So much has been written over the past week around the #metoo that I could hardly find my own words when I first started writing tonight. Turns out I have a bit to say, 7 important points specifically that I feel perhaps not quite enough has been said about. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, google #metoo.
We’re into the small hours of the morning as I finish this post, and I don’t stay up this late, like, ever anymore since I love my adrenals, so apologies for my rough intro, but I think the 7 points make up for it, so please stop reading my rambling intro and read them instead lol 🙂
- If you’re in any way feeling overwhelmed, triggered or upset (men this is for you too!) from reading so many social media posts around the #metoo movement, please, please, please give yourself space and just stop reading them and get yourself support. Whether it’s talking to a trusted friend, having a hot bath, going to the forest for a day or booking an appointment with your therapist (or taking the giant leap to enlist support if you’ve never done that for yourself!) please take care of yourself my dear. Take. Care. Of. Yourself. This is no small energy moving in the world right now.
There is so much healing needed for both men & women (and LGTBQ folks!!) – obviously, the fact that MOST women (though not all thank goodness, and hopefully way LESS in the coming generations)…this is not okay. At least we as women can speak about this now, although obviously there are still going to be many women who still don’t feel safe/ready to speak, I’m sure there are also thousands and thousands of men who have been sexually assaulted/abused by other men & women also who still can’t speak because of the shame. We need to take the shame out of being a victim.
This kind of trauma is a societal problem, and while many of us may still be suffering (as victim or perpetrator) from one or many specific acts of trauma, the problem started WAY before we even existed. Way before our ancestors even existed. If you’re up for an really gorgeous enlightened perspective from a powerful indigenous woman who was sexually assaulted more times than she can count and is now fully recovered and rocking her feminine power in the world to make change talking about why things are so fucked up in the first place in Western society and what we can do about it, listen to this.
So since the trauma is so old, older than any of the ancestors you can probably name, you can drop any shame you’ve been carefully holding onto thinking this is even about you, or only your problem, and let’s shine a light into seeing how to solve this, shall we?
What we know now, thankfully, is so much more about healing trauma than we did even 10 years ago. The time is ripe and the tools are at our fingertips. With work like Somatic Experiencing, Craniosacral Therapy, Somatics and other body based healing approaches, we can actually experience freedom and walk in the world as healed, almost no matter what has happened to us. I’m not saying it’s easy, believe me, it is NOT easy healing this stuff. But the tools are there and it is SO possible. #livingproof
What we know about the nervous system, and how we hold trauma, and how we release trauma is so powerful. We are so capable of healing. YOU are so capable of healing.
The men need healing too, actually perhaps even more than the women (and LGTBQ folk)…here’s why, and there is two important pieces to this : a) not all men are perpetrators of violence, but as Layla June articulates so beautifully, violence against women is not just a thing men do to subjugate women. It’s a thing that is used as a tactic of colonization and warfare. When men are healthy and in alignment with their true nature, they want to protect and care for the women around them, because women are the life-givers, and healthy men know deep within their beings that there will be no future generations if the women (and therefore the children) aren’t cared for and healthy and happy. So when women are raped as a tactic of warfare, it leaves their men feeling totally powerless. A man who feels powerless is easily controlled.
We currently live in a society populated primarily by colonized people, who are either in the business of controlling (rape culture) or being controlled (passive bystander, complacency).
In order for this to change, it is not only the women who need to take back their power. The men need to reclaim their power too, and that takes some serious vulnerability and self-awareness.
I so deeply appreciated what a friend of mine, Ayrie, wrote in his social media feed today in response to another man’s expression of uncertainty:
“I feel not just the fear, vulnerability and anger of women but my own fears of not being ‘ok’ and not being worthy of love, a deep sense of personal failure as a man….”
When I read his words I felt so grateful, because in his expression, although he is speaking to his own vulnerability, I feel such deep empathy for both his own feelings, AND my feelings as a woman. Can you feel it too?
Can you see how he’s demonstrating how we can feel/be with our own fear and pain at the same time feeling/being with the pain of our beloveds?
Men, women, LGTBQ, we all need healing and we need to do it now, with a huge amount of empathy for ourselves and each other.
We have to get past the blame.
That said, in order to release an actual traumatic event from our nervous systems, we may need to imagine causing a great deal of pain and suffering, even ripping to shreds, our attacker which, when done well, allows the release/completion of the fight/flight/collapse survival response…(within sacred space and preferably with someone experienced and trained in working with trauma holding space for us)
But ultimately, part of the reason we do the healing is to get past the blame, to let that rage out in sacred space SO THAT we don’t carry it forward and pass it on.
I’m praying – PRAYING – that the little girls (and boys) (and all genders!) who are growing up today can be adults in a world where sexual assault is no longer the norm. Please. Dear. Goddess.
I’m going to sign off for now with quoting the rest of my friend Ayrie’s words tonight.
I’m ending this post with this man’s words because being heard as a woman in the world who walks with the scars and saying #metoo in solidarity with other women feels important.
But I also want to LISTEN.
I want to listen for the quietest sound.
Because often, in nature, it is the quietest sound that is the most important.
The shift in the breeze that changes how the branches creek.
The soft steps of the deer moving towards her bed.
The curling up of the leaves that is saying, “Something is changing, something is shifting now…”
So in this #metoo movement, I’m finding the quietest sound is the voice of the men who really, really care and have noticed already, or are willing to look and hear and feel their own hearts in this.
Thankyou men, for helping us find just that little bit of safety, because only a little is needed, to let go and forgive and be ready to dance again. I want to put your voices on a microphone.
Ay Rie ~ full post click here “I feel not just the fear, vulnerability and anger of women but my own fears of not being ‘ok’ and not being worthy of love, a deep sense of personal failure as a man….This feels like a tectonic shift in our culture. I welcome it. It’s messy and frightening and yet so full of potential for healing and reconciliation.
It is so necessary for us to wake up to the reality of the way we personally and as a culture have disrespected women, the sacred feminine, Mother Earth – the entire womb of creation, the biosphere and cradle of life.
This callous disrespect of the feminine has us currently on a path to oblivion in our politics and commerce. The cry of MeToo can also be heard in dying species, rising winds, rising seas and raging fires.
Can we reorganize ourselves as a species to restore, reclaim and regenerate our reverence for life? … in time?”
And this is one more beautiful blog post that went out a few days ago by Mike Morrell, addressed to his fellow men but oh so refreshing to read as a woman.
**I just want to articulate here that although I’m saying “men/women,” here, I THINK this also applies within LGTBQ culture, although I’m not fully connected to that culture, so I’m open to feedback, but my sense is there is both folks who can be protectors and be protected within that culture also, and that as a larger culture we can protect these folks? I’d love to hear from any LGTBQ readers in the comments if that resonates as true.**