Here are Tiffany’s reflections for WEEK 5 (or 47 WEEKS ’til TAF)!
As I boarded the Detroit bus, I can definitely say that I was excited to pass the seemingly endless cornfields to arrive at TAF 2010.
But let’s cut to the chase. Though I was enthusiastic to return to one of the best places on earth, I walked into Helman uncertain of how I was going to approach the upcoming week. Sure, I was going to “grow as a person”, “grow as a leader,” and “pour love out to others and refill my cup of loving.” This all seems so cliche now; they’ve become standard goals for all TAFers, goals that are developed through years of attending TAF. With that said, what was I specifically going to do to make this year as special and unique as my past five?
It turns out that the question above became the question I asked myself every day. Even to this day, I believe that I didn’t put in the effort to make something out of this once-a-year week. Of course, I always hoped I would, but wishing for something doesn’t get anyone anywhere until they actually press the pedal and initiate it. Oddly enough, pre-TAF Coordinator reflections only confused me even more. I even had to ask Alex, the Coorindators’-Coordinator, to send me my sTAFf application to remind myself of what my goals were. Even though I had written legitimate goals, I found myself unable to fulfill them throughout the week.
It basically came down to this: My ultimate goal in everyday life is to “bind the brokenhearted, (Isaiah 61:1)” which is all about loving. Humbling and lowering myself to where I can let myself be vulnerable. And do you know how I epically failed at doing that this year at TAF? I got distracted. I was distracted by the most petty things, and I completely compromised myself and my intentions for these silly, unimportant things. Frustration came over me so much and so early on, I closed up and isolated myself. Literally. I separated myself from my friends, didn’t retain communication with new campers, skimped out on socializing during free time (aka hid in my room or in tafLabs, which, by the way, has absolutely remarkable food), hardly spoke to my tafCrush, and didn’t even get to see Youth limbo at the Luau. Boo. 🙁
So instead of loving, I closed myself off from being loved. I know there was a lot of love to be received, and just as much love to be given. Now, sitting here at my computer, I look back at July 25th to August 1st as a week when I missed the golden opportunities to carry out my goals. I missed out on so much, and it stinks. Big time.
This is me being blunt; almost too brutally genuine even for me to type this. But I’m going to keep it real here.
On the last Sunday at noon, I walked out of Wampler after Service feeling like a complete failure. I broke down in front of everyone there (including one of my advisors, my mother, several Old Fries, parents I did and didn’t know, and friends) as I stood and gave my testimonial: a shortened, general, and assuredly more emotional version of everything I said above. I felt neglected this year at TAF, but I know that is because I neglected my TAFers and even myself. Had I done the opposite, I wouldn’t be telling this story. Once I got outside, a Junior camper who I know from home ran up to hug me. By that point, the flow of tears were unstoppable. Amazing. All I had to do was open up, and voila, there was love.
I’m trying not to regret my actions from TAF 2010. All there is to do is not repeat this ever again.
This is what I know from my experience, and I hope you grasp the message I’m trying to share with you: Open up. Don’t isolate yourself — you’ll miss out on too much, and it’s certainly not worth the reason(s) you cut yourself off for in the first place. In fact, you may find that with allowing yourself to be vulnerable, healing and peace will come to you. Let yourself be loved. With that, you will be able to sincerely love out loud. 🙂
With much love,
We want to hear/see/read/experience your thoughts on LOVING OUT LOUD! Whether it’s how you showed love to someone, or how someone loved on you, or maybe even both!
We need a few more volunteers to post, so please LOL and sign up here!
Encourage your friends to sign up. Feel free to buddy up and post together.
Instructions are listed on the spreadsheet.