I love being around people, but it is easy for me to forget how much I need them in my life. I have become adept at filling in my perceived gaps on my own. In some ways, this has served me well. However, this self-reliance is often my biggest detriment. Because when I am in need, I usually try to fix my “ish” (yes, it is a technical term) on my own rather than ask for help.
I am told by Facebook that I moved to Pasadena almost exactly two years ago (thanks Facebook). I had been working for a retreat center before my move. Despite being passionate about setting aside space for others to be with God, I was not able to offer the type of retreats I wanted to within that position. The move to Pasadena was about clearing the path to start doing what I was put on this earth to do – Oak House Retreats. After giving myself time to settle into my new life, I began to offer retreats. It was going great until I hit a wall. Life got hard and my desire to do retreats was zapped dry. I didn’t know what to do. I felt confused about life. And I was lonely.
Over time, I realized that my lack of interest in retreats was coming from a place of fear. I feared that I would fail. I was also afraid that retreats would isolate me further. Knowing what I feared somehow lessened the fear itself over time. I didn’t rush things, but eventually, my desire to do retreats began to return. I let the desire grow slowly over fall until I found myself ready to enter into retreat life again.
A whole month into 2018, I have started to work on a few retreats and it has felt enlivening. However, my big shift this year is that two of my three retreats are collaborations. Working with others has been joyous and exciting. Yesterday, I had a call with one of my collaborators and it confirmed that whatever this retreat ministry will become, it needs to be done with others.
There is nothing groundbreaking in this realization, but my soul needs this reminder constantly. Maybe you need this simple reminder today as well. As I write these words, the Barbara Streisand song “People” runs through my head:
People, People who need people
Are the luckiest people in the world
We need people. And that’s a good thing.
Keep an eye out in the next month or so for information on upcoming retreats!