Coming to Our Work Whole
Today's Sacred Sunday Song
You Got Me by Gavin DeGraw
(Click to listen, sip + read)
This week has been intense.
There's no way to minimize, sugarcoat or bypass the intensity of feelings swirling around in our hearts and bellies as I write these words.
The controversy surrounding the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh has illuminated the changes that our nation is ready to face head on and it has proven that heroic acts like the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford are now not only accepted by celebrated and desperately needed.
As a survivor of sexual abuse, myself, it has been a roller coaster of emotion over the last few days and, yet, in the same light...a celebration.
The celebration comes from the blinds being ripped open, so more of us can open our eyes to understand what it looks like to be tormented with the pain of abuse, coming forward and the complexity of the conversations around it.
Sexual abuse is like a wrecking ball.
And often it's not the abuse itself that is the most traumatic, as horrific as that might sound.
It's the choosing sides, the believing or not that comes with it and the doubt, shame, terror that grips in the aftermath.
For me, it was the family members who chose my abuser over me.
It was the words little girls are not supposed to say and having to tell the story over and over and over again to officials and therapists and a grand jury.
It was knowing that even though the verdict was ruled in my favor, there were still people doubting me and my TRUTH.
And that little seedling of doubt is the one I carried with me on my life journey.
It later sprouted itself in other areas of my life...whispering, "They don't believe you. They think you're lying. Are you even telling the truth?"
The internal questioning burned deep in to my core...leading me to doubting, hesitating and eventually hating myself...ashamed for what happened to me, as if it were my fault.
Creating a belief pattern that my perspectives and truth didn't matter...that the preferences and stories of others mattered more.
This lead to years of placating, pleasing and proving.
It lead to a life of looking outside in and silencing the inner voice that knew better.
Since I've been doing this sacred coaching work with women all over the world for the last 4 years, I cannot count the number of sisters who have disclosed unthinkable stories of abuse to me.
For many of them, I was one of the first people they ever shared their story with.
For many of them, if I wasn't the first person, I was one of the first who believed them and held that sacred and gut wrenching space with them.
So when you ask, "What does this have to do with my business?"
My answer is simple and steady...Everything.
Our abuse, the hiding it away, the diminishing, the pretending that it never happened even though it's the thing that stares us back in the mirror every morning when we wake.....well, again, Everything.
And when we try to show up on stage or on the screen...when we try to use our words to connect on a deep level...if we're doubting ourselves as our fingers graze the keys, how can we know if we're really showing up whole?
When our fundamental rights to our own truth are put in to question, it sets off a lifetime of playing small...a comfort in being hidden away in attempt to protect ourselves from the attention, the eyeballs, the accusations, the questions...from being targeted or told we're not telling the truth.
Here's what I know for sure, love...
Your story matters.
Your truth is yours and yours alone.
You deserve to feel free...and to receive the support and love and tending of your soul so you can heal...so you can show up whole for yourself and the people you love.
I didn't intend to write this letter to you today.
There's still a small part of me inside that is terrified that you will read these words and doubt me...that you will delete me or worse throw your hands up in the air and say...."What the hell does this have to do my business?"
And here's my answer to this question, hands trembling, tears welling...
Our work in the world is a portal for our own healing.
Our work matters because it's the way we get to share the most sacred parts of ourselves with the world.
Our brands and our businesses are a platform from which we can honor our former selves.
If the work has called you here, it's because you're ready to do it.
If the dream is in you, dear one, it is undeniably for you.
Get the help you need.
Shed all of the tears.
Whisper until you can speak up.
Stand firmly planted in your truth.
Lock arms with the tribe of soul sisters and brothers who will breathe life in to the things you love the most.
Let the rest fall away.
See your world and your sweet self with new eyes...take the next brave step....
Beloved, you are not alone.
I see you. I love you. I believe you.
PS - Here are some resources that have been incredibly helpful to me and others on this healing + helping journey. We can do these hard things...stay close:
This is an organization that helps survivors and family members of survivors of domestic and sexual violence. They will speak with anyone, anywhere 24 hours per day and can be a resource to help direct you to local resources. I recommend them because I know the women picking up the phones...and what this organization is founded upon...and it's a resources I wish my family had had. Call them at (603) 994-7233
Ask a friend or loved one for recommendations locally. Therapy has played a significant role on my healing journey over the years. Finding the right person (be mindful if having a male or female therapist matters to you...it did to me) can change your life. Letting these emotions out in to the open in a safe space with an objective party and trained professional has been vital for me.
This post from Thursday - Finding the courage to speak our truth in our work and the world