As a lot of women and men out there this week I’m sure, I’ve been thinking a lot about the #metoo phenomenon. The sheer amount of social media posts from friends, family members, online influencers, etc who have posted this message of solidarity against the objectification of women, doesn’t exactly surprise me but it has definitely required me to sit with some unpleasant emotions of sadness, outrage, hopelessness and anger.
When our world is swept up into a movement like this there are always so many voices, wise and unwise, true and untrue, so many subtleties that go unaddressed or are spoken about to the point nonsense. I would never want to assume I understand or know more than I do about the uniqueness of every woman’s deeply personal experience of degradation or injustice.
But, there are some things I do know for sure: I know that I have personally, on many levels, been harassed, exploited, and used by men. I know that I feel and carry with me the unspeakable wounds inflicted on my precious body and my sisters’ bodies and minds every day consciously and unconsciously. I know that when we humans hurt each other we are not just hurting the other person, we are hurting ourselves. We cannot give without receiving, and we cannot hurt without being hurt. I know that women have been raped, abused and mistreated for lifetimes and that this weighs on each and every one of our souls.
I also know that to truly heal we must brave the sea of despair. We must look at the Truth of the abuse square in the face, and step into the darkness beyond it. That is why, I know for sure that outrage is part of the healing process. I know that for us to truly heal, as a society and as individuals, we must allow the cleansing power of our anger to wash over us, and give us the inner light to navigate the unknown territory of forgiveness.
Anger reminds us of the Truth of our worth. To recover from being violated, personally and collectively, we must use the alchemical fire of anger to transform the hurt and pain into power. We use anger to realize and take action towards reclaiming our power, without apology. It gives us the power to sail on that sea of hopeless and trust that there is another shore, a better shore. If you feel sad, shocked, abused, mistreated, properly channeled outrage is the power that moves you through.
As Bethany Webster said so perfectly: “Do what so few dare to do: Give your anger a safe, empathic space to be fully, completely felt. Harness it, listen to it. Anger has so many gifts. Not indiscriminate, projected anger, but the energy of outrage, felt and placed where it truly belongs. Collective female outrage is a nectar that this world needs.”
So be brave. Feel the anger. This is what healing feels like.