This past weekend Mike and I attended Camp Widow Toronto. We helped out with a lot of things this year, from leading panel discussions and groups, to building the enormous sign of HOPE for the banquet and working with Michele to plan the message release around it. I also hosted my creative workshop again, for the second year, which was an absolutely incredible experience.
There was so much to do before ever getting to camp… we have been working tirelessly for the past month or two to get ready. It has meant long nights and very busy weekends planning, dreaming, building, painting, budgeting, and hoping it will all go as well as we imagine. I stepped out of my own comfort zone in many ways. Not only in what we physically created in the huge sign of HOPE, which Mike wrote more about last week in his post. Also though, in deciding to commit myself so fully to focusing not one what I needed this year, but on what I had to give.
I can’t help but wonder, just how did I get here? Me… who just six years ago was so broken that I feared I’d never be able to put the pieces back together. Me… who couldn’t even feed myself for 2 weeks after his death. Who couldn’t even buy dental floss at the grocery store or remember to pay my credit card bill for 6 months. Who woke every morning for so long in a horror, wishing with all my heart that it was all just a nightmare. On top of all that, I have spent a lifetime fighting deep-rooted self doubt. Fighting to believe that I have anything of value to give to others. Just how did I get here then, shining a light for others along the path?
These last few years, Soaring Spirits has been the place that I have begun not only to rebuild my broken self into someone new, but also the place where I have begun to challenge those false beliefs I have struggled with a lifetime. It has been the place that has lifted me up and helped me to see that we ALL have something valuable to give one another. And it is because of what we have been through that we have something to give. We each hold a piece of each other’s broken hearts, and when we come together, we can exchange those pieces and help each other to feel a little bit more rebuilt.
I have traveled the yellow brick road towards Hope these six years now, and have met so many friends along my way who have joined me in seeking something meaningful from this life we are all left with. Seeking a way though, a way to rebuild something meaningful and beautiful. And even though this year, coming to Camp for me was more about giving something to everyone else, I have returned home with a fuller heart than ever before. I have come realizing just how much we all have to give to one another, and just how important it is to follow this road together.