

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Transferring schools did not make anything easier. I had to adjust to all these new people and the different system of handling school activities. I barely had any time to really think about how I felt towards certain ideas, and I let months pass without finding out what was really going on within me. There were the questions, but I pushed them aside for a while.

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For the second year in that school, I had come to realize that I did not like the idea of religion or of anything having full control over the universe.

To me, it was a limitation that stopped me from seeing how some things really are. It influenced the way I viewed people and actions, without even considering how people became like that. I did not like how it drove people to judge and to make decisions that did not benefit anyone. It shielded me from accepting what should not have been viewed as wrong.

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We had a religion class once a week then, and we were asked, "Would you choose money or God?" I was the only one who answered "none". I knew how both could affect someone's opinions and judgments, how both have their good effects and bad effects. Neither were completely good nor completely bad. Our teacher told me that I was just going through a phase, and that I should give it some time and walk the path towards God again. When she left the room, my classmates asked me to sit down and they pleaded me to come back, to believe again. A part of me screamed to never go back.

It took months to convince them that it wasn't bad. It was terrifying to think that I might be pushed away because of what I thought and how I didn't believe in what they believed.

So I was surprised when they approached and asked questions. What's it like to not believe in Him? It's nothing special, it just feels like I don't have to keep forcing myself to be a certain way just to get into heaven, if that exists. So where will you go? Nowhere. If I go, I go. As long as I know that I did good things in my life, I am okay with that. I have done wrong too, but that shouldn't be a basis on whether I get into a beautiful place of goodness or burn somewhere for all I've done wrong. Does that mean you believe in Satan? I do not believe in any deity or any portion of heaven or hell. I don't believe in anything but what has been proven and what I can see.

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They were gentle, just asking and nodding and understanding. I explained that I respected other religions, their beliefs, as long as people would not judge others for theirs or even for the lack of beliefs. I was the first person in their lives to admit that I did not want to have a religion anymore. Little by little, they accepted it, and did not fail in loving me for who I am.

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About the author
Aleeza Abinuman
Candymag.com Correspondent
Aleeza is a business student, who enjoys crime shows, fantasy books, and occasionally, writing her heart out.
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This is a drawing and a poem I’ve made for a summer love. Our time together was short-lived but the feelings were not.

“God’s Gift”

On a platform we stand

Faces seen all in a blur

Relentless searching led by a spur

To find someone, to feel something

Aren’t we fools to waste away time?

To look for one man’s treasure

Somewhere as ephemeral, as fragile

As a bond built in crime

But aren’t we just like every weary heart?

Hoping for an oasis

In the midst of the desert

Wanting to quench our thirst

Aren’t we all like frosted windows

Of old and battered houses on winter?

Wishing for the sun to give us warmth

To melt the facade so we can show what the inside is made

Aren’t we maven pretenders?

A Casanova? A Temptress? Who made us this way?

A sly fox? A ruthless hunter?

Let down the walls, It’ll be okay

Rushed for a hug, now no hesitating

Engulfed by a sense of bliss or was it longing? Eyes wide-open,

Stepping on a quicksand I embraced the fall into the deep end

Gazed at you lying there unaware With you, found something rare I swear

Realization dawning as loud as a thunder

As the Beating of your heart put me into a deep slumber

Waking up from this reverie

Truth slapped me back to reality

Two worlds so different, now I see If only I could I’d be anything and anyone you need me to be I’m the ludicrous clown, you see

Thought if I ruin it first I’d be free

From the doubts brought by my own insecurity I was so wrong,

What a tragicomedy Brought by the month of April

We rushed the ticking of clock to May Hands interlocked

Weaved skin to skin on a rainy day But when June came to say hello, all went dark grey

What was once there ceases to exist Like the wilting of a flower

Once so beautiful, so full of life Now turned into dust by death’s kiss

Unbounded joy brought by your presence

Paralleled with the perennial ache of your absence Yearned for and offered seventh heaven

Now the heart weeps for evanescence

A mirage, to be the fair maiden The sorrow to find out I’d end up our own villain

But all’s well for you are but a distant dream Gamaliel, You are, I knew it from the very beginning .

