Many of you may have seen or heard about the “Me Too” Initiative on social media. I wrote a Facebook post about it that you can read here.
I appreciate this initiative. Sitting with clients in psychotherapy and Compassion Coaching, I hear intimate stories – ones that are currently happening and ones that happened long ago but clients still carry with them. One part of healing from trauma is the recognition that one is not alone.
I’ve journeyed alongside clients and held space for and witnessed what happens when a woman begins to sense she is not along. She begins to “touch into” her grief, anger, rage, sadness, and fear. She learns that she can develop the capacity to be with the waves of these emotions while being fully embodied and finally feeling safe to feel what she may not have been able to feel before.
This takes time. It takes giving a person’s whole “system” time to reveal what has been pushed away, time to work with it, and time to “give it all space” to reorganize and integrate. It takes deep noticing and compassionate attention. It takes courage and a willingness to meet one’s self.
I’ve witnessed the transformation that begins to take place in a person’s nervous system and life when she has experiences of no longer being alone in a safe sacred space. I’ve witnessed the strength that arises when she welcomes each part of herself – including the hurt young girl, the angry woman, the ashamed teenager, and the wise woman figure within her. I’ve witnessed the sense of inner freedom and spaciousness that arise when the energy is freed that was once so bound up in trying to contain, push away, or get rid of aspects of herself.
When we experience trauma, we often feel alone. And then we can hold those experiences within us alone for so many decades. Recognizing and bearing witness to one another’s experiences of hurt, shame, trauma, and resiliency, we heal. Slowly, carefully, and gently in sacred space.
It is my life’s work to accompany people in discovering that inner strength, holding space for both the shadow and the light, and embodying a deeper sense of inner freedom that arises from such compassionate attention and presence.
This is from my book, Gems of Delight. This poem opens the Fall section of the book. The sacred invitation of fall is to allow what wants to come into the light — gently, slowly — to come closer. The late Celtic poet, John O’Donohue, described that the kind of lighting the soul prefers is the soft light of candlelight, rather than the blaring light of a spotlight. I see my work with clients as “working in candlelight,” slowly, safely allowing space for shadows and light to dance together.
By Lisa A. McCrohan
What if one day
you let the sadness,
the grief stuck under your ribs,
the regret lodged in your throat,
the shame still folding down
the corners of those precious lips
to come closer
to not push them away
or angrily shake your finger
for their persistent presence
and instead chose to say,
“For so long I have tried to avoid you,
ignore you, medicate you,
keep my distance from you.
I didn’t want to be associated with you.
today I am tired.
I am tired of the effort it takes.
Let me breathe, sit, cry, moan,
dance and hold you.
My precious friends, yes,
I call you friends.
Because I see
there is no other way to wholeness.
There is no other practice or strategy to try.
Arms vulnerably outstretched
heart bursting, beating wildly
wanting now to only draw you closer
into my arms, my chest,
and ever so tenderly
let you weep,
let you fold into me
like a babe in his mother’s arms
my hand caressing you
my sweet whispers soothing you
until our tears –
the stars –
begin to shine in the moonlit night
turning into jewels
that become our offering to the Divine
who has been waiting for so long now
to hold us…”
What if today is that day?
Lisa A. McCrohan, © 2015
For those of you who can’t access Facebook, here is a copy of my post on the “Me too” initiative:
You may have seen on FB this “me too” Initiative.
I love this initiative for so many reasons. As a psychotherapist, I hear the most intimate of stories that often clients have not shared with anyone. And I hear all too often stories of sexual harassment and rape, both from women and men.
There is much to heal when one has been violated. One aspect is the feeling of “I am alone.”
Of course this would arise. Often a woman or man (or child) was alone when the trauma occurred. AND then because of shame and power dynamics, so so often the victim continues to suffer alone. She doesn’t say anything to anyone because of fear – fear because too often the perpetrator is the victim’s father, boss, coach, teacher, husband or boyfriend. And then there is the warped and sick influence of shame. It gets twisted around so that the victim often blames herself – that it was her fault. And shame often isolates the victim. So she holds it all and experiences it all for years – and many time decades – alone.
To recognize that “I am not alone!” begins to heal something within us – individually and collectively. It begins to give us a new courage, a sense of hope, and a sense of empowerment.
Technology can surely be used for good. And this “me too” initiative is an example.
If you find a sense of anger rising as you scroll on your FB feed and see how prevalent sexual harassment and assault are – good.
If it makes you angry how patriarchal power keeps people silent – good.
Connect to your anger! Too often we push down that anger and then it comes out in misdirected ways. Instead, let anger teach you. Let anger become your fuel for social justice, for “turning the tables” of injustice, and for creating a world where we do not suffer alone but rather our “voices rising” become the powerful change we need in our world.
I am so about our voices – our light, our stories, our courage, our collective power – rising. I am alongside you.
And I am hopeful that with our voices gathering together, our children will be a generation of compassion and regard for all of life.
You can find signed copies of my book in my shop.
You can also find Gems of Delight on Amazon.
And here’s more about Compassion Coaching.
And finally, if you are looking for ways of nourishing your relationship with your daughter and empowering her, check out my online course, Regarding Our Girls: Feminine Embodiment Practices to Empower, Uplift and Connect with Our Daughters.Blessings,