Time To Let The Healing Begin

Sometimes your girlfriends know what is better for you than you do.

When my dad passed late last summer my life turned upside down.

As the eldest of two children, I felt responsible to take the lead in family matters.

I believed I had to hide my emotions of anger and sadness. Everyone was counting and depending on me to be strong. I could not fall apart.

That is what I kept telling myself.

So much so, I came to believe it.

Over the next few weeks, holding in all my emotions inside started becoming toxic to my inner being.

I slept more, became unmotivated and started subconsciously pushing my girlfriends and family away. When they tried to push through and connect with me, I got snappy with them.

I just wanted to be alone. I was trying to block out the world.

I did not realize how much I really did need to be surrounded by my girlfriends at this rough time.

That is until I attended a life-transforming women’s empowerment summit.

I meet and created new bonds with some amazing, gifted, loving and giving women during the HeartStories Summit on Feb. 22 at Hotel ZAZA in Dallas’ Uptown neighborhood.

For the first time in months, I was pampered throughout the day. All the women were. Walking into the boutique hotel, Hotel ZAZA, I felt as if I were walking into a Mediterranean castle reserved for A-class movie stars. The warmth and fine decor were so inviting. The ballroom did not feel like a ballroom. Rather, it was like walking into your girlfriend’s luxurious home during a special invite only party with maybe 65 other women.

The HeartStories Summit, the brainchild of founder Crystal Gornto, highlighted how important it is for women to celebrate their friendships, stand together and stay strong.  Women are often the main caregivers for their families, while also working to balance their careers and volunteer obligations.   Women tend to consider their needs last.  In doing so, often the deep connections with their girlfriends can suffer. Women need to keep these vital connections. Our bodies, spirit and minds suffer when we lose touch with our girlfriends. They understand you like no one else. Other women can relate to the stresses of motherhood, climbing the corporate ladder and the overall stresses of female health.  Girlfriends are better than chocolate because talking to them keeps you from eating an entire bag of Hershey Kisses and having to purchase a black dress in the next larger size. Girlfriends are cheaper than therapists and keep round-the-clock hours as needed.

It was not until the summit that I realized how pushing everyone near me away was actually hurting me.  For the first time in a long time, I felt as if a huge weight was slowly starting to dissolve. The pain will not disappear overnight. Yet thanks to Gornto’s vision to host such a life-changing event me and the other women can find balance and peace in our lives.

In addition to my spirit and inner being starting to heal, after so many rough months, I felt like a princess that day. All guests received Toni & Guy customary makeup and hair styling services, tension busting massages from Massage Green Spa, a gourmet lunch and goodie-filled gift bags.

Proceeds from the summit benefited two women’s resource centers, which assist women who are sexual exploited – My Refuge House and Traffick 911.