Rise up on February 14th. End violence against women. Join Eve Ensler, myself, and the many other women and men who are rising to say NO MORE. One in three women are raped, beaten, or abused in their lifetime. We are half the population. We are no minority.
It’s time. Step out of your comfort zone. This is not a women’s issue, this is a human issue.
I found out the other day that a sexual predator has been brought back into my family. Someone who took advantage of me as a ten year old girl. Allowed into the house I grew up in by someone who herself was a victim. All knew what happened. Someone who should be locked up, has been welcomed back. As for me, this turn of events metaphorically locked the door and threw away the key. There is no more, they are no more to me. Growing up, a friend of mine had a brother who had raped her multiple times – and he still lived in their home. I had a friend once whose father killed her mother. Another friend was raped while volunteering in another country. I’ve helped women move out of the homes of their abusers – some returning in fear, some starting again. I’ve been touched inappropriately by someone I trusted, someone who years later reached out to strangle me in an argument. I’ve loved men who’ve been raped and abused as well, who have seen their mothers beaten, and who have been so emotionally scarred that they are afraid to love as well.
In 2009, I was blessed to see the remarkable Eve Ensler speak at the Women’s Conference, and recite I Am An Emotional Creature. In watching the video link on the conference again, for the first time in the 3+ years since I was there, I was reminded. I was reminded of myself as an amazing force, that I don’t have to let one or two events in my childhood affect how I see the world. Today, as my body curved in my yoga practice, my belly against my thighs and hands holding my feet, my eyes closed, my instructor asked us, what is still holding you back and how are you going to let it go. It reminded me being a young, achingly shy girl who was so tremendously humiliated by a twelve year old boy, for so long, that I never believed my own lovability. My instructor asked, what are your words going to be for this new year? And it was so obvious, so clear, and without thinking twice, the three words my lips curved were this: I. Am. Lovable.
There needs to be more love, less hurt, and with that, we need to teach each other how to treat each other. It starts with a single step.
Rise up. Every day. But join me, on this day.