Every 98 Seconds, an American is sexually assaulted (RAINN).
I am one of them – are you?
Are you still suffering from what has happened to you? Are you ready to release that trauma and heal?
Facebook and Twitter have erupted with the new consciousness-raising hashtag #MeToo from @MeTooProject, in an effort to get women to stand up in solidarity and illustrate to our communities exactly how pervasive this issue is. We’ve seen these efforts before in the hashtags #WhatWereYouWearing and #YesAllWomen, and we have seen a huge outpouring of support from people of all gender associations.
There is so much work that needs to be done to shift the cultural tide in regard to sexual violence and sexual harassment against women. There is also some work that we need to do personally to shed the layers of trauma that we have collected over the years.
The first step is acknowledging what has happened to you. I did not realize until my late-twenties that I had been the victim of sexual harassment and assault. So pervasive was the normalcy of these actions in society– that it was easy for me to accept these things as just part of life, instead of the wounding experiences that they were.
The sexual assault or harassment that we have experienced does not have to be traumatic or severe in order for us to be deeply affected. They can be built up of small and repeatable experiences that pile up until we form limiting beliefs about ourselves and our experiences.
Our future is determined, in part, by our past. We may see the shadows of those experiences in our every day life. We may avoid certain situations, places and people out of fear of what we might encounter. We may notice that we lack self-confidence and self-esteem. We may dissociate from our feelings, emotions, and even our bodies. We might have triggers that send us into a state of heightened stress and panic.
We can heal those emotional wounds. We can reprogram our minds and bodies to work for us, rather than against us. We can choose to release the trauma. When we do this, we choose to take back the power that was taken from us. We choose to stand up and say, no more.
The hashtags are helpful ways for us to see that many of us have shared experiences, and to recognize them for what they really are. They remind us that we are not alone.
I help my clients process these traumas through hypnotherapy and energy work, so that there will be more strong powerful women in the world unfettered by the shackles of their past experiences. If you are ready, reach out to me, and let’s get to the heart of the matter together.
Are you living in the reality of your relationship or in a fantasy?
What happens when our partners don’t match up to the fantasy that we’ve created?
You meet someone special, and feel a tugging at your heart – some unknown force pulling you toward them, with every part of you aching to connect with the object of your affection. Your heart floods with the intoxicating bath of feel good chemicals, as you begin to fall in love with this person.
You may start to notice your thoughts drifting to what a future with this person might look like. Do you have a pre-set role that you want them to fulfill in your life? If so, you may pull up that trusty fantasy of the future and place the person in it as one might put a doll inside of a dollhouse. In doing this, they are made into an object for you to hang your fantasies on.
One cornerstone of a thriving relationship is honesty. We cannot connect with our partner in an authentic way if we are unwilling or unable to see them as they are...faults and all. Without this emotional intimacy, it can begin to feel very lonely and isolating. When we let go of these expectations and ideals, we get to fully experience our partner for the unique being that they are. Sometimes this brings partners closer together, and in other circumstances, it gives them the clarity needed to move on from the situation.
Our intuition is always speaking to us, commonly experienced as a "gut feeling," which alerts us to our inner wisdom on circumstances that we face. In fantasy-based relationships, we may choose to tune out those messages so that our thoughts are consistent with our chosen perception. In abusive relationships this is particularly dangerous, as we may choose to see the veneer of fantasy instead of the warning signs of a partner's toxic influence in our lives. We may be so committed to what we want, that we are unwilling to look at what we really have.
Ultimately, we have to ask ourselves whether we are truly in love with our partner, or if we are merely in love with the idea of them. Sometimes the person we are afraid to lose, was never really there to begin with.
If this resonates with you, take a moment to check in with the picture that you’ve painted of your partner, and then allow yourself to see how closely it resembles the reality of your experience. If you notice some dissonance, you may need to consider why that is, and what you are going do about it.
If you need some help unraveling that situation, reach out to me and let’s get to the heart of the matter together.
Holly Hart is a hypnotherapist & emotional wellness coach based in San Diego who conducts energy healing, hypnotherapy, and past-life journeying services.