I've recently "come out" as an atheist to family, friends and coworkers, which is not unlike tiptoeing oneself into a pool of very icy water.  One of the hardest things for me has been how to eliminate the use of the word "God" as exclamation, i.e. "oh God, Paula is such a drama queen!" or "God, that was an incredible movie!".  Yes, it is a rather trite issue but it concerns me.  I was raised a Baptist and live in Southern Virginia and even though I grew up with the notion that uttering the word "God" in anything other than prayer or in discourse directly involving the concept was grounds for a stern lecture about using the name of the "Lord" in vain, it grew to become a part of my personal vernacular and I really want to stop using it.

I'd certainly appreciate any feedback or ideas!

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I use it all the time. I amuse myself with the irony in my easily entertained little brain. :o)
My husband heIped break me of that habit by responding "yes dear, I'm right here" every time I said it. I think though its pretty much an utterly meaningless phrase when used like this so I don't think its a big deal to say or not say it. Something just ingrained by culture. Substituting it with another phrase often can work though. When you can catch yourself use the new phrase and overtime it will become the new unconscious habit. For example, my friend wanted to stop swearing but would use the word shit quite a lot. She substituted the word sugar. At first she was saying "oh shit, I mean sugar" a lot. =) Over time though she did eliminate swearing as a habit. My great-uncle used to say "jumping Jehoshaphats". Really, I'm not kidding. Its also a Biblical reference to a king who prayed and then interpreted himself delivered from superior enemy forces by the god when his enemies ended up fighting each other instead. If you can make yourself substitute that phrase though I think it will probably make you feel so incredibly silly you'll drop the whole meaningless phrase bit relatively quickly. Good luck!

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