Last Hours of Silence

I hope you enjoyed going on this short journey with me. It was nice to get away from the day to day, to find peace, solitude and quiet in a comfortable surrounding. There was not one need unmet.

I awoke today with the same anxiety I felt when I arrived. It's almost as if the retreat did me no good, altho it’s silly to believe that as the lasting effects are not yet evident. The retreat had a more Catholic twist than I am accustomed to with other retreats. If anything, this retreat has affirmed my choice in the worship community that I'm in. I was raised Catholic. I have absolutely nothing negative to say about that! My mother taught me many beautiful things about the Catholic faith — it's a very sensual religion. Scent, sound, visuals. There is much to say and much to do in this worship environment. For me however, I found myself wanting to bust out of the four walls at times, like a caged animal. I realize that I can take what I like here at the retreat center, and leave the rest. The rituals are not for me.

The talks however provided a lot of insight, as did the suggested readings and exercises. I'm also glad I had my own books as well to accompany me.

I think one of the big insights I found facing me this weekend is my fear surrounding male relationships. While I am no longer focused on Matt, I still have a fear that he is hiding another relationship from me. Why should that matter when we are on our way to legally ending our commitment? Why also, do I feel that men will not love me for me once they get to know who I am? Why also do I desperately, and yes, unfortunately ... if I am to be completely honest, desperately desire to have a relationship with another man?

Look, I'm a beautiful person, I know that. Inside and out. I have a boat load of friends. I do! I'm blessed! Like my friend Pamela wrote in one of her comments recently, my life is full, busy, packed with wonderful things. There is not one single thing in my life that is unhealthy. I'm a good "package" for any man, friend or family to have.

Still, I cannot shake this need to be accepted by a man. I was doing great for a while. Then... well, something happened. I met a male friend who adored me, thought the best of me. We became friends. Close friends.

I have never shared about that here on RP before, my friendship with this man.

I'm not sure why I feel it's safe to tell you about it today.

This friendship has rocked my world in a way that I never expected. And if I am not careful, I will attack him like a bear trying to embrace a butterfly! If I am not in check, I will require of him more than any man can possibly give.

This is why I know I am not ready for the big time, and yet, I want it and desire it. At times I place all bets on it.

And that's not good. Not good for a woman like me who needs to continue to find strength in herself and God. A woman who has thee most adorable gift the world and God has ever given me. I need to provide a soft place, safe home, loving heart for my Peanut.

The butterflies come and go.

I am glad I came here this weekend. It actually made me think about how lovely it would be to take a full year off. Yep, here I go again! Skip right from a weekend away to wanting a full year off. (Just like skipping the dating part and going right to the altar!) ;)

Being away with no distractions gave me time to write, think, pray, listen and even do some creativity by retouching photos and writing posts for RP. Who wouldn't want a full year of simple living, all needs being tended to, physically, spiritually.

So yes, I was nourished by the tidiness of the retreat center. By the light warming the parlor, the library, the atrium. I was fed by spiritual talks, poems and bible verses that exposed my inner workings and made my heart turn inside out. I was delivered to a place of honesty by the solitude and lack of distractions. The chapels, the gardens, the halls. All was still. There was absolutely nothing required of me.

Upon awakening my heart raced again in anticipation of returning to my home where work never ends. Where there is not just the physical, but the emotional parts to water, heal, mend, treat. Where time is a factor and a ruler and deadlines have to be met, and attendance is required, and lunch needs to be made, laundry, dishes, sweeping, gardening, paying bills, registering for this and that, finding time to "DO."

I've learned I need to find time to BE. To not worry, especially about my love life, or lack of it. To not worry about what people think of me.

What was it that a reader shared with me? I loved it. Let me find it....

Thank you Kelly for that!

I found this one too:

So the retreat is not over yet. I have a meeting with one of the Jesuits shortly, and then one last retreat talk. I have a bit more reading to do. Then it's time to pack up and head home. The silence is slowly going away. People are asking questions, suitcases are rolling. The quiet and solitude of yesterday is gone. Time to pull myself together and learn to "shut up and go with the flow" when I return to my life.

While the anxiety is still there, I will function. While the fear is running thru my bloodstream, I will continue to turn it all over to a loving God who, even in my worst times, I know is a source of strength, power, love and life for me.

See ya soon....


  1. I so enjoyed reading about the retreat, Andrea. And while you open this post saying that it hasn't really affected you, your writing tells me otherwise.

    Glad you liked the quote I left you. It continues to encourage (and haunt!) me. It's so hard.

    Hoping your re-entrance to everyday life on this Monday has been okay. Be kind to yourself.


  2. Wow. We couldn't be more opposite! I like rituals. It's like an anchor and a way of relating to others who worship the same way as me. Experiencing worship with all the senses...the smell of incense, tasting how sweet the Lord is with communion, the singing etc.

    I always wanted a job where I could dress down. Just throw on a pair of shorts or a pair of jeans and tennis shoes and go. Live in a low rent house so I could retire early. We sure are different. Bet you can't guess who this is.


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