The Transformative Power of “Me Too”

Photograph © 2017 Peggy Kornegger
It has become a social media phenomena, the #MeToo that says “yes, I too have been sexually harassed or abused.” Women’s voices are finally being heard and acknowledged in huge numbers after years of fear, shame, secrecy, and silence. We have endured hidden and overt harassment in our lives since childhood. Children of both sexes have also been subjected to sexual abuse, and women of all ages have been raped and traumatized. At last, the invisible is becoming visible, and the secrets are becoming public as courageous individuals shine the light of truth on sexual predation and disempowerment.

Presidents, priests, Olympic doctors, Hollywood moguls, and countless unnamed others are part of a worldwide epidemic of disrespect and sexual violation. With great bravery and integrity, women, and adults of both sexes who were abused as children, are speaking up and sharing the experiences they have held inside themselves for so long. Each revelation empowers others to speak up and say “me too.” Each voice that is heard adds to the collective transformation from personal trauma to liberation from fear and shame.

All these secret transgressions are being revealed because the time of rape and violation behind closed doors is coming to an end. The secrets are being revealed, and the collective voice of humanity is saying “no more.” “Me too” empowers each of us in our lives to speak up and stand with others who have been hurt and shamed by assault and harassment. Personally, I know of no one among my women friends (and a number of men, as well as gender fluid and transgender, friends) who has not experienced some form of sexual hatred or harassment. Me too.

From catcalls in the street, to unwelcome comments or touching from bosses, landlords, dentists, or complete strangers, to the violence of rape, we have experienced disrespect and disregard for our basic humanity. It is ending. The courage and strength of a few individuals has become an avalanche of shared stories and coming together. Yes, me too…and no more. We are stepping out of the old framework based in “power over” into a new paradigm of inner power based in compassion and respect for all—adults, children, elders, animals, plants, and Mother Earth herself.

“Me too” is about inner fortitude, resilience, and refusal to be silenced and subjected to the will of another ever again. It is also about compassion and empathy for all those who have been in that position. The larger “me too” helps individual women and children of both sexes say No to transgressions against the sanctity of their bodies and souls. For sexual abuse is a violation of the spirit not just the physical form. So many people are disengaged from the spiritual nature of humanity. We are God/dess in human form on this Earth. If this were universally understood, then everyone would see that our human bodies are sacred temples for the soul, never to be desecrated or violated. When individuals are aligned with their inner divinity, only love and compassion are possible in the outer world. The time has come for a healing of spirit and form, in all people.

The chorus of voices now speaking the truth shines light into a world darkened by soul-less actions and horrible violations of the human spirit. Awakening is occurring, on all levels. We are evolving, as individuals, as collective consciousness, into full awareness of who we really are at the soul level. The strength and determined truthfulness of the few is multiplying until it circles the world in numbers that ultimately will include every living being on this planet. When we say “me too,” we are opening the door to oneness and stepping into a more inclusive and expansive experience of life and the world around us. Finally we can live from love not fear. That is the transformative power of those two simple words: Me too.

 

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Speak Up, Speak Out

Photograph © 2017 Peggy Kornegger
In the United States, there are societal rules about when silence or quiet is called for: in temples, churches, and meditation halls; in libraries and classrooms; in funeral homes and cemeteries. This is sanctified silence, the kind that is recognized as fitting into the social structure. The underside of these rules is another kind of silence, the silence of dissociation or noninvolvement, which can translate as complicity: “When there is conflict, keep your mouth shut,” “Don’t get involved,” “It’s not your problem, so why make trouble?” The threat of potential or escalating violence runs through these admonitions. Best to ignore whatever you’ve seen or heard. Only many of us don’t have that option in our lives. And now, increasingly, none of us have that option.

Loud, vocal, and acted-out hatred is playing out in city after city in this country. The kind of racism, anti-Semitism, sexism, and homophobia that has always existed but is now being given a green light by behavior and attitudes at the federal level. Nazism and Klanism is in full-out resurgence in this so-called “land of the free.” That freedom was about money, maleness, and white skin when this country began, and it still is. Yes, we have come a long way, but the segments of this society that don’t really want an egalitarian, balanced social framework are still clinging to the illusion of superiority and power. That is the old patriarchal paradigm that is so full of cracks now that even talk show hosts on late-night TV are addressing it. No, we are not going backward, but the labor pains we experience as we birth a new way of being on this planet can be intense and at times frightening.

There is no turning back, however. We signed up for this specific soul incarnation to be part of something monumental. So what do spiritual people, committed to love, peace, and harmony, do at times like these? We can limit exposure to the constant bombardment of negative news alerts, meditate more intensively, and hold love in our hearts and in our lives, but is that enough? Having come of age in the politically active 1960s and 70s and lived that to the full, I know that is part of my heritage, but I also realized over the years there is more to it. I have learned the immense importance of energy and of how our own life force and inner being affects everything around us. The world will change and the paradigm will shift, not from the force of will power and pushing against, but from the steady peaceful walking forward together into a vision of something more open and inclusive. The dynamic energy of transformation—from fear to love.

This vision has a voice, and it emerges from yet another kind of silence: the silence of the soul. On a spiritual path, we often center ourselves in the silent peace at our core. That very silence can give rise to the voice within us that expresses the vision and speaks for the freedom and rights of all people and all beings on this planet. You can remain peaceful and loving and still speak out against injustice and hatred and for unity, connection, and sister/brotherhood. In fact, it is our responsibility to speak up. This can take many forms: in writing articles, in signing petitions, in sending letters and emails, in attending nonviolent marches or gatherings, in joining community groups based in diversity—and, especially, in not letting racist, anti-Semitic, sexist, or homophobic remarks or behavior pass by us, unaddressed. You don’t have to be perfectly articulate or eloquent to honestly and calmly speak from your heart about universal love and human compassion.

Over the years, I have discovered that silence fills my soul at all times. I carry it with me, and it informs my entire life and connects me to the presence that is God. From that place, I share my heart’s vision of a world based in loving-kindness. From that place, I know with everything in me that I am not separate from any other being on Earth and that our voices were given to us for a reason: to speak to one another. From that place, there is only one voice, the voice of love.