Rosalyn's 5th Posting

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As I look back over this course called “Learning Circles� which for me are more appropriately titled “Life Circles� (I’ll explain later) I can see that I have come a long way in such a short period of time. As I’ve mentioned before, my original intent in taking this class was to learn all I can and can all I learn to be able to share with those whose paths I will cross in the future. However, it turned out not to be so much a learning experience, but a life saving experience for me. Like everyone else, I had no idea of what I would be going through at this time in my life, but God in His infinite wisdom did, and set up this class as a port in the storm of life just for me. By that I mean, that being part of this small group of fantastic people who participated and shared with me in class, helped me in ways that I can’t even begin to describe., and ways that I know you could never begin to imagine. More importantly, I want to express my most sincere gratitude to you all for all that you shared. It helped me to heal in ways and areas of my life that I didn't even know that I was wounded. My only regret is that like all good things, this course had to end.
I think these experiences called “Learning Circles� are really “Life Circles� because they are all inclusive, and for me were a place where I was personally affirmed, revived, refreshed and restored back to life. Life Circles are a place where relationships can be built and or repaired, barriers can be broken down, misconceptions/ misunderstandings can be cleared and resolved, the weary can be revived and recharged, the weak can become strong and the strong can become powerful. I call them Life Circles, because each person is sharing a part of his/her life and life experiences; even though we, like our experiences may be as different and as far apart as the East is from the West, we are all the same, because we are all playing a part on the stage called life. For this experience and opportunity I am eternally grateful.
Like Brad, the Myles Horton book and the video about Highlander stood out for me the most, because unlike most literature, which is based on speculation and theory, The Long Haul is based on the reality of experience. Reality has a way of teaching us that we don’t have all the answers, but if we open ourselves up to the possibilities we can find the strength within ourselves to become the answer. “We ended up doing what most people do when the come to a place like Appalachia: we saw problems that we thought we had the answers to, rather than seeing the problems and the answers that people had themselves. . . Once you understand that, you don’t have to have answers, and you can open up new ways of doing things� (Horton, 1998). The reality is that although we are all different, and come from different walks of life, we are all the same, because none of us are exempt from problems, pain or suffering. That was apparent when we shared
During the Life Circles, there was a level of comfort that could be felt. This allowed us to share a piece of our souls which in turn allowed those present a glimpse inside of us. With each circle, you could feel the trust building, and each person sharing a bit more of themselves. There was no pretension, no competition, no feelings of superiority or inferiority, just trust, faith and hope, which made the possibilities endless. Our Life Circles did more to restore my faith and hope in people, than any one single act that I have experienced thus far in life. I only wish that we could somehow extrapolate and superimpose our experiences on the political wars that are currently going on in the world. If so, I’m sure we would find we'd have the kind of peace that passeth all understanding. There is so much more I want to say, but I’d better stop now before I have to pay you for the extra content and context that is sure to come if I keep baring my soul. Be blessed.
Well, maybe, I'm not quite finished yet. If I may, I would like to share a few words of unsolicited advice with the young people in our group. Since all of us are in one way or another working and fighting toward justice for all, it is wise to choose your battles carefully and always go into battle with a winning attitude. That way you will always be a victor and not a victim, and you can avoid becoming a casualty (burned out). Also remember that there is no shame in retreating and rethinking your strategy, as it gives you the opportunity to conserve your strength for the next battle.

1 Comment

Rosalyn, thans for sharing your personal experience of healing by being able to share in learning circles and be heard and witnessed in your pain. I appreciate your willingness to share your experience with us.

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This page contains a single entry by Rosalyn Washington published on April 16, 2007 9:18 AM.

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