Each year, World Turtle Day is celebrated on the 23rd of May. The American Tortoise Rescue sponsors this event to bring awareness to the important role the dwindling turtle plays in keeping the ecosystem balanced.
At Brookhaven Retreat the turtle symbolizes more than just an endangered species; it symbolizes longevity. Turtles use their shells, which they carry around them, to protect themselves from any peril. When a turtle feels danger is around, it uses the shell as safety. Turtles are unique in that they know exactly when to calmly retreat into their protective shells, but this does not keep them from journeying on when all is clear.
In recovery, women work to become more like the turtle. Their built in protection isn’t a physical shell, but an emotional one. Brookhaven Retreat helps women build the tools they need to strengthen their shell, to be one that is durable from harmful words, thoughts and actions. Like the turtle, they learn not only when to pull in, but also when to venture out. Their decisions are no longer made impulsively, but rather slowly and deliberately.
As women, it is easy to become overloaded with others’ burdens and we forget that we cannot carry everyone and everything. The turtle knows this, and carries its shell only, letting go of excess weights that may drag it down.
Turtles are tranquil. They don’t fight, yell or show their teeth to protect themselves. Their shell is their protection, and with it they can live to be over 100 years old, outliving most of their predators. This World Turtle Day, take time to honor this magnificent species by examining your own turtle qualities. Do you manage risk and expectations accordingly? Are your decisions measured and willful?