I got to hang out with a group of amazing women last week. Between grilled veggies, Falafel, and laughter we met each other not just in body but in heart. There were no walls only a genuine desire to reach deep into our souls and join hands.
This was not a therapy group.
There was no script to follow.
There was no pledge to take.
We met in a quiet clean place belonging to a local artist. Nature’s beauty was displayed anew everywhere in the material she reclaimed and repurposed. Old bark and limbs were sculpted to become useful vehicles of light and beauty. That which had laid dormant and discarded now led the way along the path to wholeness. Just like our reclaimed lives when nurtured past those things that caused us to stumble.
This was a place to put down and pick up.
A place to deny and rejoice.
A place to hurt and heal.
A place to share the bitter and the sweet.
It was a place to breathe.
I have a dear friend who is a physiatrist and a mighty woman of God. She has taught me much over the course of our six year friendship. One thing in particular is the vital necessity to acknowledge pain before moving on to healing. I have witnessed this in her first response to an aching heart. She listens without interrupting, empathizes without minimizing, acknowledges without judging. She confirms that the hurt can be overwhelming and paralyzing. She grieves alongside them. She straightens out crocked thinking. She gives space to feel.
Before release and restoration there must be healing. The need to absorb the balm of peace and time in the company of those with whom we feel safe is vital. Sometimes we need gentle hands to peel our stiff aching fingers from around that suitcase of pain and confusion we’ve been carrying around. It needs to be opened and exposed and detoxified. This happens best in the incubator of love and acceptance.
We need to create this space for each other.
That evening was the first step.
It won’t be the last.
This was the atmosphere we soaked in. It was as if we all had entered a sanctuary that promised we would be known, accepted and loved back to wholeness. We all have a story that blooms with the potential to escort another along that path to freedom. We just need to be true to each other. To be real and bruised and lovely and messy and wet from tears and bright with hope.
I felt the Spirit of God hovering above our nest. And He was smiling. His heart was full with the knowledge that His daughters were stepping out in faith and peace. Faith that He would use our pain for good and not for the evil that was planned. Peace that would pull us further still to the higher place of freedom. We had realized the truth. We picked up the prize and headed for the goal.
That night was an evening where hope was passed from one brave heart to another. There was the promise that this was not the end of our journey together. This random evening that started in the hearts of a few determined warrior women will happen again.
It must happen again.
Until the very last one of us can open her eyes wide in the sunshine without shame or fear or anger and drink in deep the hope that springs from sharing life together.
2018 © Charlene M Campanella
(May not be used or reproduced in any fashion without written consent from the author)