I Had No Religion

by Dr Rachel Hall, Brisbane, Holistic Dentist 

When I was a child, other families had or did religion. They went to church on Sunday, wore a cross or had a bible. They belonged to a certain community or had been christened, they believed in God and that Jesus had died for our sins and came to save us. But not my family; we had no religion.

My Dad was raised a Catholic but fell out with God when my grandma died when I was around 4, and from then on he hated the church. My Mom, well she had been raised under the Church of England, but when asked about God she always told me she didn’t really know one way or the other. She too despised church, and when I was around 12 and wanted to go to the local church sermon just to see what it was like, she forbade it.

Both my brother and I were never christened and we only went to church for weddings and funerals. Yes, we celebrated Christmas but we were not religious. I had no religion.

At school, which was apparently non-denominational, we sang hymns in assembly, recited the Lord’s Prayer and listened to gospel stories. I quite liked them and some hymns really resonated with me, whilst others didn’t – so I simply mouthed the words rather than sing, so as not to get into trouble.

From these teachings, I began to view God as something bigger and better than me — something out there, ever watching and ready to reward or punish me. And, if I was a really good girl, if I prayed long and hard enough, He might just might talk to me or send me an angel or messenger, so I knew I was one of the chosen ones.

So, knowing deep inside that God was real but not knowing how to be with Him, I became a very good girl. I would pray long and hard, often bargaining with God in a futile attempt to get Him to contact me, to show me a sign, prove his existence – and yet I still had no religion.

By the time I became a teenager my knowingness of God wavered to an uncertain belief, and then waned to my claiming I didn’t believe at all – after all, I wasn’t even religious.

I found it easier to deny His existence than consider He had deserted me, left me out in the cold, or that I hadn’t been good enough, or prayed properly – and that’s why He never showed Himself to me.

My atheism continued for years. I would ferociously declare that God didn’t exist and religion was merely a crutch used by the weak and feeble to prop them up and excuse their behaviour.

Yet, when I was 20 and I received news that I needed to travel from Leeds to Birmingham because my Dad was seriously ill, I prayed and pleaded with God the whole journey to let him live long enough for me to say goodbye – even though I had no religion.

My Dad had actually died of a sudden heart attack, aged 47, and I never got to say goodbye in the flesh. However, when I visited the chapel of rest I was overcome with the unshakable feeling of my Dad standing next to me with his arm around my shoulder. I felt at peace knowing we didn’t need to say goodbye and that he was OK.

I started to question God’s existence again, so much so that I started to explore the religions. No one religion actually spoke to me and I was surprised to see so many similarities running through them, yet couldn’t fathom why they all seemed to be fighting one another. To me, if God was an all loving being there could be no chosen ones, punishment, judgment, hell or eternal damnation. So once again I had no religion.

That is, up until a few years ago, where I came to understand through attending Universal Medicine workshops and exploring the concept for myself, that God is about love. By allowing myself to feel and connect to God, and know love, I came to understand that organised religion was about reinterpreted scriptures and man-made doctrines which had very little love in them.

When taken back to its earliest definition, the word religion essentially means relationship. A loving relationship with self, nature, others and God.

I realised that if I were in fact from God, then I too was love. And that by being loving with myself, my fellow man and nature, that I was deeply religious. I also understood that each individual’s way of being religious was very personal to them, yet carried a common thread of union, love and equalness: that our religion comes from a way of living that is known inside of us and not from a book or a preacher in a church.

By being able to experience religion in its true sense, I know God as something I feel within and around me. I understand that being religious is a natural way for us all to be.

Now I can say, “yes, I have a religion” – a loving relationship with myself, others, nature and God. My religion is the way I live. It is called The Way of the Livingness.

278 thoughts on “I Had No Religion

  1. That it is easier to deny the existence of Thy Father (he who created us) than embrace his beholding love, is a sign of how far we as humans have drifted from our divine essence. It is also a sign of how much we have allowed a corrupted interpretation of this being and all he beholds to masquerade in place of the truth we all know deep within.

    God is religion but not all religion is God

  2. A life without religion is like a sky without stars. However, it is not something you go ‘out there’ to find but rather it is found deep within our innerheart, the place where all truth resides.

  3. It is amazing Rachel just how many people who like your Dad think they have fallen out with god when it is actually the belief system of their chosen religion they have become disillusioned with.

  4. Having come to a new understanding of what the word religion means it makes sense to me now that I never felt right to say I do not believe in religion, but what I did not believe in was the way in which people use the word religion to mean many things ungodly. As the author has stated ‘a loving relationship with myself, others, nature and God’ sums it up nicely.

  5. “My religion is the way I live. It is called The Way of the Livingness” I love this because it is so true. Religion is about the way that we live and not about attending church or reading the bible but living each day in our truth.

  6. God’s love is often unfathomable for me. To know who we truly are; Gods just like him, and to give us all the space we want and free will to do whatever we want, that is true love to me.

