I was two minded about planning an official “Meet & Greet”. Would anyone be interested to meet and listen to my story? Sure I had a few people last week to collect books, but this one was different.
This one would invite people regardless of whether they wanted a book or not. Cautiously my husband created the invitation and we posted it on all socials. I was pleasantly surprised at how many people sent an RSVP and wanted to talk about their experiences with GBV. What a delightful morning we spent at Flower Cafe in Woodstock. We reserved a lounge area exclusively for the “Meet & Greet” so it made it a bit more special.
Guests arrived from about 09:30 so we could chat before officially starting. It was a quiet morning and I could sense the beauty in the air. I felt inadequate to share for a moment, until I had to realise who I was and what my truth meant to others. Sharing my story remains one of my goals and I will do so with conviction of spirit. The morning progressed and I shared a bit about my story and the journey of writing My Shack. A lady from the previous unofficial “Meet & Greet” joined us and at that time, had finished reading the book. She started asking questions and from there a dialogue of conversation between me and the attendees emerged. It was wonderful. I loved every minute of sharing and I loved how comfortable everybody was to share their truth.
The morning was as if we all knew each other as everyone just became so friendly. We had some giggles and some tears, but the important part was that we all shared and this my dear is how community is built. I had realised that it was important to create a safe space to share and to learn from each other. This day, more than any other day, made me realise how important it was to share our stories and that our stories heal. Our stories edify. Our stories are what makes us human. It proves that vulnerability is what our society needs. What is the myth of not sharing our struggles as we so easily share our joys. That is how our the community used to respond.
I am here to say that I will use this platform to break that cycle. Sharing out struggles and stories is what we need here and now. We had one lady that shared her experience of being raped for the first time. She was so emotional and yet so, so beautiful. As she shared I could feel her intense heartbeat and how this incident caused so much heartache in her life and yet, you would never say that she was walking around with this burden. My heart broke for her, yet I was acutely aware that this would be the reality of creating these safe spaces. I embraced her. I loved her and from then on, we remained in contact, often sharing of ourselves with each other. She was a victim turned overcomer. She was.
My mind was made up – I was to have regular “Meet & Greets” not to just “Meet & Greet” and share my story, but to create a platform for others to share too. Afterall, we are stronger together