Woman, acknowledge your greatness and dignity (FJK)
Event organized by women in Monterrey who want to help other women to take a break in their hectic lives so that they can give themselves a time for reflection that may help them find themselves.
Martha Helena Sánchez Vera
24 April 2021
Several days ago, the first ever virtual “Ándale María” took place. There had been four previous editions in person. This is an event organized by courageous and dedicated women in Monterrey who want to help other women take a break in their hectic lives so that they can give themselves a time for reflection that may help them find themselves, accept themselves, and love themselves in their complexities.
As women we tend to overthink everything, pour ourselves to others, take care of everyone, the family, friends, work, home, etc. We are great multitaskers and sometimes, we tend to forget ourselves in the process, overburden ourselves with multiple responsibilities, wear ourselves out, feel fatigued and that we are living only for others; or, on the other hand, we may become self-absorbed and enclosed in our world, in our troubles, problems and concerns. Even when we have already worked on these issues and learned to overcome them, new situations arise daily that put us to the test again.
“Ándale María” consists of four workshops: “Mary, Stop”, “Mary, Forgive Yourself”, “Mary, Find Yourself” and “Mary, Love Yourself”. These are gifts we give ourselves, dedicating time to learn through simple, practical, and effective techniques based on Schoenstatt’s spirituality, to confront the demands in our daily life as well as the great challenges and mishaps that we face through our life.
Many women from different places connected virtually, thus experiencing the “Ándale María” for the first time. Thanks to the usefulness of the workshops, we were able to live them and apply them to our present-day reality and situation. We learn to walk by walking. It was a great challenge for the organizing team to make the workshops in a virtual way without the exchanges we have previously experienced when they were done in person. Nevertheless, we were given the tools to work on ourselves, to take that first step. It is up to each one of us to keep taking the following steps.
With the Holy Spirit’s aid, each one of us was enlightened in a particular situation. We could attest to this when we were given the opportunity to do so during the event. For some of us it was realizing that we carry very heavy stones in our sack daily, others realized they had gotten rid of the stones but were starting to fill the sack again, or were reluctant to let it go, still clinging to it. In every case it is necessary to let go of the burden, let go of that which we are carrying so that we can find ourselves, our essence, our center, that which makes us unique and original. Is it possible to love ourselves if we do not know ourselves, if we do not forgive ourselves? And how can we love ourselves if we do not recognize ourselves mainly as God’s loved daughters?
Stop, Mary, that is what God is telling us. He wants to speak to us, and this workshop teaches us how to stop in our day to day for a few minutes and listen to Him and respond to Him. He is interested in every single detail of our life, from the great joys to the greatest suffering, to the simple encounters, to the tiniest details of our daily life. We were taught in a simple way how to achieve this exchange daily. A most precious gift!
We also had a panel of simple and courageous women, just like us, who gave their testimonials. They told us that through forgiveness, through making a pause in their lives to find themselves, find their strength, discover their dignity so they could love themselves and give the best of themselves, they have been able to face diverse situations and life stories that God has allowed in their lives. They have found peace and joy by accepting themselves, accepting their circumstances, and accepting God’s will.
They opened their hearts to us and through this, we could see that all of us women have a valuable testimony to give and, even though not all of us did at the time, we were encouraged to open our hearts. To look for and find the treasure each one of us holds in our life experiences, our personal history, our day-to-day commitment. They encouraged us to get rid of the heavy sack we have been carrying and focus our energies in caring for that treasure, polishing it, dusting it, making it shiny to share with everyone around us.
God is good and so is everything He does. “Ándale María, trust in Him! Stop! Forgive yourself! Find yourself! Love yourself!
Love and give thanks for your life, for being who you are, with your gifts, strengths, and limitations. Accept God’s will, always with joy and hope. If you have the opportunity, sign up for the next “Ándale, María”!