  7. ‘“yes, I have a religion” – a loving relationship with myself, others, nature and God. My religion is the way I live. It is called The Way of the Livingness.’ As a child I could have never imagined that this could be a religion, for I associated it with a church, priests and ‘cold’ ceremonies. And now I love having God in my life on a daily and very practical basis by the way I live.

  8. My family also did not practise any religion and there was no mention of God in our life and I don’t remember thinking about him or her. However, reading your bargaining with God reminds me how I used to do things like say “if I can walk 8 steps without looking back will you make the bus come?” I had various strange conversations like that so clearly must have imagined there was some being to talk to.
    Through the grace of Serge Benhayon I have received a true reflection of Love and through that been blessed to reconnect to the Godliness within myself and all. So like you I now have a loving relationship with myself, God and others and it is a joy beyond words – the bus has come after all.

  9. ‘..,our religion comes from a way of living that is known inside of us and not from a book or a preacher in a church.’ True Rachel we give our power (what we live from inside out) away the moment we follow a preacher or the knowledge from a book. Our wisdom is in us all,called the Ageless Wisdom.

  10. When we connect to the love we are inside and learn to live our life from this love, this is true religion, The Way of the Livingness, available equally to all as it lives inside each one of us.

  11. I too was brought up outside of religion and looking at religion as an outsider, I was always amazed at how they all believed in one God, yet they seemed convinced that their God was completely different from the other religions Gods. This made no sense to me and I guess only to them because they chose to make a leap of faith rather than feeling what felt true to them. A true religion needs no beliefs whatsoever, only truth.

  12. Thank God for the true reflections of God around us that we have the opportunity to choose to reconnect back to what we naturally felt as a child and the knowing that God is always here with us and within us.

  13. Evil is the bastardisation of the practice of religion. With few people having little understanding of its true meaning, we either follow blindly or reject it outright. True religion brings us back to basics and is simple. It is our direct relationship with God, without any intermediaries dominating and controlling access to God. God is owned equally by all of us and is not found in church or temple.

  14. How familiar is this tale – the lack of any relevance in what has historically been ‘sold’ as the religion we grow up with? So how delightful to be find Universal Medicine and the fresh approach there is to our relationship with God, to something real, up to date, and very much inside of us and entirely out responsibility to connect back to.

  15. “My religion is the way I live. It is called The Way of the Livingness” I love the simplicity and profoundness of this closing sentence. So many of us who railed against established religions now rest in the knowing we are all equal sons of God. All we’re called to do, is live it.

  16. “Now I can say, “yes, I have a religion” – a loving relationship with myself, others, nature and God. My religion is the way I live. It is called The Way of the Livingness”. I can now say the same Rachel. The religion of The Way of the Livingness is simple, practical, it makes sense and is accessible and embracing to and of all. There is no question in my mind (or heart) that this is the only religion I will choose forevermore.

  17. It seems to me like we would be better off if we didn’t have all the big religions around. We seem to get more confused about God with them than without them. And perhaps that is because, despite their grand numbers of devotees, they do not fully capture the true meaning of what God truly is, something we seem to know and feel innately and hence why we react to certain religions and feel they do not deliver “the goods”.

  18. The relationship with God is always there whether we know it or not, that is the nature and blessing of God.

    1. Yes God is always there (here) it is us that is absent when the connection is not felt, lived and experienced.

      1. Yes also, when we are absent to ourselves we cannot feel God’s loving presence in our lives, ever patient waiting for us to return.

  19. How all those lies keep us away from the very true fact that we know love, we know truth, we know what truth is inside our hearts. All the rest, is made up simply distracting us away from our truth.

  20. I have always known that there was a God and I have always sensed that religions I came across were riddled with inconsistencies and untruths. Until The Way of The Livingness that is.

  21. Thank you Rachel. It is a joy to read your sharing about the truth of religion and how in essence we are all deeply religious.

  22. I love how you went to a non-religious school but it was full of the rituals! But how often do we turn away from God because there is no ‘saving’ as and when we want it.

  23. Being Born into a religious family and having grandfathers as priests in the Church, I always could feel the lies of what was delivered by them as the truth of God.
    I always knew what God meant. IT was found in my heart.
    Getting the teachings of Universal Medicine about the religion The way of the livingness confirmed all that was in my heart.

  24. Rachel I enjoyed your sense of integrity throughout your journey, that you would not accept anything that didn’t feel true to you. We are told so many stories about God and what religion is, yet we have that naturally living within us, and through our own connection to our inner heart we can feel what God and religion is for ourselves.

  25. Fact, beautiful and true what you share here, I completely am with you on the same length: ” I also understood that each individual’s way of being religious was very personal to them, yet carried a common thread of union, love and equalness: that our religion comes from a way of living that is known inside of us and not from a book or a preacher in a church.”
    It shows us that the bastardisation of following a book or preacher in a church, without living truth ourselves, is actually an act of irresponsibility of our individuality. As we can know and feel : as there is no unity in that. Hence, where love is, no separation can enter.

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