I’ll Take The Wheel, Thank You

jesustakethewheelThis morning, I was watching The Voice and one of the contestants chose “Jesus Take The Wheel” for her song. I was disappointed. I thought, “lame.” Then she started singing. She’s good and at first I thought I was just moved by her voice, but then as the lyrics unfolded, I began to cry. It freaked me out, because I thought “What the hell? What’s wrong with me? Jesus isn’t real.” Jesus isn’t real. The realization came to me, as it had so many times before and I was grieving. That’s all it was.  It’s kind of like when someone you love more than anything passes away. There will be something that just pops up that reminds you of them and then you grieve all over again. That’s how it was for me when she started singing.

This is something only an ex-Christian can understand. From the time I was 3 or 4, I really believed there was a man named Jesus that loved me no matter what and loved me so much that he suffered and died so that I could live. He heard my prayers and always did what was best for me. I loved him, and then he was gone. When I felt the tears start, part of me was pissed because I had been spoon-fed a lie. A lie that affected my whole life, to the point that when years later I hear a song, I grieve all over again. But, also, part of me was relieved, because my grief is okay—expected. It’s okay for me to grieve loss and that’s what that was.

I think at the beginning of my de-conversion, I didn’t allow myself tears because that could mean I still believe, or that I’m going to get sucked back in. Now though, I realize it’s just the affirmation that there was someone in my life (albeit a myth) that I loved and depended on, more than anyone else and now he is gone—dead and when something reminds me of him, I grieve. To be honest, I miss him.

What I think Christians don’t understand about many ex-Christians is that we wanted to believe that the Jesus/God of the Bible was real. We never wished him dead—quite the opposite, but desiring something to be true or real, doesn’t make it so. Does it?  The truth is, there was never anyone there to “take the wheel” for me when I felt out of control. It was always just me and although I may shed tears over the loss, I’ve never felt more whole.  I’ve never felt more in control.  So Jesus, I’ll keep my hands on the wheel.  I’m doing just fine, thank you.

Better Than Sex

Too-Faced-Better-Than-Sex-Amazing-Eyes-SetSo, I’m not sure why it happens, but every time I try to move away from writing about religion, all I do is write about religion in my head.  So, hmmmm, I’m not sure if I can move away from it.  It’s in me and when it’s in me, I have to let it out some how, but for today, no religious commentary, only this:

I was in Sephora the other day, looking for mascara.  There are a gazillion different types, but the one that caught my eye, was “Better Than Sex” mascara.  I picked it up and thought, that’s not really saying much.   If they really wanted to sell mascara to a woman my age, it should be entitled, “Better Than Estrogen,” or “Better Than Botox,” or “Better Than Being Able To See Without Glasses,” because at this stage of the game, there is a whole lot of things better than sex!

Cool Change

Winds-of-Change-1When I named my blog “Blinders Off,” I was thinking mostly about taking my blinders off when it came to religion. My tag line says: Changing my views on religion and life. I think it’s time to start blogging about the life part more–aging life.  Talk about changing my views!  (I will also be changing my blog name and tagline soon) As an older woman, full of life,  I’m just out here trying to figure it all out and I think there are a lot of you out there trying to do the same. Sometimes it’s hilarious.  Sometimes it’s heartbreaking, and sometimes it’s just plain hard. Let’s commiserrate together.  I’m going to do my best to be as honest as  possible and sometimes that can be messy, but life as we all know, is messy.

I look forward to this new focus, not only because I’ll begin to start thinking like a writer again, but I really feel like there is a need for truth-telling about growing old in this era and culture. I’ll try to avoid being gender specific, but to be honest, I really don’t know what aging men have to deal with as much.  To my male readership: If you have an older woman in your life, you may benefit from a peek into the inner sanctum of womanness.  Does that idea scare you?  Let me close with this then:

“Menopause kicks your ass.”

More tomorrow

It’s Time

It’s time to move on– move on from the anger, the heartache, the uncertainty and the loss that comes from rejecting one’s belief in a god.  There was a time when I hoped for the day when I would come clean about my rejection of Christianity–be open and honest.  It seemed like a crazy fantasy, but that fantasy finally became a reality.   There also was a time when I hoped for understanding and reconciliation with my Christian family and friends.  That remains in the fantasy category.   Oh well, you can’t have everything.   For a while now, though,  I have found myself hoping for the day when I could be chill about the whole god thing, where a someone could bring up religion, god, Jesus, Christianity and I would just be like, whatever.  I didn’t think that could ever happen, but oh so very slowly and bit by tiny bit, I believe that that has become a reality for me in many ways.

Sometimes I feel like I wasted a lot of time trying to gain understanding, trying to get Christians to understand how destructive and ridiculous their beliefs are.   Whether the time was wasted or not, I can’t get it back, but what’s  done is done and I have no regrets.  I did what I needed to do to get through it.  Now, even when I try to get angry at Christians I can’t.  Where I once would get pissed off, now I find myself kind of shaking my head and saying, “Oh you silly Christians.”  There are things that matter, things that deserve the energy it takes to get angry, the Christian religion is just not one of those things.  It feels very healthy to me.

