Too many women suffer alone and in silence with the weight of pain and suffering bearing down on their heart and soul. The pain and suffering have many causes and takes many forms. Women suffer pain from domestic abuse, sexual assault, eating disorders, self-hatred, depression, infertility and divorce among countless other causes. For too many women, this weight becomes too heavy to carry alone, and still women grin and bear it. Women continue to suffer alone and in silence because of the shame associated with giving voice to the truth, the truth of their story. While the reasons for the shame are as diverse as the millions of women who suffer in this world, here are three reasons highlighting why it is so difficult for women to move beyond the shame.
- Self Blame. Women internalize the pain and suffering and blame themselves for what caused the pain. It is hard to move beyond one's own judgmental thoughts that fuel the shame. "If only I hadn't done this... if only I hadn't done that... how stupid could I have been?" To move beyond the shame, women must move beyond the destructive thoughts in their head which take the form of self-blame and self-loathing.
- Not Painful Enough. Women compare their own stories of pain and suffering with that of others and find it lacking. It is true, no matter the depravity, the depths of the painful experience, someone in the world has been through something worse. Women get trapped in the thought pattern, "Who am I to tell my story when someone else has gone through so much?" They belittle their own pain, their own story, their own truth because they don't believe it was painful enough to matter when someone else survived worse.
- What if it doesn't matter? Women are terrified of telling someone their story because of the fear that it won't matter anyway. What if they withstood all of the judgment and all of the humiliation and found that it didn't make any difference; no one listened and no one cared? The fear that all the pain and suffering really was for nothing is a tremendous weight to bear.
To begin the healing, women must move beyond the shame and speak the truth of their story. To move beyond the shame, women must take back the power to control their destiny. By embracing the truth, women who tell their story give solace and inspiration to other women who are suffering alone and in silence.
Last year, when my husband of 10 years left me when our son was just 4 days old, I entered the world of shame for the first time. I experienced the self-blame first hand and hated myself for whatever I had done to make him leave me. I constantly minimalized my pain and suffering because my story of divorce wasn't as bad as what other women have experienced; my story did not include domestic abuse, just a lost man suffering from severe depression. And above all else, I was terrified that if I faced my fears to tell my story, it would fall on deaf ears and wouldn't make any difference at all.
During this time of darkness and pain, what I needed above all else was to hear from other women who have survived. I needed to know it was possible for me to move beyond the shame.
That is why I created Born Through Fire, a free podcast community where women can hear stories of pain and suffering from the women who lived through it without any judgment or shame.
Guests on Born Through Fire share stories of domestic violence, rape, sexual abuse, cancer, chronic pain, divorce, infertility, eating disorders and miscarriage. The emotion shines through their voice when they speak of the unimaginable pain and suffering they survived. But the pain and suffering isn't the point. The point of Born Through Fire is what comes after the pain. The mission of Born Through Fire is to highlight the triumph of the human spirit. My guests have moved beyond the pain and now fully embody the joy and passion of living in alignment with their life's purpose.
The Born Through Fire podcasting community helps women move beyond the shame, to heal their life and lift their soul. Join me in moving beyond the shame by subscribing to the Born Through Fire podcast. You will hear my story and the story of countless other women who have moved beyond the pain and into the light.
We stand ready to support you in your journey of healing.
Written by Kaly McKenna, Founder and Host of the Born Through Fire podcast, a community to heal your life and lift your soul. You can subscribe to the Born Through Fire podcast here. Kaly is giving away a free 2 week FIREBORN Soul Journal on her website. Follow her inspiration on Facebook & Twitter.