I don't have all the answers, about the recent 'me too' wave sweeping Facebook.
I've been grappling with what I really believe, based on my own experience. Writing it down will be an attempt to get clear, for me. If it helps you too, awesome. I'm not professing to be The Authority on how people should feel or respond. I'm not intending to offend or upset anyone with this post. I'm not looking for outside answers, or advice.
There were two questions I've been grappling with this week, after working through some private stuff about my own teenage years resulting in sexual shame I think I've carried for years! By that I mean some stuff that happened that I have always classified as 'not abuse and not nearly as bad as what others have experienced'. Downgraded, ignored, minimised.
Well, this week, it popped up in a big way.
This inner work, and the Harvey Weinstein thing, have unearthed what has been taking up a huge part of my inner world for the past 30 odd years - and I've only realised and opened it up fully this week. It's been a bit of a street-fight in my psyche this week - think I'm emerging victorious now, you'll be glad to know :)
I work with people a lot who have 'not good enough' issues tied to things that happened in childhood or in teenage years.
There's this beautiful moment I notice when someone is telling me their story - saying the thing out loud that they never told anyone else - they had judged it (them) as so wrong, so unsayable. it's like the sun coming out on their face - they look younger, brighter, more luminous. I tell them they look different. They say 'I know! I feel different'. There is always relief. Like the sun coming out after a storm.
And - I've always been drawn to ideas that this is an 'attractive' world - that it matters where we focus and how we use our words and thoughts and feelings to create what we want. So I've been grappling with my dilemma about what I truly believe about how to empathise to best serve my clients, whether focus on my own wounds is healthy, or necessary. I realised I don't need to listen to what others are saying. I need to FEEL my own way through this, come to my own truth.
When I empathise with someone, truly empathise - I'm not just seeing them where they are - I'm knowing that something is transforming into something else. The stuck energy into a new understanding. Alchemy. Phoenix-like. Transformation. Shifting consciousness.
I like Carolyn Elliott's description of 'illuminative empathy' - the art of the art of being compassionate with someone in a way that expands their perspective on their situation and gives them new choices, a new way to see themselves, and new horizons to pursue.
I don't see them as a victim, I don't feed any victim-mentality. I name the pattern, the energy I sense, so that they can recognise it too, if they're ready. I think holding people accountable is more effective than blaming, offloading hurt, or shaming.
I want to help my clients know their power. I want to know my power - to choose my focus, to initiate and stay with my healing, to RISE, to tell a new story. An empowering one.
It feels like this is happening for the collective, right now. Paradigm shifts of healing and transforming, a bit like when panning for gold - the lighter gold rises to the top, leaving the dirt at the bottom. I hope, I believe, I sense, that the gold is rising.
To a place where we treat each other with kindness, and love, and one-ness. A new, global way of being.
I find myself seriously entertaining the idea that we are one big ocean. Different drops, but one big ocean.
I want to uplift and be an uplifter.
I want to feel high, amazing, happy, joyful, free.
I want to know my power to do the work, to heal, to expand, to take responsibility for my experience of it. Yes, someone did some things. Yes people should be held accountable. Yes, it's important to be clear about what's okay and what's not okay. Yes, there is healing required on both sides.
I want to do the work of my own healing. I want to stand in the fire with my clients as they face their 'fire'. It's getting harder not to have my coaching and workshop work not be about deep healing, whether it be one to one, or group, or corporate work. Something shifting.
I want to feel powerful, not give my power away by holding onto past hurts without healing them. I want the deep heaviness that gets carried around in our bodies, to be lifted and fly away like a billion shimmery butterflies, transforming into something lifted, lighter, freer.
Yeah, I think I'm a bit clearer :)