Hey everyone! Sorry I haven't been posting really regularly lately. I promise I'm still here. It's about to be finals week, though, so there has been lots to do. On top of all that, there have been several emotionally draining events and issues going on in my life to add to the stress load. *sigh* But with God's help, I will get through it all.
Spring really is the season of rebirth and new beginnings. Some things in my life have been ending, and others are just beginning. Yesterday was the last day of my Women's Empowerment Group, a bittersweet meeting of 8 strong women who have come so far over the course of this semester, yet still have so far to go. We have listened to each other's joys, sorrows, pain, and healing. We have worked to build one another up when those in our lives were unable to help. We have cried together, laughed together, ranted and raved and been angry together. These 7 other women have shown me the beauty that lies within every woman. The strength they have shown after overcoming horrible trauma and abuse is incredible. Each of us has expressed feelings of despair, loneliness, and weakness. Yet we are not weak. We may have long paths of recovery, discovery, growth and healing ahead of us, but we are not weak, for just by being able to come together and share our very deepest emotions takes tremendous strength.
The two leaders of our group asked us to bring something that empowered us to share with the group for the last meeting. Some women brought mementos and reminders of positive things, some brought poems and quotes that inspire them even in the darkest of hours. One of our leaders brought a box of beautiful stones, each one different, for all of us to keep to "remind us all of the uniqueness of this group, that will never be the same again, to keep each other with us always, as a reminder that though this may be the end of one thing, it is the beginning of many new and positive events. Even if you do not remain in touch, each of you has one of these stones, and you all know what they stand for. Keep them as a reminder of the rock of strength you all are, and have been for one another."
Then our other leader said that as a "final activity" we were going to do something different (normally at the end of the group we do focused breathing and/or meditation) She asked us to pair up with someone, face them, and take turns repeating the following: "You are a beautiful person, and I am so glad that you are in this world."
It probably sounds cheesy, even a bit cliche, to say that I cried yet again at this moment. How can such a small thing mean so much? I don't know why that felt so great to hear, and to say, but it did. Somehow it was a concrete affirmation of the love and friendship that I have found in these women, and in others in my life. I've posted before about how I am a firm believer in the "small things" yet somehow I had forgotten just how much of an impact those things have on me--I had become too focused on doing them for others.
Anyway, I have probably bored whoever is actually reading this to the point of being semi-comatose, so I'll stop. I just wanted to make this post to express my feelings. Writing really is cathartic, isn't it?
I want to end with something one of the women in my group said right before leaving, something she hoped that we could all take with us. As she went around the room giving us hugs, she said "Whenever you are feeling like you are at your lowest, that everyone is against you, remember love. Remember love in whatever form you feel it. But always remember that you deserve love, and you are loved."
So from me to all of you out there: You are loved.