The Path Back to Love

I get it…when we are oppressed, we are fearful of speaking out. The history books are filled with the names of people who have spoken out and who have subsequently gotten persecuted, retaliated against, for standing up for their rights.

Sexual harassment is an act of oppression. So given our history, it makes all the sense in the world that the victims of sexual harassment would resist speaking out against their oppressor, directly or indirectly. The fear of persecution is too great.

Well, once upon a time, I had the truly humbling and amazing opportunity to be with a Shaman. I am not sure he would call himself that. I call him that because he is more than a healer. He is a spiritual guide. He has seen the abyss and, unlike Joseph Conrad’s Mr. Kurtz, he has conquered it and has learned to help others heal and conquer their own abysses and open their hearts to love.

One afternoon, he taught me to sit in my own space (one yard by one yard) and pay attention – see what showed up, see the things we seldom pay attention to. Well, in this little corner of this vast universe, next to a flowing stream, a dragonfly kept showing up. Actually, one type of dragonfly in particular – the damselfly.

For an hour, I observed and studied the movements of this damselfly. What an amazingly beautiful creature! Black and blue…with intricately woven gossamer wings. It would float in and out of my space with amazing ease of flight. It would hover over the water… inspect the surface for goodies to eat. Rest on a reed, fly around some and then come back and do it all over again.

The Shaman asked me what I thought it meant that of all the things I could have paid attention to, I choose this damselfly… After reflecting for some time, I came to realize that this damselfly was smaller than me, more vulnerable. I wanted to protect it, speak for it, be a voice for it so that it would not lose its place in nature.

When I hear national news stories about so many individual women who were all victimized by the same person but none of them had the courage to speak up when it happened to them, I remember the damselfly. I see these women as damselflies, made smaller by this harsh treatment, unwilling or unable to speak for themselves, who might need the power of someone else’s voice. This website is that voice. This website is where women, people, victims can go to express what happened and, if they wish, express what they wish had been different, in a positive, encouraging, All-I-Ever-Needed-To-Know-I-Learned-In-Kindergarten kind of way.

Until recently, I have always felt strong enough to speak out. Maybe because I’m single, I don’t have any children and I have compared to most, relatively little to risk. Then I entered my own abyss and I lost my voice. Thanks to some very good teachers and healers, I have learned to find my voice again.

My hope is that now that I have found my voice again, perhaps I can help others find theirs. I want to make a space for each black and blue damselfly to feel safe, to spread their wings, to voice their oppression and seek peace – without causing more harm – and in the process remember how to love again – love themselves, those who helped them and even those who hurt them. Only then, can we achieve peace.

Here are some lovely images of damselflies that I found via the internet.

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