The response from the last post about my women’s retreat was wonderful. (For those who aren’t aware, I also have a Facebook page dedicated to this blog, I post the link on that designated page and people message me, comment and share on that platform too.)
I had a few more thoughts after my last post and some questions that I would like to answer… the biggie is- “How does sharing your story help? How does it heal us?”
I woke up this morning at 2:30am… thank you menopause… and while laying there in the dark… I began to think about this.
When I share my story, something begins to happen. The actual process- of me, opening my mouth, saying the words, re-living my story, starts the pendulum of emotions, swinging, in a slower manner.
My story brings about a concerted effort. That effort, begins to mold my story in a different way. The concentration on sharing for healing, begins.
Most of my life, the pendulum would swing with force, from one extreme to the other. If the left side is 100% out of control and the right side is totally in control… you can see how uncertain, I felt.
When I am willing to talk about personal things, when I am willing to share about the old painful or shameful things… I am always amazed that someone will say- Yes. That’s me. 🎯
When this happens… the pendulum begins to slow a little bit more.
Then, when they share their story, it slows some more.
It not only validates what they have been feeling and carrying, but it also validates within myself… that I am not alone. When I hear my story or a version of my story from someone else, I feel connected.
As I become more transparent, my life becomes balanced. The pendulum is just moving in the center now… it no longer needs to swing from end to end. I am no longer ambivalent about-every-little decision.
I am no longer afraid to make a choice… my life is a series of small hills, no longer am I climbing mountains and picking up boulders to carry along the way.
This is why 12 step recovery programs work so well. When we share our experience strength and hope, other members realize that they are not the only ones with those thoughts. Other people get to share how they feel and how it has affected them, and then next person does the same… each time someone shares a little more hope appears.
Eventually… the pendulum is moving in each of us… with ease. (Just remember… it doesn’t have the same effect if you’re sharing for shock value or attention.)
It’s not a solo journey. I am always connected. Always. It feels personal, because I can’t feel for other people.
One of the beautiful things that happened during the retreat was watching a shy or timid woman gain strength. It’s almost like they borrowed another’s strength. When we hang with people who have things we do not have… we will eventually pick those things up. (Good or bad!) When I hang with strong, emotionally centered, healing women… I get to see how they operate. I get to imitate their actions.
If I have never been shown how to address things in a loving healthy way… how am I supposed to teach others how to treat me?
So the other question that was asked from the retreat was this- “How can I know that my secrets will be kept? How do I know that someone won’t share my stuff?” The honest answer is- we don’t know this. We can’t be certain of anything. I know… I know… I also feel a little bit of panic in my belly- just typing those words…
But, here is the powerful thing that happens when I trust this process. The stuff I share, loses its grip or power on me, as soon as I let it out. Joyce Meyers has a few great books that address this… my favorite is Approval Addiction. There are two very powerful things that I took from that book. The first is, When we let our skeletons out of the closet, Out of the darkness… when we are willing to shine some of God’s light on them…. they are no longer scary. **It’s true!** And the other thing she says is- “So what if you’re scared? Do it in fear.” Those two statements have helped me in some very dark times.
I was driving to work yesterday and I wished I had a dictaphone. I do my best thinking when I am in the shower and when I am driving alone… I began to think about this.
Some days are just better than others!
The reason I began thinking about this is because my life is really crazy, beautiful, scary and busy right now. (GT and I are nearing the final days before we leave for the Winter!)
Anyway… here is what made me think about this. I bought a new car and it practically drives itself. It has alerts and beeps for every little thing. For example, if you’re looking at a mailbox or a person… it will beep after a few seconds and the alert will read- Eyes on the Road! If you go over one of the lines… it will beep and the alert will read- Lane Departure! The first day that I drove to work without an alert was like I was riding without training wheels! Then… I made it two days, in a row!!
I felt like I deserved a Gold Star!
On the third day, I took a drink out of a shaker cup with my chin tilted up… I could see the road- but my car couldn’t seem my eyes… Beep Beep Beep… Eyes on the road! (Damn it!) There goes my record…
Yesterday was not a good day.
With snow-covered roads, it’s easy to follow someone else’s tire tracks. (Beep Beep Beep) I slowed at a yield sign and watched an approaching vehicle… so it thought I was day dreaming. (Beep Beep Beep) Then another beep beep beep as I honestly was just cruising along on the snow… and didn’t see the lines.
I hadn’t even made it three miles from home and already felt like I had been cussed out.
Truly. As I was thinking this… feeling this… shoulders slightly slumped and lips turned down… I began to think about how much I was seeking the approval of my car.
Yup. I really was looking for a day without beeps. I chuckled and began to think about all of the things I had to be grateful for. I began to make the shift. I began to realize how those beeps- did not define me or my driving ability. (It’s the snow… and that is the story I am sticking too! 😉)
Why do I still seek approval? What is missing? 🤔 Hmmmm…. Maybe that’s a topic for another time.
Remember, you’re not alone. If your car beeps at you… you’re not a horrible person and neither am I.
With the Holidays fast approaching… dig deep.
Remember it’s not about stuff.
It’s not about approval of people.
It’s not about the perfect gift.
It’s about connections. Make some good solid connections. Feel good about helping others. Find joy in the wonder of the eyes of the littles… hug each other. Embrace each other. Feel with one another. Cry. Heal. Be the shoulder for the friend who needs you.
Remember those we are experiencing their “firsts”. (First Holiday Season without a recently passed loved one… believe me, it means a lot when someone acknowledges your pain and grief!)
I leave you with one final thought.
Don’t try to fix someone this season.
It’s not your job. Just sit with them. Let them be heard. Allow them to hear their own words. Allow your heart guide you. It’s not about you…
Until Next time, Peace and Love Peeps.