I got to hug several friends. I got to look in their eyes, and see how hard they are fighting. I got to be with people who understand me, and I don't really have to say anything.
Dr. B. came and sat next to me during dinner, gave me a hug, and then another hug (from Randy Hardman). I love that man! I love how gentle he is. I love how kind he is. I love how... himself... he is. He spoke on spirituality and recovery.
The two things that stuck out to me the most were, Listen to your heart (and the research that supports that the heart actually has its own neuro-activity). He's been telling people to listen to their hearts for at least the last twelve years, and probably longer. The second thing was to develop the language of spirituality, so you can understand how it speaks to you.
I thought of all of the quotes, the little promptings, the phone calls from friends, the music lyrics, and just the amazing miracles that I have experienced that have kept me moving along.
Jenni Shaefer spoke and sang her new song. She did awesome! She talked about how she had stopped playing the guitar ten years ago, because she wasn't good enough, blah, blah, blah. Then, this year, she started taking lessons. It was a good story. She was reminding us to pursue our passions, and I thought about how different I am... I am pursuing all kinds of new things: I wrote a song (and am writing more), I am drawing, I am horseback riding, I am singing, I auditioned for a play (and plan to audition again), I am designing ties, I am reading a ton of different books on different subjects (when I can concentrate long enough to read), I am playing with poetry, and I am sure I will add more new things to my repertoire as time goes on. Two years ago, I was working, and that's it.
There was a sharing session, but I ditched out again - I chose to sit next to a friend, who I love tons, and I just wanted to hear everything from. (Yes, you! I want to hear all that you have to say, and I can't get enough of your words, your wisdom, your heart! Sorry, I am not so good at subtlety, especially when I am writing...)
I was challenged to sit in the big cushy chair - the one I never sat in the whole time I was at CFC... at least not when there were other people who needed the chair more than I did. I took the challenge, and it didn't kill me. No one else seemed to be TOO uncomfortable. (I expect someone else to sit in that chair next time though!) We sang the new CFC choir song... I might be a little biased, but I do believe ours was much better!
We finished the night with a drumming circle. Beating things was nice.
And as is tradition, we finished the night with the song,
"Listen, Listen, Listen to my heartsong.It took me a while. Then, all of a sudden, I heard myself singing. I heard Lauren singing. I heard the women around me, and my heart started jumping, screaming, and making all kinds of noise inside me.
Listen, Listen, Listen to my heartsong.
I will never forget you, I will never forsake you.
I will never forget you, I will never forsake you."
I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream. I wanted all of that "stuff" inside to get out and stop plaguing me... I couldn't believe there was still so much stuck... after all this time, after all this work. I'm glad I was there, and I'm frustrated.
I told Rita I wanted to help plan next year's alumni event... so I expect all of my friends to be there if at all humanly possible. Be aware, I will probably stoop to such horrible things as guilt trips, holding things ransom, and idle threats. I decided we should do a "talent show" of sorts - let everyone share their talents and passions. Again, beware... no one is safe.