For many women, what holds us back boils down to this: Will I be loved if I become everything that I am meant to be? Maybe it's the fear that we can't be strong and taken care of at the same time. Maybe it's simply the fear of looking stupid from making a mistake as we come into our power. Or maybe it's the collective memory of witches being burned at the stake for owning their power. I know in my case, all have applied.
In talks with numerous women, I have found that there are many of us whose inner wisdom tells us that we are so much more than we are allowing ourselves to be, but we are still holding back. Even though we want to change the world for the better, we shrink when all eyes turn on us.
Christiane Northrup, MD, writes in her bestselling book, Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom, "We can't create a new world if we believe that we must remain small and ineffective on any level in order for others to love us or for them to feel safe around us." Although this book was originally published in 1994, Christiane's words still certainly apply.
What I have come to discover is that each time a woman shares her truth about her insecurities, questions, doubts, addictions, abuse, as well as her joys, ecstasies, discoveries, mystical experiences, spiritual beliefs, and feelings of power, it heals another woman.
Haven't you ever wondered why almost every year at the New York Marathon a new runner sets a record, or at each Olympics the athletes seem to be breaking records left and right?
Rupert Sheldrake, an innovative British biologist and author, has an answer for this. He posits that when an athlete breaks a record, it opens the door for other athletes to break the record. He explains this in terms what he calls morphogenic fields. These are electromagnetic fields that are said to contain knowledge of all the earth's past. Sheldrake explains that the morphogenic around the world record is changed by the first person who breaks it, thus making it easier for others to equal that performance by tapping into the new morphogenic field.
Pretty cool stuff.
So in the same way, as Dr. Northrup suggests in her book, when a woman finds the courage to come out of silence on an issue -- be it food, sex, money, relationships, health, spirituality, etc., -- she too is breaking the collective morphogenic field of shame, fear and pain. In other words, each time a woman speaks her truth, it makes other women stronger.
"Breaking the silence takes courage. I know of no woman who has tapped her inner source of power without going through an almost palpable veil of fear, often feeling as though her very life would be threatened by telling the truth," says Dr. Northrup in Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom.
I know for myself I have been silent on issues ranging from money (not asking for help when I needed it because I was embarrassed about not being "perfect"), to silent rage about being treated as second fiddle to the male gender, to owning my own power as an intuitive healer and modern day medicine woman.
Step by step, my voice is opening and my power is expanding. It has taken the courage of other women to speak their truth such as Christiane Northrup, Louise Hay, Debbie Ford, Caroline Myss, Arianna Huffington,, Barbara Stanny, Christiane Amanpour, Clarisssa Pinkola Estes, my dear friend Lotta Alsen, and other incredible women to help me break through my own silence and own who I am.
What it is that you have been silent on in your life?
Write about it. Talk about it. Create art based on it.
The point is that whether it's sharing your truth with a friend at coffee, blogging about it on the Internet, talking with your family, writing a poem, writing a book, making a film, or starting up a business or organization with a cause-based mission -- each time you share your truth (and by this I mean your deepest inner knowing), you help another woman to heal.
Tabby Biddle, M.S. Ed. is a writer editor dedicated to amplifying the voices of women changemakers. Her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and other popular media. She lives in Santa Monica, CA with her husband.