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I’ve been sitting for the last few days with feeling the need to say something, to acknowledge that more than a few people have shared with me over the last week that they feel afraid that something is coming deeply unhinged in our lives and in how our world is evolving. I’ve been sitting with this unfolding, feeling into my own fear and trying to meet it with something that feels balanced with both hope and courage, and still I am left with the awareness of how many women are struggling right now with being triggered, with being forced to revisit their own choices and the non-choices like rape and incest and molestation, and in many cases, also forced to revisit the trauma and violations that required they face any choices/non-choices at all, while also facing all of the losses that both spaces represent.

To be a woman means often to be strong while you are grieving and while you are hurting and while you are even being violated, and then also means to then be strong enough to stand up in the aftermath to try to change the system, and the assumptions and misperceptions that support a system that requires women to be so damn strong in the first place. The one thing I keep coming back to is that I have sat with and held and been present with SO many strong women, and I see SO many strong women all around us who have been violated, and SO many strong women forced to make hard and brutal decisions about their survival, and SO many strong women who are grieving and violated and healing and standing to commit themselves to changing the system so that the women and girls who follow may not have to be SO damn strong. I see so many beautiful and powerful survivors, whose own survival is its own form of unbreakable rebellion and embodied defiance. Sometimes survival is the most powerful form of resistance and act of outright rebellion that there is.

And so, I see the survivors right now, and I feel you, and I am in my own ways and through my own history also one of you, and I just need to say that your strength is beautiful and powerful, and it sometimes makes you a beacon to the other women around you who may need beacons, and it sometimes makes you an inspiration to the younger women who may need to see the fierceness of your survival and how you have refused to be broken and how you fight for them while you are fighting for yourself, too. Not one of us need be alone. Not one of us need be left behind. Not one of us need be left unseen, or unheard or uncounted in this moment as it is. So, if you are struggling right now, please reach out to your people, and let yourself be held by others who know enough of your struggle to stay present with you until you remember your own strength and how intensely powerful and beautiful you are within it. These days are hard days, these moments are ones that can unroot our sense of belonging and our will to keep standing, so please let your people hold you and remind you of your strength until you can rise into it again and remember that your strength, resiliency and courage are aspects of you that make you a beautiful and invaluable and irreplaceable beacon of light. You are strong, and your strength blesses and inspires us all.

Love and grace to each one of you, especially the survivors among us.

All peace to each one of you. Dora

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