Written by me, the one-shot story

Coffee is about a girl who used to cherish moments with someone in a cafe. Sometimes, a simple drink can leave an imprint on someone's mind. ____________________________________________

Coffee

It's been a year since my boyfriend and I broke up. I love him and he loves me too but things just didn't worked  the way it should be. Now I'm heading at the cafe where we started and ended. I have no choice but to go there after all it was made up of both happy and sad memories. But that's life , right? We can't be happy all the time. Challenges come and hearts can break. But it doesn't just end there.

"One signature coffee , please." I said as I ordered from the cashier.

"What size?" she asked.

"Small." I said.

Then she took my payment and I headed towards the seat near the window. A window seat.... for two. The cafe was surprisingly full tonight unlike the past few days.

Again, I have no choice but to sit on that window seat. It is where we sit often. It is our seat. Our place. There are a lot of couples at the cafe and wow I'm alone. There's a part of me which says you should be happy because he's not the only guy in this world. Another part of me says you're still hurt so don't pretend to be happy. The truth is , I am both happy and sad.  I'm happy because we're both free and we can focus more in our careers. But I'm sad because I'm not the other half of his heart anymore. I'm sad because I let him go even though I still love him. I'm sad because I can't see him. I'm sad because I can't share this relaxing coffee shop where we can chill with the aromatic smell of the coffee.

"Small signature coffee?" the waitress said as she serves my coffee.

"Yes. Thank you." I said.

"Since you're a regular customer here, we would like to give you this item for free." the waitress said. She handed me a purple journal with the name of the cafe on it and a pen.

"Oh thanks." I said .

"Enjoy your coffee!" she said.

I took advantage of using the freebies from the cafe. A window seat is also a bonus in inspiring me to write something. While sipping my coffee my brain and my heart began to function smoothly.

And so I wrote: My coffee has been cold lately, I can't feel anything after taking a sip and there's no heat to leave a pain on my lips. And it was a relief. But then, I remember one thing about sipping a cold coffee instead of a hot one: cold coffee doesn't leave you any marks when you sipped it, just like a blunt feeling. But a hot coffee will leave you a remarkable pain from the heat which reminds you that you are alive to feel....

I closed the journal and stared at the window. He was the coffee. The hot coffee. No matter how our breakup hurt me, he left me a mark and a lesson to learn. A hot coffee can be a challenge too or an obstacle. They all made you feel that you are alive. That you can go on with your life. You can still stand up. Love taught me to move forward. He taught me to be stronger. He is love.

Belley Marie A day ago

WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE A BROKE FANGIRL/FANBOY

One of the proudest things as a fan is the feeling that you are part of their growing fandom and stardom. From streaming their songs online, watching their music videos, TV guestings, collecting photocards, albums, lightsticks, attending to their concert and fan meetings surely, you're a fan! But there's a problem, MONEY.

It's really heartbreaking when you hear that members of your favorite band are coming and their concert is just around the corner but here you are thinking of how to sell one of your kidneys just to go to their concert (kidding).That no matter how much you try to save, it will never be enough for a ticket because you are only a student who has limited resources or if you're an adult, you have bills to pay. So joining a "team bahay" livestream is your last resort, but sometimes even those links don't work!

Of course if there's team bahay there's also "team airport/ team labas", fans who waits at the airport hoping to see their idols upon their arrival. How we wish we could also attend and be part of it, something like shouting their names, fanchants then cry out of happiness while waving their lightsticks or banners. What a concept isn't?

Hey, cheer up! being broke doesn't make you any less of a fan. Know that there are other ways to support and love them. For sure our idols have the same and equal love to us no matter what "team" we belong (team concert, team airport/labas and team bahay).Maybe for some people, they might think we are being overly dramatic without knowing that for us fans, their existence itself and music saved us and made us happy once in our lives. -Gwy June 16,2020

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