TW: this post contains general references to the shooting in Vegas, and the #metoo campaign.
I’m not the type to keep quiet…
If you’ve been following me for any time at all, you know that I don’t shy away from the tough conversations. But that’s exactly what I’ve been doing lately. I was in Vegas during the shooting earlier this month. It was my last night in town after the Passion to Profits event, and instead of joining my friends who were jumping off the Stratosphere hotel, I felt a strong pull to stay at my hotel. I’ll be honest, it felt a little lame. It was my last night in town, I was footloose and fancy free, and instead of doing something exhilarating, or seeing a show, or devouring something gourmet, I played penny slots with the angels, climbed into bed with a headache about 10, and was asleep when the worst happened. It wasn’t until my friend came back to our room at 3am after running through the chaos on the south end of the strip and being stuck in a neighbouring hotel on lockdown that I even found out what happened.
I’d been posting about my trip, so I was quick to post on social media that I was safe, and frankly never in danger, but the next morning, in the hotel lobby as I waited for a cab, and certainly at the airport where Homeland Security was very present, my whole nervous system was on high alert. As an empath, the energy was palpable, and even though I was doing so much on the energetic front to not only remain grounded, but to bring the light, I brought it home with me. It showed up in poor sleep. Emotions on high. My husband was travelling for business, so I came home to my teenager and two cats, and I felt like a burden on them. As parents we’re meant to be the one holding space, and consoling, and there I was, a blubbering mess in the arms of my teenage boy.
I felt like a fraud.
Because I WASN’T EVEN THERE. I didn’t run for my life. I wasn’t shot at. All I had to do was feel things. Was I exaggerating? Attention seeking? Was I making shit up? Why was I so raw and vulnerable when nothing really happened to me.
Have you been there?
Fast forward a week or two and the #metoo campaign started. One by one, my friends, my sisters started sharing. First, a few brave voices just using the hashtag. Then some with the post explaining the hashtag. Then, the actual stories. People having the strength and courage to show their open wounds, the place the light pierced through them.
I wasn’t one of those people.
I shared the cut and paste post with the hashtag, and I didn’t get into my stories. Not the ones of harassment, or employers who felt entitled to touch and grope. Not the ones of bad ex-boyfriends who pushed their limits. Because none of them were *real* rape – they weren’t like the stories I read, they weren’t as bad… so why was my story worth sharing?
Are you seeing a pattern here?
By comparing my wounds to those of my sisters, I diminished my own pain. I started creating this spectrum of pain, which separates us, when what we needed more than anything was to be together, to get through it together, to hold space, to SEE each other. And we do this all the time! When we create this separation, when we compare or compete, we divide ourselves when we are stronger together. When we start sharing our stories, when we say #metoo (in hashtag form, or otherwise), we unite, we empathize, we hold each other up.
Because isn’t the world lonely enough as it is? Do we really need to make it lonelier??
As I unpack my own stories around this, as I choose to show up and speak my truth, even when the shadow part of me is shouting to be quiet, that my story doesn’t matter, I want to remind you that you’re not alone through all of this. That your story matters to someone. And that whenever possible, even if it’s several weeks after the fact like I’m doing now, that we speak up and honour our journey, and that we cultivate the courage to do so… IF WE SO CHOOSE. You are under no obligation to share your very personal journey, but if it will heal you, and you want to help others, then please, exercise the power of your voice, and know that you are seen, and heard. As Maggie Kuhn said, “Speak your mind – even if your voice shakes.”
Sending love and courage your way, always.
PS: If you’re looking for a group of people (mostly women, but not entirely) who believe in collaboration and community over competition, feel free to check out my FB community, The Tribepreneur Collective.