Stand Up, Sister, and Dare to Look Truth in the Eye.
Sister, will you stand for me? My body may be shaking and my voice may tremble, but I am standing. And I stand for us.
My throat’s on fire with Truth. This can’t be quenched. It can’t be soothed with water to dissolve the heat. My throat can’t do anything but breathe fire, for a fire burns within it. Close my mouth and the heat has nowhere to go. It implodes. The plastic masks I once wore in spaces where Truth did not reside? They’d melt as quickly as my makeup runs under the cleansing rainstorm of this tsunami of tears.
It can no longer be contained, this Truth. It’s left me both bone-weary and brave. Too weary to build the façade to hide it, too brave to want to. Want is moot. This is beyond desire. This is the liquid lava of Truth. It’s not just in my throat, that’s merely the visible volcano. It’s rising through my soul and the soles of my feet walking away from places and faces that dishonor me and my Truth.
I will no longer subject myself to those energies. My lioness-roar would crumble the foundations. I don’t intend to be rude…. I’ve been pushed beyond caring about what’s considered rude. The word rude can be a pretty sapphire choker tight enough to smother Truth right out of us.
Women carry secrets. Far too many of us carry secrets that are far too heavy. I know the weight of carrying shame that was never mine to carry in the first place. I carried it for decades. I am tired. And I am energized, alive and ready for freedom. By giving my voice wings, I hereby give back and away the shame.
As of this precious moment, I allow my precious self to fly free. This is not my cross to bear. I lay myself bare at the altar of Trust and Truth.
Sister, it’s not your cross either. Neither is the blame and shame that others have heaped upon you through their expectations, wishes and need for you to be quiet. Polite. Silent. Compliant. They are terrified. Some too terrified to see Truth.
I was once too scared to see.
Our stories are scary. The Truths that women’s bodies hold are uncomfortable. Messy. Ugly. Dark. Nauseating.
If my body’s Truth makes another uncomfortable, imagine the toll it has taken on me. The Truth is that hundreds of millions of women have been violated. Imagine the toll this has taken on womankind. It may be more comfortable and convenient to shut one’s eyes and ears, to harden and close hearts and to turn backs.
That is what we often do when Truth terrifies us.
But many of us do not have the luxury of pretending that Truth isn’t true.
I stand naked before you, shedding the cloak of shame. This shame? It is not mine and it is not ours, sisters. It is not ours.
The secrets intertwined through DNA spirals, the secrets about family friends, secrets lurking in church basements, in school hallway whispers about that creepy teacher that no one trusted, but no one fired, the secrets that would come tumbling out of office buildings if walls could talk. They. Are. Not. Ours.
Let’s give them back.
I give back re-traumatizing myself by stepping into spaces with faces that trigger my trauma response. I now know: I do not have to go there. You, beautiful spirit, do not have to go there either.
Others can either understand, come around to understanding in time, or choose to not understand. That’s not our weight to bear.
If our loved ones love us and themselves and Truth enough to risk looking into shadows, they are welcome to love and honor my Truth. Your Truth. Our Truths. My body knows. I believe my body. My body frees herself of shame.
Give it back by giving it voice. Start with self. It takes bravery, and you’ve got it. How do I know? You’re still here despite having endured the inexcusable. The unthinkable. The unconscionable. So am I. Let’s let it out on our exhalations, wash it out with our tears. Exorcise it with our screams. Spill it into our stories. Drip it out through the sweat of our dances.
I relinquish my caretaking of anybody but myself. I relinquish needing to shield anybody from my Truth. Now, it is all my call. This is my body’s experience, and I will keep it close or share solely as I choose.
I conserve my energy by relinquishing concern about what others may find palatable or appropriate. My awareness of trauma assures that I will speak sensitively. It also assures that I won’t stay silent. This is beyond what polite society talks about or doesn’t dare discuss. Polite society often is a shroud for atrocities wrapped in sapphire chokers.
I matter more than social mores. So do you.
The courage to look Truth in the eye has landed in my lioness body. There’s fire in my belly and guts in my gut. Look around. Our initiation was trial by fire. There are so many of us standing around this campfire. Too many. But we’re here now. Together. In Tribe, there is a longing for communion with Truth-tellers. Throats on fire with Truth are being called to the fire.
We have fire to breathe.
Truth to tell.
Work to do.
Eyes to open.
Minds to open.
Hearts to open.
Doors to shut.
You owe no one your story. You only owe yourself healing when the time is right for you because, dear heart, you deserve it. Walk away or walk straight into the fire. What serves you? Only you know. Don’t listen to judgments from others as to how you heal. I choose to walk away from the spaces and faces that trigger. Others choose to walk into the fire with swords of words and battle-cries of Truth.
I honor every brave warrior as she breaks the chain in whatever way she chooses to heal.
Warrior, we know.
We believe you.
We see it.
We feel it.
We’ve lived it.
And we’ve got your back.
We will not go back. Our time is now. Amidst the backdrop of this country having elected rape culture into office, there is a vacuum of space wanting to be filled with our voices. Seriously convoluted mental gymnastics are required to deny that rape culture was voted into high office. There’s audiotape to prove that rape culture is alive and well.
I am sparked by the thought of thousands at the Women’s marches on Washington and in other parts of the world. I am fired up today having heard one too many stories of women being shamed and silenced.
Through my first tentative steps in sharing my story a few years ago, I was met with tears of recognition. Women are relieved to know we’re not alone. The bolder I become in sharing my story with those I trust, respect and love, the more stories I have had the honor of holding in return. Some of us have been silenced for decades. I shed both silence and shame.
We hold our sisters’ stories. Compassionately.
When I first heard the words This pussy grabs back, I understood them.
But today? Today I felt them. I felt them on a visceral level and they felt like rage. Irate, fiery, feisty anger moving through the healing bodies of women warriors rose up through my throat chakra. Hot, stinging tears of release, relief and relinquishing ran down my cheeks. My fire that another almost smothered long ago is fueled. It rages. It is compassion in action. It is Love for my sisters. It is a need for change now.
It is a refusal to shut down and shut up for one more red hot second, while there are too many of us with too many stories that are too painful. Something about this particular story I heard today at this particular time emboldened me like a lioness, loud and proud.
My healing journey continues. And now, I no longer walk alone.
Now, I stand.
Though trembling at times, I am standing.
Though shaky at times, I’ve found my voice.
Though sometimes anxious while using my voice, I am far more scared for us all to not use my voice.
I am standing.
I am standing for myself.
I am standing for you.
Will you stand with me?
Will you stand for me?
Will you stand next to me?
Will you stand for us?
We warrior women know: Now is the time for Peace. Peace is my body’s birthright. It is yours. It is ours. I stand for our right to live peacefully in our bodies.
This pussy grabs back. If pushed, she bites.
She’s got teeth, heart and Truth, and is not afraid to use them.
Tracy Stamper is a dancer at heart, in mind, of body, and with words. She is blessed and blissed to call dancing her profession, thanks to the transformational conscious movement form of Nia. She teaches Nia classes and offers Nia White Belt Trainings for fellow dancers at heart, in mind, and of body. Tracy lives in St. Louis in a home on a little hill, with a whimsical wind sculpture out front, and two crazy rescue beagle boy dogs and the two human loves of her life inside. Her current favorite colors are purple, orange and glitter. She likes her chocolate dark, her little bubble of a world Personalitics-free, her inspiration flowing, and her car dances to be uninhibited. You can connect with her on her website, Nia website, Facebook or Shine siSTAR Shine.