For ages it has felt like I’m living in a paradox. Especially in today’s world where beliefs and ideologies are dividing us. 

How do I embrace this new spirituality when I have been an atheist for decades? 

Is it really a paradox to embrace atheism and spirituality?

I honestly don’t think so. 

And in the spirit (ha!) of full transparency, this is a really personal - and profound journey. 

How have I reconciled the unknown (or THE ALL) with a rational approach to life? And what does it mean to be a spiritual atheist?

The complexities of our universe, the unknown, nature,  all inspire a deep sense of awe and consciousness in me. 

And while an atheist wouldn’t attribute these wonders to a creator, an atheist can still recognize and appreciate the beauty and embrace their mysteries. 

Practicing personal growth and self-awareness is all about inner exploration and is an enormous part of spirituality.  

And honestly, it’s my opinion that searching for and finding meaning is a highly individualistic and subjective journey.

I, too, find value in exploring my own inner landscape, delving into the depths of my thoughts, emotions, and beliefs. 

Through practices like meditation, contemplation, and self-reflection, I strive to deepen my understanding of myself and the world around me. 

This inner journey allows all of us to develop a greater sense of empathy, compassion, and connectedness with others.

And guess what, as a spiritual atheist, it doesn’t mean I’m devoid of morals or ethical principles. Their meaning, to me, comes from the inherent dignity and worth of every individual. 

It’s a humanistic framework rather than a religious doctrine. 

So while I don’t believe in a higher power, I find solace in the beauty of music. In a gorgeous mountain vista; meaningful relationships with people I love and admire and think highly of. 

That’s where I feel a sense of something bigger that’s not explained and I’m okay with that. 

And let’s not forget nature! 

Our connection with nature and the connections between our earth and all her beautiful creatures (even the ones that are a bit on the icky side) are magical and worth protecting. 

Ensuring future generations have the ability to explore the meaning of their lives requires us to protect the environment for them to be able to do so.

It’s taken me almost five years to reconcile my spiritual journey with my beliefs. There were times when I wanted to just give up on all of this and walk away from it all. Other times, I’ve rolled my eyes. Others, I’ve been deeply moved and my breath taken away. 

It’s been an interesting journey.  

And I’m not done yet.

Karen Steuer