As some of you know I just returned from a creative retreat in Nashville. I have attended many creative retreats and women’s events over the years. I even host my own workshops and retreats, but something made this one different. That’s what I hope to communicate in this post.
I, like an eager and hopeful little girl looking for the pony in the stall of manure have continued to search for my “community” and “tribe”, even though many a women’s retreat have felt like forcing myself into a small shoe box when I feel more like a pair of boots.
I find life often speaks allegorically. One of my own personal parables began to surface about five or six years ago when I was traveling to Los Angeles to lead a workshop and was surprisingly upgraded to first class on my flight.
I confess I am a repeat offender when it comes to misuse of verbiage. I’m one that causes the grammar police to cringe reading my posts on Facebook. Does that stop me? Heck no!
Years ago dining with a pastor and group of his friends I casually threw out the word Gonad! Can you believe it? Yes I did! Suddenly silence rolled over the group of alarmed parishioners. Of course when I got home my husband explained that the slang I used to reference an idiotic person technically was defining male anatomy rarely mentioned in church!
Another time I spoke of my shoe fetish and was informed by yet another pastor/friend that the word fetish was not relevant to shoes, because it referred to sorcery and sexual fixations.
You’d think those two encounters alone would have stopped me in my tracks and sparked an immediate case of laryngitis, but boldly I continue to speak and write. The truth is you just don’t know what you don’t know!
Sometimes I feel the need to guard my heart turf. You know those days when an aspect of life feels unsafe and the warning signal starts flashing to enlist the boarder patrol?
I have triggers. We all do. Many of us grew up in a home with an unstable parent and went on to experience a culture of instability. What wouldn’t set off triggers?
I’ve learned to help my trigger-reactive heart through dangerous landmines. I’ve come to understand that my triggers are in place to protect me. They signal a perceived threat. Sometimes the threat may only be imagined, reminding me of a previous experience. That is when I get the opportunity to reevaluate my reaction and response in the here and now, choosing to reframe outdated Intel. Other times I may sense the real need to protect myself from intruders breaching my boarders.
This is never a neat and tidy operation, because our hearts are not machines. However, getting comfortable with untidiness helps us befriend our heart rather than betray it.