Monday Mitzvahs: Authenticity

This weekend I had an opportunity to go to a women’s conference.  It was called, appropriately, Time Out for Women.  There were wonderful speakers and beautiful music.  A highlight for me was meeting one of my favorite authors, James Ferrell.  I told him how something he shared in his book, The Peacegiver, about David, Abigail and Naman has touched me.  When I told him that this story gave me hope, as an abuse survivor, that someday I will be able to forgive, he gave me a big hug.   That was powerful.  To me his hug said so many things.  Things like, “I’m sorry you went through that.”  Which I still need to hear.  And “hang in there things will get better.”  Hugs are powerful.  I had forgotten that.

But wait, I want to tell you more about the conference and yet I don’t want to bore you.  Let me see if I can share the experience better.  Let’s begin with this song by Hilary Weeks, Beautiful Heartbreak:

Oh, did I forget to tell you to get kleenex?  Sorry about that., heh heh. I can’t watch it without crying either.  The woman who was burned on 80% of her body is Stephanie Nielsen.  She is a blogger too, you can read her blog here.  Of course, you probably didn’t need me to tell you that since she has thousands of followers.

Does anyone know the name of the woman who lost her family in a war?  Tell us in the comments if you know.

Okay, as an apology for making your cry without warning, now I will make you laugh.  Well, I mean Kris Belcher will.  This video will show you her humor, but she has a spiritual side as well.

Admit it you laughed out loud–literally–didn’t you?  I did too, and I’m writing this from work (which means I nearly woke up ten sleeping teenagers! Yikes!)

I’ve set myself up here with what is a hard act to follow–understatement–but it was necessary.  You see, with wonderful speakers like Kris Belcher, and great artists and music videos like Hilary Weeks and others, how could it not be wonderful?  That isn’t really the reason I had such a healing weekend though.

My weekend was amazing because of authenticity–from the speakers, artists and also from my companions.  I went with a group of women from church.  Some I knew a little better than others.  We got a couple hotel rooms, and would you believe we stayed up until 2:30 am chatting like teenagers?

That late night visiting was one of my favorite parts of the weekend.  Women getting together, sharing their hearts, sharing their struggles.  It was powerful.  It was authentic.  It reminded me of a similar experience I had not too long ago with a group of friends at Red Robin.  We nourished our bodies with hamburgers, and our spirits with vulnerability.

What touches me most about the Hilary Weeks video Beautiful Heartbreak is all those women sharing their pain.  There is something powerful in sharing our pain with one another.  My therapist taught me that pain needs a witness, but I don’t often think about how healing sharing your pain can be for others.  Too often we get stuck in the mindset of trying to hide our pain and pretend that everything is fine, when sharing is the real healer for our own hearts and those that love us.

So the mitzvah (act of kindness) for today is to allow yourself to be authentic, to be vulnerable with the people that you love.  More than your own heart might be healed.









5 thoughts on “Monday Mitzvahs: Authenticity

  1. Yes! The first step in healing from abuse (or in repenting for abuse) is Recognition. Recognition not only of abuse having happened but also recognition of the intensity of the abuse. The next two steps are Remorse and Restitution. Remorse and Restitution are scaled by the evidence gathered during Recognition. Every debt must be fully but not overly paid. Additional witnesses help greatly in the Recognition process of gathering evidence. “It really was that bad and you really are worth appropriate Remorse and Restitution.”

  2. The tears in my eyes come from your authenticity, your sharing, your wisdom. So much greater than my own. I have become nearly mute because even though I’ve come to understand the past and my own responsibilities, which are different from those who were there, I can’t dwell there for any time without experiencing such great regret that it keeps me stuck. I keep praying. 🙂

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