10 of my Favorite Words

10 of my Favorite Words January 20, 2023

Photo by mali maeder

Let me start by saying that not all of these are just words, some of them are ideas. But as my deconstruction of my beliefs. and religion has progressed / evolved, significant ideas and words have emerged.

Deconstruction does not lead to nihilism, as some would suggest. It does however strip down everything to only what is true, thus leaving these raw, emerging ideas that are usually expressed in a word.

It’s not a new belief system. It’s something else that doesn’t need to be labeled or defined as a whole.

All I can say is that right now, these words / ideas are very important to me!

1. Being

As I began to heal from my trauma, caused by many factors in my life including religion, I started to realize that most of my reality was based on what I did. What emerged from those ashes was an understanding that being and becoming was a more genuine way of living.

See my book: Being-A Journey Toward Presence and Authenticity
https://amzn.to/3FI5Z7H

2. Presence

When my teacher used to ask me if I was present, she wanted to know if I was here, because she was taking the roll. When Laura asks if I am here, she wants to know if I am present. I call this being WHERE you are and it is so important.

See my book: Being and The Tea Shop
https://amzn.to/3BtdMnk

3. Authenticity

Over the years we have interviewed dozens of people on The Desert Sanctuary. A common theme among those that are evolving is how important authenticity becomes to their journey. I call this being WHO you are.

See my book: Being and The Tea Shop
https://amzn.to/3BtdMnk

4. Compassion

For Laura and I, our understanding of prayer and worship has changed dramatically. We totally deconstructed both of these things, so that we could reassess them without any preconceptions. Prayer became very simple and worship suddenly seemed strange to us. I don’t know any fathers that require worship from their children, except the deranged ones. God is narcissistic? For now, what fills the space is communion. It seems like a better practice than our old ideas.

We will talk about this more in a project (book) we are working on this year.

5. Love

Love seems to always emerge in belief systems throughout the world and throughout time. I know it’s one of the most important things, but we’re deconstructing the parts of it that are abusive. So much conditional love is evident in the Bible even, and especially in some of our religious communities. We have to keep purifying it getting rid of the contradictions that make it toxic.

6. Bravery (Courage)

I realized it was important early to teach my daughter to be brave. So I would just say “be brave.” One day I heard her saying it to her sister, and I was proud. The other day I asked my granddaughter what her favorite movie was and she answered “Brave.”

Bravery is nothing like the bravado proposed by some branches of organized religion. It is taking the next courageous step.

7. Vulnerability

As Brené Brown teaches, there is no bravery without vulnerability. It takes bravery to lean into our healing, our growth and our enlightenment. But bravery and progress are not possible without being vulnerable.

8. Stories

Paul Young introduced us to the idea of sacred stories. Each of us has a story to tell and there will be a time and a place and an audience to share that story. Sharing these stories requires vulnerability, but also helps others to heal and sometimes helps them be brave.

9. Listening

When people tell us about their trauma, It makes us uncomfortable and we want to fix or bypass the issue as soon as we can. But healing requires that we listen deeply and believe their stories.

10. Asking Questions

I owe most of my deconstruction to asking better questions. Defending what I already knew only caused me to stay small. Our progression and healing and growth is largely dependent on the questions we ask.

Be where you are,
Be who you are,
Be at peace.

Karl Forehand

Our new book is: Out Into the Desert

Photo by mali maeder: https://www.pexels.com/photo/selective-focus-photography-of-hustle-and-bust-text-54257/


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