M.F. (The Journey Retreat)

“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear” – Buddha Siddhartha Guatama Shakyamuni

Through a strange series of events, that I understand better now as God moments, I was connected to the Motherless Daughters Ministries – desperate for a better understanding of me, 35 years after losing my mother.

The loving and caring voices of Gladys and Gloria shared with me the future opportunity of a three-day retreat and I was all in.
Carrying the heaviness of the trauma of loss at such a young age, I was ready for a deep dive adventure that could address the burdens that I have held on to for so long. It was a better alternative for me versus an “in and out dive” of emotions on a regular basis. I was craving a sense of human connection to a group of others who would look like me on the inside – broken, exhausted, confused yet yearning for a path of healing.

For many of us, when we go to plan a trip, we have expectations. We are able to easily assign a value to those expectations and believe the only real risks are whether or not our plane flights happen as expected.

Planning to attend a three-day retreat, I didn’t have expectations. I had hopes. I thought of all the potential risks – Would I actually show up that day. Would I really show up and share my thoughts. Would I create holes/leaks in my walls to let a bit of myself out – and let others in. How would Christianity play a part in the experience. The overall risk was minimal for the price of the weekend. I even told myself – heck, I get 9 meals and three nights for this price – I can’t even do that in a hotel room. And everything was prepared for me. I just had to show up. And I didn’t even have to clean up. Many a women’s greatest joys.

Little did I know now the incredible value of the intangibles that I received. I don’t have photos, momento’s or social media shareable moments. But what I do have is sisterhood, bonding, a very large safety net and a place that will bring me comfort. This is beyond priceless. This is one of, if not the greatest gift have been given.

The retreat was beautifully orchestrated by an incredible group of highly knowledgeable and skilled women. The exercises were purposeful and provoking with definite outcomes. The conversations were constructed for safe sharing – not only to yourself but to both your small group and to everyone as a family. Each lesson had a meaning. Each meaning had an impact. Each impact has left a lasting footprint for a journey of healing. One that I realized doesn’t come to an end. There is no magic pill to make it go away – rather a series of reflections that let me know I am ok and I will continue to get through this – just as I have for the past 35 years – but my path now will be different. One I feel I can confidently handle – and when needed – I can lean on my sisters for help.

For three days I was SEEN. I was seen so clearly it was indescribable. Never had I felt that before – except for in the eyes of my mother when I was a young child.