Excerpts from Journey Home anthology
Women in the Journey Home program were taken on a visualization journey where they connected to the “woman they will be” – their higher self. They were then asked to write a letter to themselves from this Higher Self, asking the question, “What did she say to you?” These are some of the letters.
“Hey, Laura. Yeah, you, silly. I’ve been yelling for your attention a very long time. I know you heard me, but you just couldn’t see me. So, unfortunately, I had to bring you here to this place so you could see me. Well, really, see you, the real you. I know you know who I am, but we’ve never been personally connected. I’m delighted you finally decided to join me. I know you’ll like it here and decide to stay. You and I were meant to be best friends. You know, you’re very beautiful and talented. Don’t feel so bad about the things you’ve done or seen in the past. They were all part of a master plan. Now is your time to mold your past and make it useful for the future. Just stick close to me and always remember where I am. You’ll be fine because remember this had to happen so you can get where you’re going to be tomorrow. There is always a reason for everything. I love you.”
“Your kids need you more than you need yourself. They long for your love and your attention. Give them you. It would make a miraculous change in their lives and yours. You are a big girl. You are responsible and you know what you need to do. Go take care of your children, and you will find that this world will be a better place for you and them. You can do it.”
In this exercise, the women were asked to write a poem, an essay or anything about the mother – be it their own mother, them as a mother, or the essence of motherhood.
“What does it mean to be a mother? For me, this has been a very hard question because my babies are gone, and I have not seen them in three years. Being a mother means love – love in the strongest sense because it has to be a selfless love. It means dedication, it means strength, it means giving up a piece of you for them and putting their needs before your own. It means endless housework and sleepless nights. It means love, showing love and being loved. It means being needed in the strongest sense. I gave my children up so they could have the things I knew I could not provide, and because of this, I wondered if I have any right to even call myself a mother. But, in the end, I know I do because I showed them the ultimate love when I let them go. I just pray for a day that they will know this, understand this, and feel my love.”
The Masks We Wear
The women explored their creativity through the art of mask-making. Through this process, they were directed to write about the mask they wear each day, the purpose this mask serves in their lives and how it relates to their archetypes.
“When I look into my mirror, I see a mask I put on for everyone. This mask portrays me as a tough gang member who lived on the edge – and did not fear life or death or know God. Actually, I hated God. I was a killing machine, knocking on doors of death, but it wouldn’t open for me. The person behind the mask is crying out for someone to stop me – help me please – I want to stop the destruction but I can’t without help. Now I know. I had to humble myself, hit rock bottom, and cry out to my heavenly father for help. Opening up my heart just a little to let him, God, come into my life. What a change. I love God, my family and myself and life is worth a fight now.”
“The girl behind my mask is a warm, beautiful woman who has a whole lot of love to give. One of the questions I would ask her is, ‘Why is she so hard on herself?’ I would tell her to pick her head up and keep it up. I’d let her know that it is ok to be scared as long as she never lets fear hold her back, but to put that fear to faith. The mask that I have is forever changing, which I think is good. Each day in this place makes me a stronger woman. Now I know what kind of person I really want to be.”