Two things I do not discuss in mixed company is politics and religion. But for the sake of story tellin', I will lend a little glimpse of my adventure this past weekend.
I went to Alabama with a wonderful new friend I made from Hammond. It wasn't just a friendly visit just to get out of town, it was a much needed spiritual retreat. See, with all the goings on in the last 5 years or so, I lost a lot of my faith. This was compounded by losing people in my life that were important to me and by the anxiety I have carried around for so very very long. It's been easy for me to put most or all of the heartbreak I have encountered on my ex. This is not entirely accurate. It was simply easy. Yes, of course our divorce broke my heart. A person cannot live with someone for over a decade and not feel something intense for that person. However, the true catalyst for my loss of faith actually came when a long time friend called me out for something that was actually a misinterpretation of a conversation.
Now when I say loss of faith I don't just mean in God or the Great Spirit or whatever anyone wants to title it as. I mean all of it. Faith in God(dess), faith in friendship, faith in life, faith in love, and the biggest of all: faith in myself. When I was shaken down to that core I lost it all. The thing it took me a year to see was, this person had actually been inadvertently chipping away at my spiritual faith for years. I just never put it all together. I began to question everything that I'd become sure of just a few years prior to coming home to South La. I didn't fully understand the depth of it all till this weekend.
See, I went to interact with a group of people just like me. I went to church. Ok, it was more like a big revival, complete with ordained folks and good red wine. I was able to make new friends, find a guide, share some "you're not alones" and reunite with some souls. It was a retreat to get all of us who were there back onto the paths we had been walking. Some of us were a little more grounded and into their paths, others like me needed some help finding it again. But I can guarantee you one thing, we all left different and I believe it all to be for the better.
I won't go into all the ins and outs of what I needed and what I got out of it all, but I will say this: My eyes are open again. Fully, and completely. I know who I am, what I believe in and what I need to do to cultivate and nurture that person. I refuse to allow anyone to take that away from me ever again. This was necessary for me, and I believe it will result in not just a peaceful Liz, but a peaceful home too.