Coming out of hiding.
2015 was another amazing adventure. I spent my first year living alone in 10 years. I adopted a dog, which I’ve wanted for more than 10 years. And I made a ton of movement in my business and personal life.
But, in other ways, I’ve been stagnant. Stagnant in expressing words on the page, creating and publishing content that shares my stories and invites you into a more intimate and compelling relationship with me, with yourself, and with the truth inside that inspires us into motion.
I could say there has been a lot that has stopped me: time, resources, not knowing what to say, not being organized enough, not a big enough email list, not really understanding online marketing, not really having too much of a “different” thing to say as the next or previous sex educator, therapist, coach, and on and on.
But the truth is FEAR.
Fear of the internet trolls and vitriolic hate spewing. Fear that my own personal stories or writings I offer will be dismissed wholesale and my personhood will come under attack. Fear that my own stories of relationships ended, violence endured, or tellings of just plain bad sex will be “evidence” of my own ineptitude.
You already know that the internet is a dangerous place for a woman with a voice and a face. Scary dangerous. Women are not only denigrated online, the content of our writing is ignored and we are criticized on every inch of our skin and bones, past, present, and future. Slut-shamed, fat-shamed, queer-bashed, and threatened with sexual assault, rape, and even murder. Women have had their addresses and phone numbers published on the web when people (mostly men) don’t like what these women have to say.
Besides this online trend just being another day in the life of our rape culture, it is sickening and heart breaking. And it has been doing to me exactly what its intended to do: to shut me up.
And that is where the shame kicks in. I’m ashamed to feel scared of the faceless mass of aggressive anonymous brutality. I’m ashamed that even though I don’t think I will experience physical violence, I fear that it could happen.
It feels fragile here. Even while I feel self-possessed and confident of the gifts I have to offer the world, I also feel tender around my own sense of body security and this shame.
The shame resides in the teetering protection of my soft spot when I want to feel “stronger than that” and “immune” to the raucous noise. Its the tender belly spot that longs for the thrill of the plunge but is terrified of the crash in the dive.
The shame shows up in walking away from the computer screen during this writing. Walking away multiple times over the course of multiple months. Burying this writing and so many others at the bottom of the pile over and again.
You know that place.
I know you know it.
I hear it from everyone I’ve ever sat across from when I listen to stories of desire, longing, and hoping.
For we all face a mighty battle against the heavy hitter of shame. And that shame festers exponentially when we lend our silence to the wound. Only when we shine a light on shame, reveal our struggle and our strength, do we enter into the realm audacity and authenticity.
My desire for 2016 is that we, collectively, create more spaces and places where we can name the shame, dispel the myth that we must bear it alone, and experience ourselves (and each other) as bold and brilliant truth tellers, soothsayers of our own destiny.
When we come out of hiding, we step into our spotlight. We step into our desire. We reveal and revel in our own magnificence. We live the life we’ve been dreaming of.
And I want you there with me.
Join me. Let’s do this together.