I am an atheist and I believe in a supreme power.
Now, before I come across as a total fool or I end up offending religious sentiments, give me a chance to explain this paradox. I believed in the overall concept of a God as we all did while growing up. In fact, sometimes I even felt like s/he looked over me by saving my intimate bubble of people and me from disastrous situations. I must admit it is a very comforting feeling. However, one Sunday afternoon I came across another viewpoint which challenged these notions. In an article by a psychologist, whose name is forever obscured from my memory, the need of religion and why there was a possibility that it caused low self-esteem was explained in the simplest of words.
Religion ties people together, it makes us feel that everything happens for a reason and “God only knows” the reason. Although this is perplexing, God is a just supreme power who counts our actions and accordingly paves the ways of our life, sometimes in roundabout ways, all we need to do is trust. Some religions also believe that God resides in each one of us which, honestly, as a child confused me to the extent of wondering if I had multiple personality disorder like Tom and Jerry did while considering the opinions of their angelic and demonic sides.
The psychologist promoted self-confidence and believed that as long as the ideals helped people form discipline in their lives it was well and good. However, she dealt with the generic helplessness which overcomes people when something catastrophic happens and they consider themselves having done something really cruel in their last lives to have lost all those brownie points they’d just earned. This disassociates the power to control our lives into the supreme form named God and turns us into people with very low self-esteem. Belief in oneself before belief in God is what she promoted and it might seem like atheism but she never defied the existence of one. It’s not just religion, it’s the concepts of Destiny, the Fortunes or Luck to name a few that underestimate the power of people over their own lives.
Devotion can be formed towards anything that inspires you to change some things about yourself, to change a little bit of the world or to plan to change more than a little bit someday. It can be your job, your art, your intimate bubble of people, your music or anything that makes you want to work harder to live. It’s that thing in the world which makes you grateful for your life and the supreme power, the chemical X, to your superhero life. So, keep true and believe in yourself before you believe in anything else, be it the fictional realms of mythology or your own mind’s expanse.
P.S.: Belief in power of oneself before devotion.