Thursday, April 26, 2012


Reflections of Liezl Ladaran

I was taking a rest after we went down  the Sumaguing Cave during our end point evaluation exposure in Sagada, Mt. Province. I can’t imagine how hard I went through that brought my realization of experience of 9 weeks Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program. I was able to see myself before I enrolled in this program.  I heard from some who underwent this said it’s hard, it’s painful. But they also reminded me to enjoy amidst all those things. I saw my struggles when I went down the cave. We had a tour guide, in her hand a traditional lamp to guide us along the  way.  The cave had stairs going down, but farther off were only big stones.

The tour guide instructed us before going down the cave to “leave all your things at the cottage, be sure what you have is only what you are wearing, be comfortable of your adventure”, she said. “You know why I instructed you to leave all your things aside from what you are wearing? Because going down is dangerous, it is slippery. It will add to your burden”.  But still I brought with me my shawl.

This statement reminded me how I carried myself in the CPE process.  When I started to dig the pieces of my past, I  looked back at the long years of buried memories. Writing and uttering those things in the program made me uncomfortable. As a result of my fear, I took extra care of my steps and made sure I stepped on the right stone.  If there was a need to crawl using my hands and lowering my buttocks, I did. I was very careful with my words and what to show my peers. I was careful of my memories. I didn’t have the full confidence in the process. I didn’t know where it led me. I submitted myself, conscious and confident that I already know myself.  I was thinking that I was in the right track, involved and doing my best. But after some rolling thunder, I thought otherwise. I remembered the hardships I went through.  My team mate Marj tenderly pushed my back and guided me through.  Marj was there to give me confidence at times I doubted myself or when I was about  to give up.  In her, I saw the beauty of someone reminding and pushing me through. Her faith and trust in me gave me a renewed strength to start anew.

 I had peers who accompanied me in my adventure going inside the cave of myself.  We kept looking at each other and minding our own steps on the same path our tour guide asked us to follow. Our tour guide, ourCPE supervisor. My peers gave me the courage to go down even when my knees tremble which showed my childhood experiences. When I reached the depth of the cave, I realized the sight was wonderful, my wounds are wonderful! I saw the beauty of each wound. It widened my understanding and appreciation of what happened in my life.  At the bottom rests a beauty despite of darkness and wounds around. This showed the creativity of my creator who formed the wounds to beauty and the stones of hardship to a beautiful scene. When we came up and out the cave I saw it’s not dangerous anymore, it was easy to go up.  I had the confidence because of the experience. So my visit to myself  became my great adventure.  It was really tiring that I had to catch my breath but thanks to Mona who was the person watchful of my weakness, strength and my feelings. I am thankful for the joyful journey. I thank my ecstatic peers in recollecting the pieces of myself and themselves likewise.  I thank the Columban Lay Missionaries and mostly to God for these beautiful memories and opportunities given me.

Liezl (2nd from right) with fellow lay missionaries. 

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