One day, many years ago, a family member sat me down and told me her story of sexual assault. Her story was meant to be a warning. She did not want me to become prey to the same predator who assaulted her. Telling her story was very scary for her, but she summoned the courage to do it because she knew she could not sit on her knowledge any longer. There are times when the need to speak the truth is more important than the fear.
America has been watching very closely lately to see what happens when a woman tells her truth. One woman in particular has faced a tremendous amount of backlash as a result of speaking up, and I cannot imagine the fear she must be feeling. The fear she must have felt last week, when her truth was questionned. When a group of people told her that her version was not valid.
While most people have not had an experience on the national scale, we have all had times when our story was not believed. We know what it feels like to share our truth and have it be questionned. People have this tendency to not want to hear about the messier parts of life. People push away the harshness. We don't want to look at the shadows. We like the light. So when people bring up shadows, we try to pretend they don't exist.
Ironically, it is only through bringing the shadows into the light that we can dispel them. Shadow cannot survive in the light. Rather, it becomes part of the light, because light is much stronger than shadow. You would think this would be a good thing. And it is. It's a beautiful thing. So why do we fight it? Why do we want to avoid talking about the shadows?
I have a theory about this. I think that when we shine a light on something that has been in shadow, sometimes other people fear that your light will point out their shadow, and they don't want you to see their shadow. So they pretend that your light is actually a shadow itself, hoping that you will turn it off. Your light is too bright for them, so they try to dim it. But I have a secret for you. They do not control your light. They don't have to like its brilliance. That's okay. You are not responsible for their reaction, nor are you responsible for how they handle their own shadows.
When my family member brought her story out of the shadows and let the light shine on it, she made it beautiful. When we tell our stories, when we let our truths shine, we infuse them with beauty. They glow with the radiance of strength and authenticity. Not everyone can see this radiance. Not everyone wants to see it. Some people prefer that your story stay in the shadows. They are afraid that the light will hurt too much. But you don't have to make that same choice. You don't have to live in fear and shame. Tell your story. Speak your truth. Let your light shine, baby. Light up the world with it.
I am so glad you are here! Welcome to my blog. This is your space, too. My name is Amy, and I am no stranger to the ups and downs of life. Join me as we search for beauty, authenticity, tell our truth, and hold space for each other in the messiness of life.