Remember last time how I shared about experimenting with being versus doing? Well, I had a breakthrough! And I’m super grateful because I’ve found it really challenging to explore being. In fact, I was talking with my husband about it and he lovingly pointed out to me that all the ideas I had were things I could do! Yeah, I know. Being isn’t something you do. It’s something you allow and experience.
Which is why I am so excited that I had one of those Aha! moments this morning. I was reflecting on the retreat I’m going to this weekend (it’s my last one for ministerial school!) and I realized that as it turns out I have a very small role to play. You see, the seniors have responsibilities at retreat and being a senior I have responsibilities. But, they are minor. Then it hit me:
Even though I have a small part to play this weekend, my presence will make a difference.
The most important part about this experience isn’t what I’m going to do. In fact, there are other people who could do what I’m going to do at this retreat. But, there is absolutely no one else who can be me at this retreat. I am the one who brings my insights, my heart, my energy, and me to this retreat.
And my presence will change things.
Just like the presence of each student and each facilitator will change things. Together we will create an experience, an opportunity to know ourselves, to know Universal Truth, and to know each other. And isn’t that what spiritual community is all about? Being together, growing together, supporting each other, seeing the Truth in each other, and celebrating one another with love, kindness, and respect? Yes, it is.
It is also about providing space for our humanity – the tender parts of ourself, the pain, the disappointment, the grief, the fear, the uncertainty. I have found that some of the strongest connections I’ve experienced are when we are brave enough to feel all the feels together without judgment and with compassion.
So I enter this retreat with an open heart. My intention is to deepen my understanding and experience of being. I am reminded of one of Brene Brown’s mantras:
Don’t shrink. Don’t puff up. Stand your sacred ground and be seen.
I remember that true belonging isn’t about fitting in. It’s about authenticity and courage. It’s about the willingness to be oneself, to let yourself be fully present, and to love yourself through it all.