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This week’s #FriendsFriday contribution comes to us courtesy of Jeff Nagle of The Roaming Mind. Jeff is our #VictorWalk Coordinator in Riverview, NB. Reach out to him at hawkeynut@gmail.com if you are looking for more info on this sister rally & walk which took place in Riverview on July 21, 2018.

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You are not doing yourself any favours by holding your story in. Live it, share it and give it away. The world needs you right now.

Everyone has a story. There is not one person on this planet that has not gone through some kind of adversity at some point in life or is going through some right now. While the old school of thought is to just bury it, don’t talk about it and deal with it, the new reality is, not reading your story out loud is no longer an option.

We live in a very open world, where demands on our transparency have never been greater. If we choose to remain closed, the battle between the reality on the outside and the truth that is building itself on the inside eventually break us down. Because we are so interconnected through social media, we can no longer just live our own lives as if we are on an island. Even if we don’t want to admit to it, we are constantly comparing our emotional state to that of others. If we have untapped emotional pain then this naturally happening emotional comparison only serves to drive us further into the ground.

I remember the life that I lead prior to coming forward with my emotional pain from childhood abuse. I was able to easily hold it in. As I had nobody else in which to compare to, I just believed that I was alone with my journey and accepted it as fact. It is no coincidence that with the rise of social media about 10 years ago (specifically, Facebook), my inner pain became a bit sharper. With more and more people speaking out, I began to hear my inner voice myself and I had an option to kill it or embrace it.

I chose the latter.

Recently, I had the opportunity to give my book to a world-renowned author and public speaker, Robin Sharma. He has written 11 books and his most famous book, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari has sold millions of copies. While I was a nervous wreck giving him my book, I had a sense of pride that I was able to give him a token of my appreciation. His books have inspired me countless times and then being able to go to his seminars every year has given me even more energy to continue on, learning and living life to the best of my ability. As we were about to part ways, he thanked me for the book and then told me, “The world needs you now.”

The world needs you now.

This is not the first time that I heard this phrase being told to me. Each time I hear it, it resonates with me quite profoundly. It leads me to question, what does the world need from me? What more do I have to give? Am I giving enough? And the answer is always no. The world doesn’t need my past and it doesn’t need my future, what the world needs from me is my presence. And that is all the world wants from each of us, our presence.

If we are carrying around a lot of untapped emotional baggage, it becomes nearly impossible to live in the moment. We are constantly at war with ourselves and others who we feel are attacking the weakest parts of us. Once we can share our pain, expose our weakness and allow others to help fix us, then we become ambassadors of victory. It doesn’t mean you have to be completely cured of your past, it just tells the world you are working on being a better you. Being a better you only comes from being present and that my friend, is why the world needs you now. If each of us is truly open about our intention of healing, then there is no reason why many of our world’s problems cannot be solved.

Be present by sharing your voice, being open about your pain, and by giving your story away. The world needs you now.

 

 

Copyright Jeff Nagle, The Roaming Mind (2018).  Used with permission.

Our thanks to Jeff. Be sure to visit his site and follow him at https://theroamingmind.com.

 

What a gorgeous, blue sky day. As he cinched the rope around my waist, I instinctively knew this was no blue sky, innocent outing.

I begged Mom not to make me go outside to play with him, but I was met with no choice. How could she have guessed my discomfort? At the age of four, my inability to communicate the fear of being alone with him left me vulnerable. I felt helpless. It wasn’t the first time he’d tied a rope around my waist.

As he led me down the back alley, I wondered what was next. Last time it was just a walk. Would it be the same this time? Of course, my Mom had no idea he had a rope at the ready, nor that his intentions were less than pure.

As a curious 12-year-old, he found a ditch for me to lay down in, and promptly pulled down my underwear and began to explore. Part of me wished it was a more private spot as other neighbours drove by, trying to figure out what we were up to. He told me to get my panties up fast, and promptly walked me home to avoid questions. Yes, the rope was still around my waist until we’d reached my yard. He never asked me to ‘play’ again, thank God. I wonder sometimes who else was subjected to his curiosity.

Fast forward to when I was twelve. I had a friend down the street who invited me to join her on the wild side, meeting the gang at the park, smoking and drinking. I never could get the hang of smoking and refused to drink – the smell was disgusting to me and I had absolutely no desire to try, but oh how I wanted to fit in.

One night after dark, the guys started talking about us girls and our various stages of development. As the most under-developed of the bunch, they began to mock me, teasing that they should “feel me up” to see if there was anything there.

Initially I didn’t take them seriously but then they started heading my direction. I told them not to even think about it and I was scared. I started running but it didn’t take much for them to catch me and throw me down on the gravel.

As three or four of them held me down, the guy I’d had a crush on for months stuck his hand up my shirt. His buddy was next. They laughed and laughed as they announced to the rest that there was nothing to feel.

I got up off the ground and took off running again, but this time they didn’t chase me. As I got closer to home I tripped on the curb and fell, resulting in a cracked elbow.

At least it was a good cover for my tears.

Years later, as an adult, I shared those experiences with my precious Mom. She was sad and mortified, apologizing that she hadn’t picked up on the fact that the neighbour kid was unsafe, or that there was more going on with my rebel friends than what she already knew. I didn’t blame her. How could she have known?

That was a time when stranger danger wasn’t a thing (but neither perpetrator was an unknown anyway), and such topics weren’t discussed. She wishes she knew then what is common practice now.

I don’t know that I’ve talked about it much, but I felt I’d resolved some of the underlying issues as a young adult and didn’t need to discuss it.

Given the community I am now involved with here, however, leads me to believe there is power in sharing my story. If even one person feels they aren’t alone in their silence and finds their voice, it will have been worth it.

Even though I inherently knew I hadn’t done anything wrong, shame lived inside me for several years. The ‘not good enough’ self-talk was prevalent too. No wonder hey?

We’re scared to talk, we feel ashamed, we want to protect ourselves and maybe even others, thinking it’s better if they don’t know.

As children, we may not know how to put a voice to it. As parents there is often talk about age-appropriate discussions regarding safe touch, but when age-appropriate isn’t considered from a perpetrator’s point of view, when exactly do we talk to our kids? Knowing what I’ve experienced and what stats indicate, I’m beginning to wonder what age-appropriateness and stranger danger conversations should sound like.

What I do know is, staying silent is never the answer. Encourage your ‘others’ to talk, provide a safe and trusting environment, even if it’s uncomfortable for you. Their safety and security may depend on it.