An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but will never break.”
–An ancient Chinese belief
Last fall I attended a women’s circle that a friend was hosting. The majority of these women I had never met before and we were covering the topic “Childhood dreams, Adult realities” . As we went around the room each woman shared either about a dream they had as a child or about their childhood and how it impacted their adult reality. I was amazed at how these women showed up and shared. There were stories of losing both parents as a child and being raised in poverty by a grandmother, of a father who walked out on his family leaving a mother to struggle to keep her kids together and fed, one woman shared about her mother’s mental illness and how as a young child it was her responsibility to not upset mommy. The stories poured out about surviving great childhood trauma, yet here we were still standing strong. No one wanted pity, just a sacred space to tell her story, to be heard. As I sat and listened to these stories it became so clear that we all have our trials and tribulations throughout our lives. It isn’t about comparing where we are in the mix, if our stories have weight or worth, it is about using our voices to share and to support ourselves and each other. One woman shared she felt guilty as she listened to the others share because that was not her childhood reality. The women rallied and assured her she need not feel guilty on their account. Each woman in her vulnerability showed her true strength and resilience. Each woman was proud of what she had created out of the rubble of a traumatic childhood. If we don’t share and aren’t willing to be vulnerable we cheat ourselves and we cheat humanity as a whole. We need to understand that we are not alone in our challenges, dysfunction or abuse. We are all one and when we talk free of ego or judgement, we understand that a little more. We ended the evening with a Red Thread ceremony, a movement created by Shiloh Sophia. We gathered in a circle and passed a ball of red yarn around. Each woman would share what her new dream was, wrap the red yarn around her wrist, then pass to the next woman. When we were done we had a visual of how we are all connected and that connection goes on to other women doing similar work. I walked away from that gathering reinvigorated in my pursuit of wholeness and happiness, knowing that together we can all find peace. That gathering was over 6 months ago and a lot has changed. What hasn’t changed is the need for us to be willing to show up in this world and to speak our truth. During our gatherings we speak uninterrupted, this is something many of us never receive. The cost of this is to listen deeply when the other’s speak. When we listen deeply, setting our ego self aside we have much to learn about ourselves. This is something I have been carrying with me and practicing when I am encountering someone I don’t share the same beliefs with. I pay attention to where I get defensive or angry, there is a lesson to be learned. I pay attention to where I feel the need to jump in and explain my beliefs and ask myself what am I being shown. We are being given great opportunities to grow and expand exponentially, it is our choice if we want to use them or pass them by.