Ever read comment threads on other posts? Sometimes they cause me anxiety about the world we live in, and other times they fill me with hope for the future. I just read a post by someone wondering where all these women were coming out of the woodwork with their #metoo stories. I read brave friends comment in defense of these women, saying it sometimes takes the courage of one for others to be able to stand up. And then tucked deep into the comments: “#metoo won’t solve anything, it did nothing, it’s just a trend that is already starting to die down.”
NO. I WON’T LET IT!
I don’t know about you, but did you see the prevalence of friends, sisters, cousins, and men who have been sexually harassed, attacked, or abused?! My heart ached, I didn’t know. For two weeks, I opened my Facebook and Twitter to #metoo. I opened my social media to the hurt and agony experienced by people I care about. Guys, it was almost everyone I knew! All of these people, suffering in silence were able to find their voices and the strength to say “HEY! It happened to #metoo!”
That doesn’t just do nothing. As a friend put it, for every person that shared #metoo there was a person harassing, attacking, or abusing them, many of whom continue life without facing any consequences. Their victims on the other hand, experience isolation, shame, guilt, broken relationships, shattered trust, or even turn to substance abuse to try to numb themselves of the experiences.
Acknowledging the trauma and talking about it alone can spark the healing process for someone! A ray of light cuts through the cloud of darkness when someone realizes that they are not alone. When they understand that their experiences are not uncommon. When you see people you look up to living their lives with actual joy. It gives you hope. You will overcome! And hope is not nothing. Awareness is not nothing. Those are valuable somethings that have arisen from sharing pain with others.
I don’t pretend to have my life together. I’m a mess, often. But with the help of counseling, a Father in Heaven who loves us and our Savior, Jesus Christ, I overcame. I am not perfect at it, but I try to find joy in my every day life. If I can do it, I know you can too, and I will offer support however it is needed.
What a gift we have been given to go through this life together. To share in our joys and pains, to be able to lift each other up, and help carry one another’s burdens when they become too great to bear. #metoo both horrified and inspired me. I am motivated to teach my children more, to be kinder, and to love better. We never know who is fighting a hard battle.
For those of you that loved Disney’s Moana as much as I did, I’ll leave you with this thought from this amazing article about my favorite part of the movie: we often feel that our attackers have stolen something from us, but “we are not defined by our darkest hour. We are greater than what has been stolen from us. It is never too late to heal. It is never too late to make a fresh start. It is never too late to have your heart restored.”