They said it would be fun. I listened to their words fully. I wanted this spiritual retreat to count. Plus, I wanted to have fun. I didn’t want it to be one where I just wrote down addresses and phone numbers. For a long time this was an easy way to meet new people and make a few lasting friendships. It didn’t take long before I discovered my idea of meeting friends and shutting down during group sessions and lectures had left me totally empty for real life back in my home town. As a matter of fact, two relationships had bottomed out. Simply because I didn’t have the right words for a friend who had been fired from her job. I felt so badly. She needed that job desperately. She was a single parent with no insurance and no family to help her in an emergency. When she broke down over a cheeseburger at BurgerPluto. I almost went into cardiac arrest. No one had ever cried on my shoulder. I really didn’t know what to say or even what to do with my hands. I said, “let me go get you some tissue and water.” Those were my first words. The minute I walked away a lesson from my workbook came to mind. The title “Touch Means More Than Words.” Why didn’t I rub her back? Why didn’t I touch her hand? When I came back to the table, I saw her running out the door. I’ve never heard from her since that time. I lost a good friend. She liked to needlepoint like me. She was going to help me get a job in her fast growing company, and she was teaching me how to play the piano in exchange for me keeping the baby.
Obviously, I needed to start from step one. I would go to another retreat with different goals in mind. I wasn’t going to walk around with a false smile, a small pad and pencil in order to write down phone numbers of people who looked professional and outgoing all at the same time. Ginger’s breakdown reshaped a part of my life.
6.7.2014 Journal Prompt