This post is not about abuse. The recent meme on Facebook creates an awareness about an issue that has been hidden and shame ridden. One man wrote that he knew intellectually that abuse against women was out of control, but to see posts from his friends, associates, his sister and daughter brought the story home. It even inspired him to look at ways he may have contributed to women feeling uncomfortable. But this post is not about abuse.
It’s about storytelling. Women, brave women, have led us to the crossroads where we tell our stories. Whether it’s a collective story of “Me too” or personal stories that touch our hearts and open them – our stories must be shared so that we can create purpose, kindness and harmony from the ashes of our chaotic world.
If anyone is in doubt that we are collectively at a crossroad – watch the news. Crossroads hold the unknown. At a crossroad, we sometimes freeze in indecision, fear and resistance. Sometimes we act out – ranting, bitching, blaming, shaming – because we are uncomfortable or we have a need to imagine we have more control than we’re feeling. Sometimes, we talk about things that don’t matter – just to distract ourselves and others from the reality of the crossroad.
But the crossroad is a place of mystery and possibility. If we can slow down, breathe, tell our stories and listen to one another with an open heart – we will know what to do to change the world. Feel it calling.
I know what some of you are thinking: that’s sweet, but I can’t fix the world – and I certainly can’t make choices that will affect the entire world.
Ah, but you can. Physicist, Dr. Gregg Braden tells us that it only takes the square root of 1% of the population to create change. That’s a very small number. According to “Newgeography”, over half of the US, lives in cities with about 25,000 people. Let’s use that number. It only takes about 16 people to create change in a population of 25,000. Do the math and open to the reality that you can make change. And it’s time for us to take up the challenge of creating change, instead of leaving it up to the metaphorical 16 people who scream at us on twitter and the daily news. We cannot let them dictate the story of who we are becoming. We must, at least, throw our stories and our dreams into the mix. Whether we do, or don’t, we will be affecting the entire world.
Women have gathered at the crossroads throughout history. We are the gatherers. We’ve gathered at wells, around the cooking fire, in the Red Tent, in quilting bees, down at the river. We’ve shared our stories and banded together to make necessary change. Until recent decades, we have cried, “Me too,” for centuries. And from those me too’s, we’ve discovered the paths to take at every crossroad. The world needs this feminine way of gathering, listening, discerning and action.
I’d like to be clear that change is not about gender. The roots of change I’m calling us to is about the feminine energies of taking time to gather, to listen, to witness, to fiercely stand in our knowing and demand that the needs of the family, village, community be met. This feminine energy exists in all of us – men and women – and it’s time for it to take center stage. And once we’ve heard each other’s hearts, we need the masculine energies within each of us to take our intentions and make them manifest in the world.
How do we start? We gather at the dinner table and listen to each other’s stories – not sound bites – real stories from people you can see and hear IRL (in real life). When friends or colleagues ask how we are, we tell them something significant. And when we ask them, we look at them and listen to their answer. We make time (we can’t afford not to anymore) to gather regularly – to witness and be witnessed in our lives. We find our feminine voices and use them. It’s not rocket science, folks. It can be as scary as hitting that ignition switch, but only because we’re out of practice. When we risk it, we find deep joy and the magic of shared hearts.
It is the witnessed life that matters. It is the shared life/story that nurtures and heals. Social media has its uses and can give us the distance we might need to try out our voices without having to look anyone in the eye. Through it, we can inspire and inform. But we cannot gather in circle to hear each other’s voices, see each other’s hearts, hold each other’s hands.
Women have gathered us. We’re here at the crossroad, needing our hearts to be heard and our lives to be changed. This time Me too cannot be our rallying call or our quiet voice of sharing; it’s been taken. Perhaps, I’ll be a witness, I’m listening, I have time, or I have a story – or maybe we need to just take one little action, today.
I do have a story. Today, I make the commitment to share. Let me gather its threads and share it on my next post. Until then, … ~ Lena