but also the paradoxical nature of things when female leaders stand there blocking the door, guilting and shaming the female leaders and women out there who are ready to step up and off the abuse merri-go-around for good as "regressing," "disowning themselves in service to the patriarchy" and doing something wrong for choosing their hearts and to start daring to look forward again, instead of drowning in the constant revisitation of a past that feels done and no longer has a call or a charge.. Oh fuck, did i just say that shit out loud? Well fuck, I must just be brainwashed AF by the fucking patriarchy and New Caging it for wanting a little love and peace in my life.
Or maybe there's another possibility. Maybe in the healing journey from abuse there IS a phase where you step up and away from the merri go round and choose to explore what lies beyond the wound. Beyond the identity and the self worth we can inevitably sometimes also become dependent upon when we choose to share our trauma stories with the world and the world responds back with affirmations of our strength, courage and amazingness. What happens though when you come to the point where you're ready to let go of that story and that identity? And you no longer want to be a part of the public owning or holding the healing?
As i write this, i'm trying to infuse it with as much love and presence as i possibly can and I own that yes, i feel the tension of feeling, for some parts of it, done. And i don't share this lightly. Because i remember what happened the first time a sister called me out on my attachment to that identity back in early 2014. One minute, i was sitting in a cafe with her telling her about my life purpose in helping women who'd been through huge stuff in life move on and GET ON with living lives they love. The next day, I'm face to face with a Facebook post she wrote about women who's sense of self worth is completely derived on attachment to their trauma wound.
And suddenly, in the space of about 3 minutes, I felt thoroughly suicidal, or like my hold world internal world was ripping apart at least. Why?
It's no small thing when someone tells you to just let an entire identity your healing was dependent upon the fuck go.
Until then, I hadn't REALLY ever gone head to head with healing my trauma wounds until that point in that time to the level of depth i needed to. I'd done mental layers, as I found out that they existed. I did the body work and the work on owning my own voice and my rage. But i'd managed to bypass a lot of stuff in training as a Counsellor and deciding that i would shift my focus to helping others and was going to make my experience count for something by helping others going through the same thing
One of the hardest things for women and people who've been through a lot of crap in life is to trust that there really IS something beyond the identity of brokenness, physically and psychologically. And there are actually phases to the letting go. The letting go of being a victim, to being a practitioner and or owning your capacity to rebuild a new life was one phase. But then potentially moving beyond whole communities of women and men you healed and maybe worked with to the next thing are two others that can be JUST as fear inducing to the average person.
But coming back to my example of attachment TO the story. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with choosing to help people as the next step of one's healing journey, it can be a PART of the healing and necessary. BUT, at the same time, when you do so, you have to be really careful to keep your story and the affirmation people give you for it in perspective. And watch your potential dependency on that. Keep your self worth, well balanced. I suddenly realised in that moment that I didn't have a clue what my value was in the world BEYOND that identity i'd created as a healer. What else did i have that people would value and buy me for, if i let that go? And dare i say it out loud, what purpose did i have as a 30 something childless woman if not to be Mother Mary'ing those who needed Mothering the most because they'd never had it to the level they needed? (The wounded AND the abusers.) (Again, don't get me wrong, i'm not saying being able to help your clients heal by embodying parental energy is a BAD thing. But i am saying we have to watch our true motivation for doing so and ensure we're doing it for the right reasons and not just playing out own OWN stuff with clients in the process. That's why supervision is such an important thing.)
Back then, at times, I sat in the middle of a spinning merri go round, staring at an exit that periodically kept coming into view every few seconds, suddenly terrified of what lay on the other side of the door. Suddenly terrified of who exactly i was on the other side of that door. And who would be left if i walked through it. That moment feels ridiculously empty and lonely, because no one can walk through the door for you or WITH you. A part of you has to die in that moment and be reborn and that can't happen while everyone is still attached. All they can do is let go, and the ones you are truly meant to keep journeying with you will meet you on the other side of the door.
Who are you on the other side of the door? You are love. You are love in motion, wanting to express and experience itself in every moment. You are inspiring in every moment that you live your hearts truth and speak from your heart. You are someone who looks through the doorway to the merri go around every once in a while and beams a fuckload of love at it as an advert of what's possible to those still sizing up the doorway. But you're also someone tremendously courageous for choosing to live the life purpose that comes next. Whatever that might be for each individual.
Maybe you STILL solve people's problems. But a whole other set of problems to the ones you fast started working with. Maybe you train people in another set of skills that you didn't realise until now that you even had. Maybe you sell your creations. Maybe you nurture people in a whole new way. Maybe you start taking a stand for what you love, instead of what you're appalled by. I can't tell you what it is. Only you can feel it out for yourself what living a life you love, with those you love looks like for you.
But i'll tell you this much. As i stepped through that doorway, i tell you, it beats reliving the pain and trauma of it over and over. It beats being stuck as a part of a system chock full of unconscious rescuers completely invested for THEIR sense of self worth in your brokenness and you STAYING broken and a part of the fight. Not to mention feeling constantly shamed for no longer wanting to be a pawn on the battlefield that lies half way between the chess pieces of good and evil. "Angels" v's "demons", good guys v's bad guys, with 7 billion humans in between. Fuck that. Like the Devil card in the tarot, in life, (though at times it may not feel like it) any mental chains that you find loosely draped around yourself actually can be easily removed any time you want in reality and every person still caught up in that paradigm can run free at any time they choose, if and when they want to. (If you're not sure how, ask me.)
You are the maker of your own destiny, you get to write each and every chapter of this story. And you're just as inspiring to people everywhere when you go all out living a life you love, with those you love. Watching you, they may just give themselves permission to the same. That's an encouraging thought, don't you think?
Nat talks about Self Expression, Heart Centred Communication and Lifestyle for Leaders.