When we started this blog, we decided that we wanted to be as real with our audience as we would be with a friend. We didn’t want this to be a “I am better and know it all” type of blog. If this blog has taught me anything, it’s that people connect with true raw authenticity. Thus, we have been pouring our heart and soul into our post selections. Every time I share a piece of myself, I build a deeper connection with our readers and with the world around me.
These past few weeks have been one of deep reflection as I become ready to share a #metoo story. Once I decided this was something I wanted to write about, I began experiencing writers block. I wasn’t sure how much I wanted to share or how I wanted to share it. Through every meditation, the answers to my questions became clearer. I didn’t want to rush the process because I understand the importance of processing at my own pace. The process allowed me to recognize further the decisions that I’ve made about the world due to the events that occurred in my life. So, I thank you all for allowing me to share on this platform. Because of all your support, I feel safe to share my story with you.
This post will not focus on the specific details of any one event but more on how I interpreted each event and how it affected my life. My story has more to do with the power of forgiveness than blame. Again, this is my story and no one else’s.
At a very young age, a non-blood related family member violated me while at a gathering. My parents always spoke to me about appropriate touching so I knew what had just happened with the male adult was not okay. Without fright or guilt, I told my parents about the violation within minutes. They responded in a manner that let me know I was protected. However, my view of men and the world had forever been changed.
As it happens with most, I went on living my childhood unaware of the decision I made due to the violation of my body. As a teenager, I always wore a jacket or something to cover myself up. To my friends, the excuse was that I was self-conscious about my body but that was far from the truth. I avoided dressing in a manner that would get me too much male attention. Of course, as a teenager, I wanted my male counterparts to notice me but never enough for them to interpret that I was “that girl” that they could get to any base with. Somewhere along the line, I became the girl that didn’t want a boyfriend because I “knew” what they were capable of regardless of their values or morals. I surrounded myself with male friends that became my protectors and some of my most meaningful relationships in this lifetime. They taught me how to defend myself both emotionally and physically. I prided myself on being the girl that no guy would dare mess with because of who I had around me.
To my surprise, at the age of 18, I was once again violated. This time in the workplace by a man much older than I. It left me confused, scared, shocked, and feeling more alone than ever. You must understand, “I had been through more than any of my friends so this was just one more thing they would not understand.” Hence, another belief/decision re-affirmed in my psyche. A belief that protected me during my formative years but during young adulthood only made me suffer alone.
The decisions one makes after an experience can be so subtle that one doesn’t notice how it hinders one until something happens and one asks, “Why does this type of thing keep happening to me? Why do I keep attracting the same situation, partner, outcome? Do I see the world as a safe or hostile place?”
I recognized that the experiences shaped my view of the world and more importantly how I viewed myself. My words created my views which then became the beliefs that I would die defending even though they were causing me pain. Spirituality and my quest for more, led me on a path towards letting go and healing.
Today, I recognize the importance my words have on the experience. When sharing the #metoo story with my husband, I caught myself saying, “My abuser.” I realized that I was affirming something horrible as mine. The truth is, he is not mine, his decision is not mine, his action is not mine, the experience is not mine. It’s something that happened but is no longer happening. I changed my words to, “The abuser or the violator.” A change in verbiage is very powerful.
So many times we hold on to things that no longer serve us because they are comfortable. Even if the beliefs are painful, they are our own and we have learned how to live with them. Forgiveness seems scary and unattainable. However, if one chooses to become the observer of the experience it allows one to step out of the victim role and begin the path towards forgiveness.
Forgiveness does not mean you will keep allowing one to abuse you. Forgiveness means you will stop abusing yourself. It will allow you to let go of what no longer serves you and make room for all the good that is available to you.
The most beautiful thing about forgiveness is that it allows you to heal and reclaim your power without any one’s permission. Early in my path, I recognized that if I can forgive the abuser(s), I can forgive anyone, including myself. That my friends is true freedom.
Let forgiveness be your light house.
It will always lead you to love.
It will always lead you home.
With love & light,