For those of you who are close to me or on my survivor tribe, you may know that this weekend I went on a spiritual retreat this weekend. I go to a religious private university and this retreat is one of the most popular events held. All you have to do is put your name in a raffle and they pick randomly 30 people. My two best friends made it, but my name was not called. 2 weeks later, I was contacted to take the spot of someone who couldn't attend due to recommendations from the students who were leading it, so I knew it was a sign that I had to go.
Before I get yelled at for bringing religion to Tengaged, I do not consider myself to be a very religious person. If you choose to continue reading, you will understand the point of this blog.
This retreat had a heavy focus on the idea of love. Everyone is made from love, of love, and for love. This can be seen as love from God, love from the family you were raised in, or love in the community you surround yourself in. In life, I always try my best to spread love through laughter and kindness to those around me. I love helping others if it means having the chance to brighten their day. However, love for others is just half of the love we are given.
Something I don't talk about on here is the fact that I struggle with self love, as I am sure many others do. I can be extremely hard on myself and turn a small inconvenience into something that will haunt me for days. Any small imperfection or flaw is something I will dwell on and it can consume me. Last fall was the lowest point of my anxiety. I wouldn't get more than a few hours of sleep each week due to how many battles I was having with myself in my head at night. It took a lot of reflection and positivity to overcome these low points.
Looking back, the subconscious reason I was drawn to this retreat was to resolve my inner battles. The weekend was full of eye opening moments, but here is just one I really took to heart: On Saturday, we were all gathered in a dark lit room and told to sit in a large circle, facing the walls and our eyes closed. Then, people would be selected anonymously to go to the middle of the circle. A retreat leader would then read out statements like "tap the back of someone who inspires you", "tap the back of someone who appreciate to have in your life" and other affirmations. To me, every time someone would tap my back gave me more strength to believe in myself. If these other people feel these things about me, then I should feel the same way.
*RELIGIOUS PART- SKIP IF YOU WANT*
This retreat wasn't just a "feel good about yourself" kind of thing though. I felt much closer to God by really reflecting on my life. I was given the gift of life by God and have so many wonderful things I have been blessed with. If we let the small things get in the way of our happiness, we lose sight of the blessing God has given us. God is not the cause of the storm when things get rough in life, but rather the lighthouse, guiding us to safety. When we are going through hard times, we must remember that we aren't alone because we always have God on our side.
This year has been such a changing point in my life. I had the opportunity to study abroad and meet so many amazing people. I was able to spend my summer doing a job I love. I have been blessed with so much and have even more things to look forward to in life. I want to approach life with a more positive attitude and appreciate even the little things, spreading my love to others! So if you made it this far, I genuinely appreciate your interest in my thoughts and I would love to hear yours.
Life is a beautiful gift, even if it may suck at times. There are ups and downs, but your low points make you even more appreciative of how far you have grown when you are at a high :)
Here is a song that really hit me this weekend to end this blog:
You shouldn't feel bad about talking about religion on Tengaged. It's your personal blog, write whatever you want on it. LOL! Also, glad you enjoyed it and feel even more enriched in your life and spirituality.
aw this was nice to read, happy for you calvin!!!! i worked at a camp and we always did the tapping thing and it was great to feel good from it and let others know that they make a difference too!! glad you had a good experience with all of this :D
This blog was fantastic and good on you. I know a lot of taboo surrounds religion and we all have our views on it, but it is a symbol of love, community and belonging, as well as the sinister parts.
I know exactly how it feels to struggle with self love, for me, other people and the way they treated me growing up, probably made me feel that way to this day, even at the age of 27. I don’t hate myself or anything, but I’ve always been made to feel like I’m too fat/not pretty enough/gozzy eyed etc... you grow up and forgive, but you’re still left with the insecurities that others thought you should have. But, listening to it and hiding away, or continuing to live your life to the fullest... that’s the choice we have. You’ve done brilliant things this year and you should be proud. You’ve travelled across the world to see friends and make new ones - that’s insane!
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