On September 11, Truth Be Told held a workshop/presentation at the 2013 Vision Summit: Looking Toward the Future of Re-Entry, hosted by Travis County Sheriff’s Office. Truth Be Told’s workshop covered the topic: Truth Be Told Renovates Lives.
“I was so inspired by the Sheriff’s speech,” says TBT Co-founder Carol Waid. “He was speaking to a group of 100+ people, who came here from many states as well as from all over Texas. The Sheriff was really motivating us to work to become one voice, with one vision, to help with re-entry.”
There was a man there, Edward, who is 57 years old, released in June of this year. He has done 3 visits in the penitentiary, doing a total of 38.4 years in prison. The Sheriff held him with respect and invited him to speak. I was so moved, and the Sheriff highlighted that we have an Edward in every county, and many of these people have made some wron doings, but this does not make them “BAD” people, and they are looking for a hand up. I felt so proud to be among people that were there to hear from organizations that are making a difference, as well as people that are seeking ways to get involved.
Truth Be Told is also proud to introduce a new initiative:
KOT (Keep on Talking) Empowerment Group
KOT Empowerment Group is a conference call community that meets weekly for 30 minutes to inspire hope, empower the spirit, and connect with others who are committed to personal growth. Each week, a member of the Central Texas community will give a brief talk on life, compassion and strength of spirit. The group will then have a question and answer period followed by an open conversation among that speaker and the Truth Be Told graduates. The group is intended to encourage formerly incarcerated women keep a regular connection to other people who are firmly dedicated to strengthening their fundamental potential. The participants in this group believe that by finding their voice and sharing their struggles, along with their successes, they can continue to turn positive thinking into action, while continuing to practice a better way of life for themselves and their families.
In keeping with this mission, Carol Waid brings to mind a daily meditation by Richard Rohr. “I love this reading. Communication, intimacy, secrets, true self, rejection, fear — all words I use so often, but I think Richard Rohr does sweet justice to make his point: “The pain of rejection after self-disclosure is so great that it often takes a lifetime for people to risk it again.”
So how do you communicate to others what is inherently a secret? Or can you? How can the secret become “unhidden”? It becomes unhidden when people stop hiding—from God, themselves, and at least one other person. The emergence of our True Self is actually the big disclosure of the secret. Such risky self-disclosure is what I mean by intimacy, and intimacy is the way that love is transmitted. Some say the word comes from the Latin intimus, referring to that which is interior or inside. Some say its older meaning is found by in timor, or “into fear.”
In either case, the point is clear: intimacy happens when we reveal and expose our insides, and this is always scary. One never knows if the other can receive what is exposed, will respect it, or will run fast in the other direction. One must be prepared to be rejected. It is always a risk. The pain of rejection after self-disclosure is so great that it often takes a lifetime for people to risk it again.*
“I want to thank ALL of you for your part in creating a safe place where women will take this risk,” says Carol. “I can see how important it is that we continue to ask them to risk, again, and again, in our classroom communities – and BEYOND BARS, as we invite them to continue to be in self-disclosure. Thank you for your gifts of compassion, empathy, leadership, kindness, tenderness, and love.”*Adapted from Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self, pp. 168-169
The Daily Meditations for 2013 are now available
in Fr. Richard’s new book Yes, And . . . .