Growing up going to church I have a long history of retreats. Junior High, High School and then the natural progression to yearly women’s getaways. I typically have a love/dislike relationship with them although I’ve never come away from one sorry that I went. While driving up north to the spot this year I tried to analyze why there is such internal resistance about going. In truth, I haven’t gone on one in a few years for a variety of reasons (usually it’s just a matter of scheduling). Why the resistance?
The biggest one is that I know a few women from my church, but I don’t really know a lot of them. I do best in situations where I have a
person security blanket, and without one it sometimes puts me in awkward situations. I hate awkward. The last thing I want to do when I see a group of women I don’t know is to interject myself into the middle of their conversation.
Interestingly enough, the topic for the retreat was being authentic with one another, and how that grows and deepens friendships. In the age of the #liveauthentic hashtag, what does that look like within our relationships? To me, authenticity is the willingness to let our flaws show. Those cracks that we all have because none of us are perfect. As I got to know many of these women on a deeper scale I was astounded on how we all have a story. Life doesn’t discriminate, and although sometimes it feels like it does, pain is universal.
One tool we have to deal with the pain (and the joy, etc.) of life is our relationships if tapped into correctly. The illustration was given of Roman shields and how they could be linked together for an impenetrable defense. It’s when we link up with others that we become stronger. I know I am abundantly blessed with some truly amazing women in my life, and they make dealing with trials a lot more manageable. We didn’t get to that place without some level of vulnerability either.
It’s hard finding the right people to open up to, and on the flip side, I want to be the type of person that others can trust. In new friendships or old. So instead of comparing, belittling and judging other women, let’s try to encourage, lift up and help each other live authentically. No hashtag needed.
Here are some snapshots of the weekend fun. We focused on traits we’ve been blessed with using mirrors, had great teaching and music, spent time out in the lush northwest, roasted marshmallows (see Instagram) and I had my first experience with Bunco. Then I came back to wind storms and power outages. Welcome back to the real world, Angie.
Have a wonderful week and aim for authenticity with each other!
Linking up with B Loved Boson.