Healing Loss, Opening HeartsSouth of Nashville, Tennessee, October 16-18, 2020
A Woman Who Loves
A Woman Who Loves has had a powerful, life-changing effect on hundreds of women.
The days leading up to the weekend I was apprehensive. I felt vulnerable sharing something so personal and so tender with people I didn’t know. But I was also convinced that even a small amount of relief would be worth pushing through my fears for a couple of days.
There was a moment soon after arrival when we were all seated in a circle. I looked around and had the profound realization that I was no longer alone. There was no one there expecting me to defend or explain myself, I was among women who understood. At this moment I consciously surrendered my uncertainty and let a bit of hope take its place. I feel honored to be included in this group of smart, capable, beautiful women who love. The work that I started that weekend continues to bless me and my marriage today.
A Woman Who Loves was a great environment for me to process my emotions and understand where I wanted those emotions to take me to — to finding peace. It gave me the courage to follow my heart, to stand up for what I believe in, and to go to the hard places to find that peace I had been looking for. It gave me added hope in all my relationships, including with my kids, extended family, and friends. Definitely worth the time and effort to go!
One of the things that was most beneficial for me with A Woman Who Loves was the sense of fellowship and the opportunity to meet face-to-face with other women who really “get it.”
I live in a geographically isolated area and have found the online supports invaluable, but they don’t meet my needs of friendship in the same way. However, the friendships formed as we went through the various therapeutic processes together were real and deep. It was a place for me to truly accept all of myself and let my most vulnerable parts hang out — which enabled me to love and trust others in a way it would be tough to do in a different setting.
I am grateful for the things I learned, but most of all for the connections and friendships I formed that continue to strengthen me on a daily basis. I walked away feeling connected, less alone and more hopeful and confident in my future.
Another thing I enjoyed from the experience was the diversity of stories shared. Each of us came to the weekend in a different place. Some of us knew our marriages were going to make it and wanted them to be stronger, some were in the middle of crisis and many were unsure of what the future would hold. The beautiful thing is that there is something there for everyone, no matter where you find yourself in the moment.
It is also wonderful to look at the leaders and hear their stories, knowing they were once in our shoes and there is hope and healing to be found.
This retreat was beyond any possible expectations. I went there so very wounded and with a broken spirit, and what I received was the perfect balm for my soul and then some. From beginning to end I experienced from staff members and participants alike a tender care, kindness and camaraderie. We were all women who love!
There was an organic movement to the entire weekend as if it were divinely guided in order to let things unfold as they were meant to, yet there was an organized flow.
I appreciated the educational aspect of it, as it helped me to understand some things I did not know before about the nature of addiction. I loved the processes offered, as each part allowed for both my mind and my body to be engaged.
I respect each and every woman and man who participated in this incredible journey. They did an amazing job, with such professionalism and skill. Without them, it could not have been possible for me and others to be the recipients of this opportunity to begin to heal and to learn new ways of operating.
I made lifelong friends and a gained a community of ladies who rock!
In my opinion, A Woman Who Loves is “the” event to attend on this journey!
I have attended many support groups, couples group, experiential weekends, therapy weekends, etc. These all “tainted” my attitude “a little bit” towards A Woman Who Loves. (“Been there, done that, yada yada.”) BUT I was determined that if I went, I was going to participate fully in everything, and not hold back like I usually did at these things.
The beautiful thing was that it wasn’t hard to participate: There was instant “sisterhood” when you walk into a room where EVERYBODY there “gets” you!!! No explanations needed, really. No need to be guarded in what I say or feel. This was the best, most meaningful experience I’ve had on this very long journey!!!