I felt as though I had awakened from a dream. My mind had been a jumble of confusing images of my own creation. I now awoke to clarity. I no longer saw the world through the same, farsighted eyes.
I had become more alive. Each moment had become precious. Yellow flowers made me happy. Simple nourishment made me grateful to be alive. I savored the sensation of cool water flowing into my mouth and down my throat. Children’s laughter brightened my world. Time with my daughters went too quickly. Sometimes it broke my heart to be away from them. The comfort of my wife’s arms was reflected in a feeling of inner peace. Compassion for the world filled my heart. Life had become precious beyond words’ power to convey.
I leave behind my old, empty skin to walk in newness of life and freedom. I celebrate the inquisitiveness, irreverence, and honesty I had as a child and have begun to regain. I wonder at the miracle of existence which surrounds me. I feel a greater connection to the human family and the world which gave us all birth, a greater urgency to do what is right, more responsibility for my actions, more strength to live according to the dictates of my own conscience, more passion for life, now that I’ve toppled my false idol.
I know that where I’m at and what I’m doing is what I have chosen. I am wholly responsible for how I choose to react. There are no scapegoat demons to wage war on. There is no intercession for my misdeeds. My previous convictions were not wholly my own—products of fear, guilt, and self-deceit. Many of the ways that I once defined myself have crumbled to the earth in irredeemable ruin. From their ashes, I create myself anew.
I would not give up the peace, joy, and understanding that I have gained to crawl back into the security of my cocoon. This is a beginning. The prospect of my future life fills me with hope. I am free to follow my own reason without hiding from my doubts. I am free to seek wisdom wherever I find it, judging it with fierce, unflinching honesty, exercising my powers of reason to discern between truth and error. I am free to act as I see fit and bear the responsibility for the outcome.