What #MeToo Means for All of Us

#metoo

The #MeToo campaign started with one woman, but the butterfly effect is at work. The result promises liberation for all women, and men too. Evil isn’t too strong a word for the unwanted sexual advances of predatory men, but this evil has been protected by a wall of silence and shame.

When the behavior of Harvey Weinstein became public, I felt sick to my stomach because the long term effects of sexual abuse on victims are insidious. A moment of lust has the potential to leave a lifetime of suffering for the victim. The body keeps score of trauma even when the memory closes down in an effort to wipe the slate clean.

Hope from a Hashtag

I have hope because of the #MeToo campaign. Abuse can’t continue to operate when the light of day is cast upon it. We may look at everything that’s going on in the world today and think, “things can’t get any worse”. But this campaign is a clear sign that things are getting better.

We are all too familiar with the sad legacy of rape that stretches all the way back to “Adam and Eve and the serpent.” Delve into any historical or religious text and you will see the smoking gun. The slogan of Fight the New Drug, “Challenge the status quo, FIGHT FOR LOVE, be bold, be real” is one organization’s way of breaking the silence. It encourages us to make a conscious decision for something better than what society throws at us. It’s important to identify what real love is, and be bold in rejecting anything that doesn’t match up.

All kinds of love exist in the world today but that doesn’t mean they are all good or true. We know this because some love relationships can end up hurting, degrading or limiting you. These and other negative outcomes are not part of the original love that your mind and heart desire.

What Kind of Love Do You Want?

We intuitively know we deserve a deeper, richer love. Our highest ideals originate in God; the author of love. It’s interesting that regardless of building a future togetherour cultural background or up-bringing, we all want a love that reflects God’s nature and heart.  A love that is:

  • Unchanging – A love that lasts forever. We want a relationship that offers unconditional love – a love that doesn’t dry up when it meets difficulty. An unchanging commitment.
  • Absolute – To love and be loved with our whole heart, mind, spirit and body. There is no holding back in the love that God intended. We long to find the one to whom we can promise fidelity, and be honored in return. A physical, emotional and spiritual commitment to one another.
  • Eternal – It doesn’t make sense that the love between a man and a woman ceases because of death. Once you taste love, you have no desire for it to end. If we are created as spiritual beings to live for eternity, then shouldn’t our love have the capacity to last forever as well?
  • Unique – We unconsciously long to experience the fullness of real love which incorporates both masculine and feminine qualities. A man or woman individually has the potential to reflect one of these aspects of divinity, either masculinity or femininity, in their own unique way. Together we can experience the fullness of God’s image and love. – Read more at: www.loveasgodintended.com

The Power of Sharing Your Story

The #MeToo campaign is empowering people to say “no more”. This week I was humbled by a friend who felt uncertain about participating in the campaign. She wondered if joining would somehow belittle the circumstances of others who had suffered more. But on reflection, she realized that those who can need to speak up. Here’s what she shared:

“It’s taken a few days of internal debate, anxiety, reflection, and fear to write these words, but with a huge deep breath I say #metoo.

I have been so moved by the bravery I have seen among so many of my friends who have said “me too”, and the love and encouraging words from so many others. I felt torn about posting because there is always that internal voice in my head that invalidates my experiences, that blames myself. That voice also reminds me that what I’ve gone through is nothing compared to other women.

That last part is true- I am so lucky that I haven’t been subjected to more pain, more violence. I have to recognize the privileges  I #metoohave that protect me from that. But I’ve read so many other posts from women who said they weren’t sure if they should say “me too”.  They weren’t sure if their experience was bad enough to count. I think this is a huge part of the problem.

Every time we downplay these events, it becomes easier to ignore the everyday violence that’s so prevalent in our world. I don’t think the “me too” campaign is perfect by any means; I have a problem with the world asking survivors of trauma to expose their wounds to educate the masses. But at the same time, I commend anyone who is brave enough and willing to share their story. To all my sisters who have gone through far worse than I- I love you, I see you, I will always fight for you. And to all those who have spent years downplaying their harassment or abuse- I also love you, and see you, and want to remind you that your pain is valid. Your voice is valid, and nothing that was ever done to you against your will is justifiable.” – Jasmine Roth

#MeToo for a Better Tomorrow

The explosion of #MeToo on the internet can give all of us hope for a better tomorrow for humanity. Maybe we can build a culture of love and respect – the one our original mind knows we were born for.

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One Response to “What #MeToo Means for All of Us”

  1. Shelley Watanabe
    October 28, 2017 at 11:59 am #

    Heather, your definition of what kind of love people want and need is so true. Today in schools and colleges the environment does not support this concept. Too much toxic stuff has been poured into thoughts and daily life of our youth. Images from vulgar music, pounding constantly through car speakers or headphones. Movies and video games, with explicit sex. Parties, sexting. This is entertainment, which leads to this type of relationship. This is expected.

    What I mean is that the beauty and purity of what love is and could be is not so available. People are cynical about it. There has been too much pain, and “whatever happens.”

    On the other hand, it is encouraging that many young people are getting passionate about saving the planet. Environmentalism is a place where we can really feel the purity and truth of the earth, and thus find it within ourselves. I am so grateful to have taken some courses in this field, and shared comments with fellow students who are in their 20’s and 30’s. There is a longing, a deep longing for that love that you describe, although it is not spoken of.

    Thank you so much for your thoughts.

    Shelley Watanabe

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