One of the first things my wife mentioned when we "graduated" from religious belief is that she no longer had the overwhelming since of guilt that had been instilled in her from an early age. She and I can feel bad about our actions and can endeavor to be better spouses, parents, neighbors, friends and citizens without having to feel the crushing guilt of never being good enough. We can live our lives to the best of our ability and not have to worry if it was enough. We can do good things for the sake of doing good without having to make sure that we are getting "credit" from other people who need to see us being good. Most importantly, we can concentrate on the people who really matter in our lives and not have to spend so much time trying to impress the people we go to church with so they will think that we are doing the right things.
A buddy of mine recently called me to vent about his ex-wife. He was complaining because she was basically neglecting his kids (who live with her most of the time) because she was spending so much time at church being the perfect church goer. She would spend hours with the youth at church because that was her duty, but then not want to go to any of her children's activities because she was tired, and it wouldn't get here any credit with the people at church. That attitude used to drive me crazy.
I can remember so many times that I would get asked to go and help someone in the church with moving or yard work or any number of other things, because the man of the house wasn't around because he was too busy with his church calling. He would neglect his family and rely on the assistance of others so that he could spend 20-30 hours a week performing his church calling. What a crock of crap. It is the same mentality which has men who are in dead end jobs not going back to school to get the education they need to get a better job to better be able to support the gaggle of children they have because with their "important" church calling they have no time at night to go back to school. So they schlep around making $30,000 a year with 4 kids all the while hating it, but knowing that it is just the Lord testing them and if they are faithful enough they will eventually be blessed.
So, when I finally saw the light, not only did I get a 10% raise and an extra day off, but I saved hours each week not having to feel guilty because I wasn't doing something more for the church. I also gained the freedom to be able to do whatever I like without feeling guilty or judged. I even got a few tattoos. They are awesome. Below is the most recent and I have to tell you that I really like it.