It has taken me about a month to write about my experience at Serendipity Retreat in Nags Head, NC. I'm not sure why it has taken that long except maybe its hard to capture in words. I was in a very sad place when I arrived at the retreat but it was exactly what I needed at the time...to be surrounded by some of my dearest friends and near mama ocean. The ocean is so vast and powerful yet can be so calm and soothing, it brings much needed perspective.
This retreat was much different from years past. I didn't attend any classes, I helped set up the houses for all of the amazing women in attendance, got breakfast ready a couple of mornings, helped clean up after meals and taught a Pilates class. I also had lots of time to think, nap, relax, get a massage, soak in the hot tub, and just BE. It was also different because I was in pain, physically and emotionally. At meals, I felt like I was standing on the outside, watching everyone have these amazing experiences while I was trying to keep my tears in check. Of course as soon as someone would spot me and come over to check in, all they needed to do was give me one look and the tears would flow. I can vividly remember two instances where women who had been in my place and were now on the other side (they are back with their loves) gave me one look and I couldn't hold back the tears and that made them cry too. Don't think it was a big cry fest because there was alot of laughter too! But for me, the shedding of tears was more common that not. That's what I needed though, to move through the sadness. And this was the safest place to do that. There were no judgements, only love and support.
When I arrived home, the sadness intensified, if you can believe that. Although if you've ever been to a retreat, the return home can be difficult. Perhaps its because I was no longer surrounded by all of the support and it was just me, alone with my thoughts. Today though, I'm happy to say that, for the most part, the sadness is gone, although there are still moments...like right now writing this post.
What I really want to share though is that I opened my heart, really opened it for the first time since my brother died. Yes, I was married and in other relationships but I kept a part of me closed off, a part of my heart protected, because I never wanted to feel that kind of pain again. It took me a long to time to open it up and when I did it was wonderful. Yes I got hurt but I also experienced such joy.
I still love him and I think I always will, because what I'm finding is that although there has been alot of sadness, there has been no anger, no regret, there has been only love.