It’s been a few weeks since I hit the platform at the Australian Speakers Institute with #SamCawthorn and his team. In fact; time has flown. Life has really gotten away from me in the last couple of weeks and I wanted to just recap an incredible immersive weekend which was spent with amazing people who both inspired and uplifted me.
When I say immersive, the alarm went off at 3am on the morning of the 13th of May, 2016 and we drove to the airport. That day didn’t finish until late Sunday afternoon. I was deliriously tired, but super encouraged through being able to share my story with other speakers and draw strength from each one. I was blessed to share in their tears, their vulnerability and connect with amazing individuals who have a heart to change the world in their own significant ways. I was fortunate to share this experience with my partner and no doubt we traversed our own unique individual journeys and shared in the highs and lows of this experience together.
I was humbled and touched by these incredible world changers I shared a speaking platform with- which took me on a rollercoaster of emotion; that is challenging my own heart and hearing theirs. I was deeply confronted at one point over those three days, in fact it nearly saw me run out the door with my emotions stretching me almost further than I have been. This may be something that I share at a later point, but it involves confronting the biggest demon in my closet. Sometimes I feel like forgiveness is the greatest battle I face, there is freedom in forgiveness, but there is also many layers to how this looks and it is not always black and white. I had to get real with myself, very real.
I felt like a rubber band being held at the point before it snaps… seems like the place I find myself more often than not as I face each challenge on this journey to sharing my heart and story with the world. It is the place where I lose control and have to trust in the ‘big fella’ in a leap of faith seeing me cross from the known, to the unknown. The seen, to the unseen. I know this journey is not mine alone, but his.
With this incredible opportunity I have been able to tweak and refine my message and consider things I had not thought about when it comes to the challenge of sharing my personal journey with the world and subsequently breaking these cycles of silence. I often feel that I am nothing, and wonder in awe at how far I have walked on my journey, and while it has taken everything in me, I am strong and I am ready to take on the world.
It never ceases to amaze me the power of words and the ability to have a strong conviction One thing is certain, Sexual Abuse is not confined by status or privilege, it does not have a stereotype, and behind some of the strongest figures and leaders is someone who has learnt to fight, and overcome. Thankyou to those who felt safe to disclose and share their story with me even if you have never told anyone- I am humbled and I know that our paths will cross again on this journey to #ChangeTheWorld
So, what did I learn? I saw a map and was given insight into the path I am moving along. I learnt that I can do this, and no matter who I share my story and whatever audience I am in, there is someone who is hiding their secret, someone who is afraid, someone who needed to hear that they are loved and valued no matter their past. I could continue to write pages and pages about what I learnt…. But what I feel the greatest thing I gained from attending this 3 day speakers boot-camp is a unique insight and perspective.
What did I see? I saw hope. I saw change and I saw myself challenged in ways I didn’t expect. Some good things and some not so good, but with each battle comes a step to getting stronger on the journey to becoming an authority in this area. In my quiet times and reflection I saw faces from my past and the demons I still need to battle to be able to withstand the journey… I am closer now than I ever was.
What did I feel? I felt love, and compassion. Understanding and empowerment. Support and encouragement, and I felt tired! But the kind of tired when you know that you have experienced a transformation. I felt supported by people I had barely met who I would now consider to be close friends and confidants.
What now…? Just you wait and see..! I am taking back my power and building my platform. Help me get the message out there. We must break these #cyclesofsilence.