Here’s to You!

Here’s to You! February 10, 2023

When rapper Snoop Dog received his star on the Walk of Fame, he stepped up to the microphone and exclaimed,

“I want to thank me for believing in me, I want to thank me for doing all this hard work. I wanna thank me for having no days off. I wanna thank me for never quitting. I wanna thank me for always being a giver and trying to give more than I receive. I wanna thank me for trying to do more right than wrong. I wanna thank me for being me at all times, Snoop Dogg you a bad motherf**ker!”

In the same light, I want to honor all of you stars that have deconstructed your belief and / or your religion and no one ever recognized your effort. Here’s to you

The Courage to Question

You know who you are. You are the one that thought it was important to question things that cause you to doubt instead of ignoring them. When you did, some of your beliefs came unraveled. For a while it was terrifying, because it seemed like you wouldn’t have anything left at the end.

But your desire for truth eventually paid off and the understanding that you now have is much more purer and authentic because you were willing to endure abuse and abandonment from other people that love their beliefs more than people.

The Grit to Do the Work

At some point, you realized God wasn’t going to heal you miraculously. Whether it was a disability, cancer, mental illness or simply getting in better shape, you realized that nothing was going to change unless you did the work to change it.

You might have realized that the universe conspires with you, but you deserve the credit for moving forward, for getting help, and for showing up to face whatever challenge you had to face. You realize you don’t have to give credit to some deity because you deserve the credit. You did the work!

The Risk to Leave the Tribe

Possibly, organizational religious groups.
ambitiously tried to recruit you or shame you into staying, but you realized that you really didn’t need them to have community. By venturing out on your own, you found all the community you needed “as you were going.” And they didn’t demand your offering, your service or that you be exactly like them.

Here’s to you for venturing out into the desert and finding life and wisdom and comfort there. It was your courage that took that step across the threshold and and endured the isolation for a season until you looked up and saw others traveling with you.

The Imagination to Find Wisdom

Remember the first day you discovered wisdom outside of your tradition. You had been indoctrinated to believe that there is only one lens to understand truth. Then you dared to experience other wisdom traditions and other literature, some of it written at the same time as your wisdom document, some of it even earlier.

At first, this was a stretch to imagine a different path. Then, as your mind expanded and your heart opened, you realized the tradition you were grounded in had some benefit, but when combined with other literature and traditions, the whole could be a much stronger foundation

Here’s to you for your courage and grit and imagination and hard work. You were the one that stepped into the arena and faced the adversaries that should have been your allies. You were the one that showed up for work everyday and faced the darkness and trauma, some of which was created by your past traditions.

Don’t give credit to those that didn’t show up for you.

Here’s to you!! Celebrate you!

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

Karl Forehand

Photo by cottonbro studio:

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