May is Mental Health Awareness month, a time to reflect on various conditions that we encounter, either in ourselves, or among those that we know. It is also a time to reflect on coping skills that help to ease the psychological burdens that we encounter in this life. Because we all have skeletons in our closets, traumas in our past, and psychological ghosts that come to haunt us on our journeys. No one is immune, but none of us is without help and relief.
I learned this past weekend a remarkable tool for coping with tough times. You see, I live in a household of all males. Even the pets are male (well, maybe not the goldfish). I get so lost in the day to day tasks of being a wife, mother, employee, etc., that I sometimes neglect to take time to be with my sisters in humanity. My experience this past weekend reminded me of just how important it is for my health and sanity.
Last weekend, I took a girls trip to Nashville with some of my middle and high school friends, and a new friend as well. Some of us had not seen one another in thirty years. We had a marvelous time, it was as if it was just yesterday that we saw one another, we picked up right where we left off. Only better…
Lots of things happen in thirty years. As I gazed into the beautiful eyes and faces of the lovely women that accompanied me on the trip, we really didn’t look that much different. In fact, if I may say so myself, we looked darn good. We all still had the twinkle in our eye, the strut in our walk, the mojo in our spirits. We danced as if no one was watching, without self-consciousness or insecurities. We owned our femininity, we wore our experience with wisdom and pride, and we bonded.
The truth is, though, that we wore that pride and wisdom, because we earned it, having been through so much. We wore the scars of relationships, unrealized dreams, forks in the road. We talked about our joys and disappointments in life. We talked about our challenges. The inevitable things. Yet we reminded each other, time and time again, that in reality, we are all blessed. And we laughed, and we cried, and we giggled, and we sighed. But through it all, we held our heads up high….
We visited George Jones’ grave. We walked up and down Broadway. We danced in every spot we could find, to the honkey tonk bands. We posed for pictures. We shopped for boots and souvenirs and such. All the usual things one does on a girls trip.
Only we were doing more than that. We were healing.
Healing from the traumas of childhood and the teenage years, that all women encounter. Healing from the insecurities of the “Wonder Years”. Healing from the pressures of childhood, teenage years, and yes, the present.
So, if you want to heal, look to the Spirit of Woman. Her touch is a Healing Balm, her gaze is a reflection of Reassurance, her words are like Honey, sweet to the Soul. Never forget your bond, and utilize your connections when the world is trying to tear you down. In the company of Women, there is much Love, flowing like a River, in the Dessert Sands of Time.
I love you my friends….stay courageous, graceful, and strong.