[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]by Sheila Laughton

Twelve participants gathered at Loyola on a Saturday afternoon to delve into some of their most poignant memories to experience a “taste” of the residential 3-day Healing of Memories Workshop. While this group’s ultimate goal was to determine if the workshop would be appropriate for their clients, it wasn’t just an academic exercise. 

 With a handful of jumbo crayons and a full sized sheet of poster paper, each drew a picture of a significant life event.  Then, in a small group, they had the opportunity to share that story without interruption, judgment or someone telling them what they should have felt or done, or what they should do now. They looked at their experiences and honestly appraised them with their now older and wiser eyes while being heard and affirmed by multiple witnesses.

 Remembering the past and reconciling it with the present can be challenging. Some realized that at the time, they lacked the maturity to understand the event—they were too young. Some forgave themselves for situations far beyond their control. Others needed only to be heard and believed.

 Like the full workshop, the “taste” ended with a closing ceremony which connected the past to the present in a new way and offered hope for the future.  The day was exhilarating—and exhausting!

 Healing of Memories Workshop are offered internationally to provide a safe, experiential and interactive way to overcome feelings of anger, loss, grief and guilt and can contribute to personal healing and wholeness—one step on a healing journey. It is not just for veterans! The next Minnesota workshop will be November 20-22 at the ARC Retreat Center in Stanchfield, MN. The cost for the 3-day workshop is $375 which includes room, meals and materials. Full scholarships for veterans are available. Contact Sheila at Loyola to apply or for more information.

Sheila is an spiritual director at Loyola.