It has been indescribable to witness. Countless courageous women stood boldly and unleashed their stories in great detail. Umpteen others could only bear to write the hashtag. One after another, women brought out from the shadows into the full light of awareness their carefully sequestered shame, horror, betrayal, confusion, fear and pain. Out crashed an endless sea of stories and experiences, finally escaping from behind iron-clenched jaws and sewn-up lips, sparking changes that have ignited our country.Words have power. Written. Spoken. Expressed. Nothing in my 45 years on this planet has demonstrated this fact to me more than the recent explosion of #MeToo that rocked and reverberated across our nation and around the world.
We have yet to see all of the after-effects these shared words will yield. We have yet to know all of the future heinous experiences these shared words will have prevented. We have yet to feel all of the freedom, safety and power these shared words will provide. But we know that change is coming. We know that it is here.
I personally have known firsthand the healing elixir of letting my pen scrawl freely across a clean sheet of paper, allowing the harrowing echoes of my tortured thoughts and overwhelming emotions storm out in rhythmic cadence with my racing heart. The more I wrote, the more I could feel a therapeutic balm gently settle over my soul. And when I shared those words with others, I discovered that I did not bear my agonizing distress alone. There were many others who shared the same exact pain that I felt. Just as it was with anything heavy in the physical world, when there were more people lifting the load, sharing the weight, the burden immediately lightens…becomes manageable. And if we were really lucky, that load becomes unnoticeable or even nonexistent.
Allowing the dam to burst can be difficult. The floodgates against this kind of freedom have been built and reinforced very strongly in most of us. We don’t know how to open up and let it out. Release. Release is where healing lies. Healing occurs where awareness exists. Awareness is the catalyst for change. Change improves our lives and ripples out to others and our world. Writing eases the way for all of this to occur.
Joanne Fedler, brilliant Midwife of The Words, has selflessly and graciously volunteered herself and her boundless talents to help anyone wishing to ease open their floodgates. Amongst being a worldwide best selling author and a pretty damn cool mom and wife, she also runs free transformative writing challenges, inviting new people to join her in a community of passionately present people who are willing to see, hear, and feel their own and others’ suffering.
I participated in one of her metamorphic 7-day challenges last year, and I can tell you honestly that I grew immensely from it. Joanne had a way of unlocking my heart, gently allowing me to sweetly release a load of the crud that I had kept hidden away. The processes she showed me, the questions she posed, the interaction online was not only immediately healing but also became tools I could store in my box for tomorrow.
I am already signed up for and eagerly awaiting the start of the next challenge, which begins on the 18th of January. I’m hoping you will join me. I wonder what would happen if everyone found a way to finally express themselves in this way, if those secrets could be unlocked and tumble into the light. I wonder what the tipping point would be, where our whole world would shift under the weight of the crashing tides of awareness. Look what has happened with just two words.
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- Pain May Be Inescapable, but Suffering is a Question Mark. - January 23, 2018