A few weeks ago I had the pleasure and discomfort of speaking openly and honestly at Vivid Sydney as part of the wonderful launch of This Place is Yours, a storytelling initiative that celebrates the human experience. I was asked to join a group of amazing people doing brilliant and inspiring work in the communities and in the world at large. I felt honored, humbled and most definitely inspired.
We all have a story to tell and we all tell in our own unique way. I continue to choose the path of least resistance and made a decision a long time ago that in any and all speaking engagements the very best and most authentic thing that I can do for others and myself is to simply show up and speak from the heart.
Speaking my truth at this inspiring event was centered around this one re-occurring sentenced that was whispered into my ear straight from my heart and my very own life experience…”Never under estimate the power of a single act of kindness, it has the potential to save a life"
I spoke about my childhood and the abuse I suffered throughout. This isn’t new to me but each time I speak out it’s feels very new for each audience to hear about such a life experience, unless of course I am speaking to the minds, hearts and souls of those who have also known childhood abuse.
As I shared a very personal story about the time I had planned to end my life at age of 13, I knew that there were others in the room that knew of how I felt, there always is. There are many, many others out in the world and many I know personally. This needs to be talked about. The dirty little secret of childhood sexual abuse and the damage it has caused countless numbers of children from one generation to the next, continues still. I will not allow the discomfort, mine or other peoples to silence me as it did in my childhood.
For what felt like a long and unbearable childhood I suffered one abuse or another over a period of days and years. It left me feeling deeply unworthy and unlovable. Child abuse breaks children hearts, literally and no more so than when it’s carried out by the very people who are supposed to love and care about us the most, the people that are supposed to keep us safe and protect us from anything bad ever happening.
And sexual abuse, well it just crosses a whole other line. I will continue to speak up and speak out and to all the women and men along the way who have thanked me for my honesty and shared your truth and experiences with me I thank you for your honesty. I no longer carry the burden of shame that was never mine to carry; I gave it back to whom it belongs. I no longer feel unworthy and unlovable. My heart, my mind, my soul now holds the light and experiences of healing that grow everyday I nourish it. It is a brave and courageous journey; full of falling down, falling apart, rising up and putting myself back together again.
My heart is strong in all the broken places and stronger for every time I share and honor my story and know that it makes a difference in the lives of others.