As I sit here on the rock at Boulder Crest Retreat for my last night I am reminded of a few things I learned back in February during my first visit. Grace is forgiveness and I have to forgive myself before I forgive anyone else. I feel I’ve already done that but it’s a good reminder. I’ve been really hard on my four children. Raising them and treating them like my own soldiers. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I’ve apologized but I’ll say it again, I am so sorry. I am sorry for suppressing your feelings and not allowing you to be children and not understanding your feelings and the fact that you even have them. They truly do matter. I feel my journey on the PATHH thus far has been a huge success compared to past years but I know I still have work to do. That’s why it’s a path we walk and not a destination.
I welcome struggle. Too many people fear struggle. They wish “life were easier”. People say life is so hard. No, it’s hard work. We should celebrate struggle cause only then do we get stronger. You want to be tough? You wanna be hard? Push thru struggle, see it thru to the other side. Many people just don’t know how to struggle. That’s when they quit, give up and throw in the towel. Struggle is good. I have struggled much and my family has struggled much due to living with me. We have opened up to each other here at BCR and now we’ll work thru those struggles together. As one unit, one team. It’s been so good for my 17, 15 and 6 year old to be here with my wife and I. My wife endured emotional and psychological warfare and became aware of her own story. She knows my story. Together we take our stories, decide what we choose to keep from them and what to leave here. We’ll create our own family story from here.
Life is constant work. I learned that the principles that I stand on are Grace, Patience and Understanding and I’ll continue to stand on those. We now have our family principles as well. With those we will endure the desert that life is, lean on those who are principled when help is needed and navigate through the coyotes who’ll try to stop and derail us. My family was able to learn the relationship between horse and man and how similar that relationship is with humans. They’ve learned what understanding and honesty truly is. Thru the Labyrinth my wife and I were able to leave our burdens trapped in the middle and emerge as one unit; returning home.
I am absolutely thrilled my wife now has a skill to practice thru Transcendental Meditation. It excites me to know we can practice together. I thoroughly enjoyed sitting with her in peaceful silence. Joyful is the only word I can think of to convey how I feel being here with her. Being reunited as one after many years of trying to do life the only way we knew how to do it. Being “off the grid” and unplugging from the noise and garbage of the world is the most important thing people can do. At least take a “time out” from it all. Put the phones down, turn off the TV and plug into each other, your family. PTSD can affect anyone for any reason. It could be childhood trauma, tornado victims, assault victims, combat veterans and more. Seeking out a place or someone to guide you thru the struggle is the most important thing you can do for yourself and your loved ones. Connecting with others with similar experiences is important as well. However, don’t go down the “hate spiral” and let monster rear its ugly head. You HAVE to have a guide to help you on your journey to freedom. Society is so quick to medicate for many of the troubles you have when they can be resolved by understanding the struggle and working thru it.
Thank you so much to the staff at Boulder Crest Retreat. You are saving lives and bringing soldiers home one family at a time. I love you all and am happy to call you my family.