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Shame and the Power of Courageous Women

Today I experienced the privilege of witnessing the courage of a women who finally reached the choice point between continuing to push down her pain that had been fostered by believing untrue stories of ju

gment and humiliation or daring instead to travel the unfamiliar road back of reclaiming her worthiness, purpose and beauty… at least clear that she was no longer willing to let shame win. I sat heart to heart with this woman who could be any of us. She finally could no longer hold the beach ball of her pain and shame under the water. This tender woman has been using her strength for years to hold down memories of being gang-raped as a teenager, all these years abusing herself with the misbelief that it was somehow her fault because she had not been prepared to know better how to protect herself.

Some women stop feeding their body in order to become invisible and therefore gain the illusion of feeling safe, and some use eating as the way of hiding their shame to create a layer of protection by making themselves unreachable. Some numb themselves using alcohol or drugs to verify their lack of worth. Some deny themselves love while others misuse their bodies to gain any sense of acceptance. All are valiant ways women try to create what we can only first give to ourselves – self-love.

The harsh truth is that 1 out of 3 women will be sexually abused by the time they are 18. Men are also the victims of sexual abuse. We all carry way to much pain… often times pain that is not even ours. An

yet, no one, male or female, deserves to carry the weight and shame of being a victim. Sexual abuse has been made a women’s issue for which we are blamed and taught we provoked, rather than an issue shared by men, as well…  as perpetrators or as victims themselves.

We all need to choose the road of self-love to find our way back to living the truth of our magnificence. Not only because I have 2 daughters, 2 nieces and one beloved grand-daughter, but also because I have 3 grandson’s, do I want this to shift and be healed.

I am grateful to Brene Brown, a shame researcher who dared greatly to reveal the shame mirrored back as her own through her research, and other bold women like Marianne Williamson who dared to shine and leaned vulnerably/courageously in the direction of self-love as our pioneers and role models. It is my prayer that all women, and men as well, in my lifetime will take up this quote as their own lifestyle and true belief…

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” 

— Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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