Its been an emotional week watching #metoo spread itself around the globe. We wanted to take a moment just to check in with you, and ask how you’re feeling about it?
So many people I’ve spoken to in the past few days have been feeling a whole host of feelings around this, as have I. In fact, I’d go so far as to give #metoo the official status of the most powerful and transformative hashtag we’ve probably ever experienced.
It feels to me, like #metoo has catalysed a huge release in layers and layers of emotion for so many of us. These layers need to be gently welcomed into our psyche, given space to express what they need to express, and then let go of, so the next layer of healing can emerge.
There is of course first and foremost, the sadness. The horrific sadness that we feel as we hear the stories of others, and as we delve further into our own stories. Its a deep, deep grief, not just for ourselves, but for us as human beings – for all of us, and for the ancestors that came before us. How have we allowed our culture to develop in this way, that it has been acceptable or at least ‘tolerated’ for women (and I’d like to presence, not just women – people) to be harassed and abused?
I know many of us, myself included, then experienced the denial, which is such an interesting reaction. After feeling that horrific sadness, my reaction was then to almost place my head in the sand…I still felt the sadness for others, but couldn’t believe that my own stories were worthy of such an emotion. ‘Ah but its not that bad,’ I told myself.
Then came the memories…the shock and horror, as I allowed myself to delve further into my own life and realised that as a woman, and as a child, I experienced countless occurrences of sexual harassment or even abuse, but had dismissed each of them as ‘something that just happens’. ‘Something we just have to put up with, as women.’ ‘Boys will be boys’.
But then sets in the fear…the fear of being a ‘victim’…the fear of what people might think…
And then the shame… ‘I can feel the sadness for everyone else, but I personally must have done something wrong…did I invite this somehow’?
Next, in comes the deep ridden anger. Anger that anyone would feel they have the right to treat people in this way. Anger that people turn a blind eye. Anger that this has happened to all of us.
After the anger…came the vulnerability… the tears…the allowance…the knowing that this is real…the acceptance.
And now…as I take a step back from the rollercoaster of emotions that have processed over the past 72 hours…I can see beauty.
Why beauty? I see beauty because #metoo has joined us all together. Its joined the hands of abuse and harassment survivors, and allowed us all, to together go deeper. Its joined the hands of women, who have had to deal with this on so many levels throughout not only our lifetimes, but the lifetime of our mothers, our grandmothers, our great grandmothers, and beyond. Its allowed us to be vulnerable in the most powerful way.
Perhaps most importantly – we are creating a shift in society right before our very eyes. We are evolving! We are evolving to a place which means that sexual harassment or abuse will no longer be ignored, tolerated or ‘something that just happens’. We are evolving into a new culture, that welcomes vulnerabilty and truth. I have every hope, that thanks to #metoo, anyone who has been treated wrongly will no longer hide this from the world, and anyone who’s witnessed it will no longer turn a blind eye. Life is changing, we are growing into something new…all from a hash tag, and some very, very brave women who chose to speak their deepest secrets.
If you’re stuck in one of these emotional stages of the grief that has been released on a global level this week, you’re not alone. Reach out to friends, reach out to family. We have a whole host of fantastic coaches and wellness practitioners that can help (take a look at our previous blogs, or contact us for more details). We want you to know that you’re not alone, and you can get through whatever is coming up for you right now