Last week I finally cleaned out my closet. Like most, I have always had a hard time with that task. It’s not easy to give clothes away. One jacket reminds me of an exuberant time in my life. A pair of shoes, even though out of style, brings a feeling of comfort. I might fit into a pair of funky jeans if I lose that five pounds. I get anxious putting all of that in a giveaway bag. It is as if I am giving my life away. And yet, a day later, I mostly feel the relief of less stuff and more space. It reminds me once again how hard it is to let go, and how symbolic something like clothing or shoes can be.
Which in turn reminds me that this year’s Wellspring group is coming to a close and I need to begin to let go. My feelings of sadness and anxiety are similar. Participants have made comments like:
“Let’s find a way to keep meeting.”
“I’m sad about the possibility of our group not getting together.”
“What’s our plan for continuing this?”
Facilitating a small group ministry can be a joyful and challenging task. Some aspects like celebrating our compassion, are easy and life affirming, some aspects are difficult and require soul searching.
How do I, as facilitator, and we, as a group of seven, say good-bye to this wonderfully deep, laughter-filled, poignancy punctuated time together? Or at a minimum mark the change from an intense 2-3 times a month group, to the occasional social gathering? How do we put the now comfortable “old shoes” of how we’ve been together, into that giveaway bag?
My feeble answer seems to be, to encourage myself and others to sit with the loss and the fear of change. and to be in that moment with the sadness. But also to celebrate what we have had in our year together, and the beauty of connection that is possible when openhearted souls come together on the journey. Thank you, Wellspring Group of 2007!
…Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?