Thank you for your very thoughtful comments, Dave Wayne. I’m glad my writing resonates with you. That’s what I try hard to achieve, so if I manage it sometimes, I’m really glad.
My path was similar to yours. In fact, funny you mention it, because I posted a story just this morning about how I accepted my family religion without question as a child, which I suppose is what most people do. I accepted it even though it angered and terrified me.
So, that path was hard. I mean the path to rejecting the religion I grew up with and embracing something different. Like you, I embraced a sort of secular humanism centered on love, compassion, and care for one’s fellow humans.
But a different struggle of mine has been learning to walk a different path, one that accepts that many people of faith are every bit as decent, humane, loving, and tolerant as I could ever expect or want.
In some ways, that road is harder to walk than the one I trod as a frightened teenager and young adult. I don’t always get it right, of course, but I DO keep sharing my process and progress, and I’m glad you find some value in that.