In the wake of the revelations about Harvey Weinstein’s abuses and the #metoo postings, it’s obvious that a huge number of women have been traumatized by harassment and/or assault. In the Weinstein stories, there’s an outcry about “Well, why did she wait so long to say anything?” In some cases there may have been some type of “hush money” paid, but the truth is that often shame and embarrassment are part of the reason “she didn’t say anything sooner.” Or the incidents are minimized or shoved into the dark corners of our minds.
As a dear friend reminds me, in these times all that has been hidden will be coming to the light. So it’s not really a surprise that so many are admitting that they’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted. (And, thankfully, more and more men are being able to open about their being abused, too.)
The Habit of Minimizing
“It was such a long time ago, I’m not sure what really happened. It was such a long time ago, and I can’t PROVE anything…maybe I’m making stuff up. Maybe that nightmare that I was too ashamed to tell anyone about really was just a nightmare.”
“Maybe I was flirting. Maybe that skirt was a little too short, the sweater just a little too snug. Maybe I didn’t say “NO!” loudly enough. Maybe I could have gotten away from him.”
“Oh, he’s just that way – remember this company is “an old boy’s club.” You want the job, you just put up with it.”
“It was humiliating, but it wasn’t THAT bad – others have experienced much worse! (so my experience doesn’t count)”
Nonetheless, there’s trauma.
A lot of times, we just want the memory to go away. We’re ashamed and embarrassed. We blame ourselves. We feel too vulnerable. We try to hide the shame. But then it doesn’t get to heal. The trauma is there. And until it’s brought to the Light, the shame festers. You’ve always got a kink in the flow of what could be coming to, and through, you.
Just for a moment, recall something in your life where you experience shame. Notice how your body reacts. Does it feel like you’re trying to cover something? I always notice my body starting to double over – as though I’m trying to protect a tender wound in my heart and solar plexus.
When the shame, the recognition of the trauma is brought to Light, the energy can begin to be healed and released.
As Daniell Koepke writes, your experience is valid and bringing it to the surface, is inconceivably brave. Treat yourself with tenderness. Even the angry and outraged parts. As you, as WE open up to the healing, we’ll be able to make the changes that are crying to be made.
Could you use some support?
Broken and battered hearts need tenderness to heal. Now, more than ever, our world needs love and tenderness to bring about the changes we want to see.
This Divine Gentling Meditation will soothe and heal the tender places in your heart, so you can let love and healing in.
I’ve listened to this meditation at least 150 times! It’s so soothing and yet invigorating! Your voice just helps me relax, so I feel safe, cared for, and able to open up those tender places. Just what I’ve needed! ~ Kira K, Vancouver
This 18-minute Meditation will open your heart, soothe your soul and remove the blocks to allow love to flow freely once again