Anyway, I wanted to share the following video.  The first time I heard this song, it got me.  I won’t give a lot of commentary on it.  Let it speak to you in the way you need it to, but the first line just nailed how I felt when I could no longer believe, but was still going to church I yearned to “go to the hills where the outlines are clear.”   I’ve made it to the hills, the outlines are quite clear and I can again see the stars.  I feel like I’ve caught up to myself now, or at least very close to it.

Bring on the wonder–bring it on.

Hello Blog


Working is a motherfucker.  It had been so long since I had a real job, I forgot just how time consuming it can be.  It’s weird, after being a stay-at-home-mom for so many years, to be back out in the working world.  The excitement of going to work every day and meeting new people and getting a paycheck has not worn off yet.  Maybe it never will; who knows? Sadly though, it keeps me from writing and I do miss that.  I woke up this morning at 4, with words spinning in my head, so I grabbed my laptop and started in.  It felt good–familiar.  Next stop, my good old Blinder’s Off Blog.  Hello friend.

So here I am and I’m really going to try and post more.  There’s so much I want to write about, but Christianity, church, religion–well, they never stop providing fodder for me.

There’s been a lot in the news about Mark Driscoll, the pastor of some Mars Hill in Seattle.  I do believe I “prophesied” this in one of my posts, but he’s going down in a blaze of glory.  It’s been difficult, because it brings up a bunch of painful memories for me, as it does with so many others as well.  What happened to Mars Hill is so reminiscent of what happened at my old church, although on a much smaller scale.  The narcissism of the leader, the toady elders, the shaming and silencing of the church members, is practically identical and that is what is especially painful to me, even to this day.

I think that I need to write about it.  I know, I’ve said that before, but now with so much being said about all the silencing that takes place within the church and the damage it causes, I feel now may be the time.

I do also have some more songs I want to post, so hopefully I can do that soon as well.  For now, google Mars Hill and Mark Driscoll and his alleged demise, but if you have experienced this type of situation personally, I recommend a big glass of wine first… or vodka. Stay tuned.

Shoot me down, but I won’t Fall

I was trying to decide which song I wanted to post first and decided on this one.  I prefer the EDM version, but for this post, I think this video is better. It’s not really on the unrequited love theme, but definitely love lost—friend and family love.

Listening to this song made me think of all the friends I’d lost and how my mother and sister treated me.  In my early posts I wrote of  the suffering I went through from the loss. At times it was almost unbearable. I ran and hid. I was always on the offensive and always feeling like I had to be the one to mend those relationships, because I was the bad one—the one who no longer believed.

Of course, at some point I realized that it didn’t matter what I did, I was no longer a Christian and so I no longer had a place at the table—figuratively and literally.  They were done with me, but not before they did their “Christian duty.” I love the one line in the song: “Stone hard, machine gun, firing at the ones who run, stone-hard as bulletproof glass.”  They do fire at the ones who run, don’t they?  Thankfully, I kept running–in a zigzag pattern, of course, as to survive.

Most importantly the song continues to remind me of just how far I’ve come.  I’m stronger now—Titanium.  Those people can’t hurt me anymore.  They may pity me, but they are the ones who should be pitied.  They are the ones who now no longer have a place at my table and you know what?  It’s their loss.

I’m bullet proof, nothing to lose.


Unrequited Love


Heart-breakSince my last post, I’ve been thinking a lot about music and how it fits in to my journey out of Christianity.   Over the next few weeks, or months :), I think I want to spend a little time referencing certain songs and then adding my commentary.  As I have written before, I love music.  Music speaks to me and as with the song from my last post, more and more music is touching the hurt that is left in my mind and it is causing revelation and healing.

It’s interesting that the songs that have spoken to me most are love songs, or more specifically love-lost songs, or unrequited love songs.  That may sound strange to some, but those who loved “Jesus” or struggled to truly love “Jesus,” in the way that is expected in the Christian world, will understand.  There were times when I loved that imaginary man with all of my heart, but like any love affair, when it is so obviously one-sided in the most tangible of ways, it is a struggle to maintain it. Reality eventually settles in—reality or denial. Normally leaving would be the answer, but in Christianity, leaving means Hell—literally.

I recently came upon a journal entry I had written many years ago (February 2006 actually) and it reminded me of that struggle. Even though reading it is embarrassing and a bit demoralizing, I’m going to share it here, because I think it will help some understand why it is those types of love songs that bring me comfort. Here’s the journal entry:

           “The wind blows.  I hear it and feel it’s warmth on my face. I long for you…

            I long for you in a way that I’ve never felt before. 

            Every inch of me yearns for your touch,

            in such a way that it seems if this desire is unfulfilled, I will die.            

           Come to me.  Come to me. Make me wait no longer.

           How long must my body suffer from the agony of not having you?

          What can I do but wait?  I will wait…Come to me.”

Gross. Even copying it down is difficult.  It’s hard to even imagine I wrote that and meant it.  I do remember writing it. I remember the feeling of struggle. Right before that entry there were pages and pages of Scripture. I was truly in an altered state of consciousness.  I see that now and it makes my angry—angry and sad. I’m hopeful that my next few posts will hold meaning for some.  If not, it will at least be cathartic for me.

Happy Funday!

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