As a society, when a woman speaks her needs, we just don't listen.
Instead we encourage her to push through.
To stick to deadlines and pick up times.
And it's hurting us.
I've been treating a woman recently. She is unwell, and has come to the realisation she cannot maintain the facade of All Being Well a moment longer. She cannot 'put on a brave face' or 'suck it up' anymore.
And yet, her partner asks her to push though. Her boss does too.
Try as she might, there is no pushing though some things.
Truth be told, she had been pushing for quite some time already.
Period pain. Premenstrual mood changes. Debilitating morning sickness. Postnatal depletion. Sleep deprivation. Anxiety. Depression. Gut disfunction. Body pain.
Hers is a story that I see in the clinic almost every day.
A Reminder for us all -
to Believe Her.
When she says she's tired
and that she needs to go to bed
When she says she's too nauseous
one moment more
When she says she's too wired
Or too overwhelmed
When her body aches,
and she's in too much pain -
When she cannot function with her normal vigour
As women we rally.
We rally and rally
all the way to the depths of our own deep depletion.
Thankfully, as women
We are awakening to this.
We are gathering all our experinces together
and seeing that
when our bodies are empty
No One Wins.
We are Finding our Voice,
Standing in our Power
and Asking for the Help
we so desperately sometimes need.
So now, this woman, She is Asking.
And that's incredible.
Asking is a very important part of the dance.
But who is listening?
The other half of the dance.
The part we need to work on.
In our society
Who is listening?
So that when she does speak
As a collective
We Hear Her.
So that when she cries
that very real cry:
I am too tired. I am in so much pain. All this stuff is getting on top of me
We catch her.
We do not ask her
to put on a brave face
one second more.
We do not
tell her to push through
one second more.
We do not dismiss her
by telling her
that she will be fine.
We find a more compassionate way.
A more real way.
We breathe as we recognise
that by the time she asks for help
she has already run through
the thousands of reasons why she shouldn't need it.
The thousands of people more deserving.
We recognise that
she is likely feeling guilt and shame and not enough-ness
at the simple act of asking for support.
And we know
Oh, we know -
By the time she is voicing her pain
and asking for help
it is truly our job to listen.
Because we now appreciate the context.
We see her backstory -
the hardness of the asking -
and we know that so much has already unfolded.
That this is Not Day One of this struggle.
Our compassion flows for her.
we do not ask her to rally.
We ask her to rest.
When she let's that divine softness be,
and extends the fragility of her struggles to us
We meet her there.
We show up for her
with deep compassion and real solutions
to rest, recover and redefine.
To re-establish her divine flow.
There is no greater force of good -
for our world and for our future
than a woman
who has been given the space
to rebuild herself.
Oomph. This is the world I want to live in.
To the woman suffering.
Trying to push though and push through.
Once you find your voice
Keep asking us.
Keep asking for help.
We will do our best to listen
And to Catch You.
Where can you listen to the deep inside of a womans story this week? How can you catch her? Can you be the woman who speaks to her own story and her own deep needs, so that others have to opportunity to extend that same holding back to you?