Yesterday I had the privilege to volunteer to take part in the program “To Be the One”. A Non-Profit Program that travels to Jr/Sr High School’s and works with a wide range of students. Their focus is to capture as many of the students in crisis as possible without singling them out. Mixes of both strong student potential mentors, as well as those in crisis were brought together for a day of social/emotional exchange. As an adult participant/facilitator I would be responsible to lead a small group of 8 of these young people.
We began with a few games then broke off into our small groups to get to know each other… But it wasn’t until a very profound “game” took place would they begin to open up for real…
That “game” that took place was called “Cross the Line”. We were all placed on one side of a line in the Gym and asked to cross the line if the thing the Moderator was calling out has affected you in some way. (this game was played in silence, the side that didn’t cross over were to hold up the universal sigh of love to those who crossed… powerful… just powerful) The Moderator started out with simple things like “Who has blue eyes…cross the line… Who had breakfast this morning… cross the line. As the game went on the things being called out became more difficult to “cross the line for”. As adults we were told we too needed to cross the line for each called out thing so the kids would know they were not alone, adults also have to deal with these things.
As the Moderator called out; “If you or someone in your household has been affected by addiction to drugs or alcohol… Cross the line. As we crossed the line the silence nearly tore me apart as I looked to see well over half of us had crossed the line.
After this very difficult game we moved back into our small “family” groups. My group of 8 brought me to tears as I heard of the heart ache 5 of them have endured at the hands of a parent, 4 of which were addiction related. Two of them have been removed from their parents as both mom & dad were addicts. One was placed with grandparents, the other adopted by a new family. Their seeing that over half of their classmates and almost ALL of the adults in the room had somehow been affected by addiction they became empowered to share their personal heartaches.
I know my life is forever changed on so many levels because of yesterday. It’s my hope that their lives were changed too. That they no longer feel alone in their struggles. May I challenge you to “Cross the Line”, let others you feel safe with know of your struggles so that you too can begin to experience the empowerment and never feel alone again.