I hear the words. I want what's right. I hear about all of the warmth and light that supposedly comes from God. I bend my prideful knees to pray, but the words ring false in my ears. I want good things, it true. But the voice of the burning woman echoes in my mind. The smiling monsters linger behind my eyes as I try and cry to the God that created them.
I muster up the faith I need in order to see the miracles that will confirm my faith. But maybe I do not have enough. Maybe the miracles do not exist. I do not know. I do not know the difference anymore. They cite and quote and preach at me, throwing words like daggers, shoving sugary scriptures down my throat, thick and numbing like a syrup. I want to believe. I try and turn off my brain, bar the thoughts that scream "no" and accept the illogical, rely on faith.
I can't. I'm not strong enough. I don't have the faith. I am faithless. Godless.
"We must be worthy!" They howl and throw their arms to the skies, proclaiming their own filth. "We are not worthy!" They moan and rub their faces into the dirt. Without the help of the divine, they will never know how to love who they are. Will never believe they are worthy.
They see me. I stand straight and tall. I know nothing, but want everything. I believe not what they believe. I believe that I am good. Worthy. They spit on me. As they smile. Their hands pull on my clothing, beckoning me to the dirt.
"It is a sin to love yourself." They croon and tears stream down my cheeks. I want to be worthy. But not this way. Not in the grime and the muck. I am reaching for the skies. The stars are my goal. How can I reach them by groveling in the mud? I do not understand. Neither do the bodies flopping in the grime.
This is my crime. I want goodness. As they teach. But I am incapable of understanding their methods. Why can I achieve nothing on my own? Why can nothing come of my own hard work? I cannot lean unto my own understanding? But what of my understanding of God? If I am a vessel of Godliness, can I not lean unto my own reason, my own judgement. My own light?
They groan like corpses animated with something other than life. If they are the worthy ones then let me be damned. Mine is a philosophy of living. I do not worship those who are already dead. Who have chosen never to live for themselves at all.
I will not live a half life. My soul aches for the comfort of divinity, but I know no God could love a creature such as I have become. I need no God. I ask none for help. I want no Heavenly aid. I seek only my own life. I love only my own life. The people around me are beyond my help. They are all as the burning woman, sacrificing themselves upon the alters of the supposedly divine. I cannot. Pride prevents me from committing such self immolation.
So with tears in my eyes and an aching heart, I will leave it all behind. The bodies groping blindly in the dark after their faith, crawling on their bellies like starving savages, are not mine to save. They have made their choice.
And this is mine. I chose to live. For me. For those I love. I chose to be myself and to exist in happiness and joy until the end of my days. I reject guilt and shame as unholy and profane. I demand nothing of anyone but their own worthiness. Worthy of themselves. Worthy of their potential.
So with my head held high, I forsake Heaven and all it's commands. I will not live a life of endless debt. I will pay the price myself and live for no other purpose than my own joy in this life. My happiness as a means and end above that which they preach. Above the stars, knowing I have every ability to reach them and beyond. Above a God that would limit my life to the earth in exchange for some pretended reward.
With my head held high, I choose to be good. I choose to desire that which is right. Worthy of it all. I will live my life in such a way that no God could command otherwise.