“Because we believed in victory” This is how a survivor of the Nazis’ Ravensbruck concentration camp responded to Sarah Helm’s question about how people survived.
Starting the day with an excerpt from Helm’s 2015 book, “Ravensbruck: Life and Death in Hitler’s Concentration Camp for Women” is bracing. Reflecting on what it means to believe in victory and how that affects the life force of survivors of male violence, I spent the rest of my morning in meditation specifically focused on enlightened society, and contemplating our basic human goodness. I am very fortunate to have the space for that in my life.
What makes those of us working with the effects of male violence everyday (which is all of us, but I mean specifically survivors and healers at the moment) among the most optimistic people I have ever met, about our human future?
Part of it is witnessing our own and other survivors’ bravery, grace, strength, caring, wisdom, humor and love. The many women I have walked alongside while they heal themselves, are a constant inspiration and proof of women’s tremendous life force power.
Oceans of tears are incredibly powerful, just like the planetary oceans, and all those drops add up to almost limitless force. Women are frequently shamed for crying, so I salute the bravery and resistance shown by shedding tears, for ourselves and our sisters, our mothers and children and this planet. Sandra Bland’s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal spoke of riding this tide into power, into war, after burying her baby: “I’m ready.”
Recently two mothers of more than four children each spoke with me about the judging and condemnation even, they received from eco-concious progressives, from liberals, and from conservatives, for various reasons. One admitted being confused, and another was just angry. How glad I was to be able to chat with them, and share my feeling that the world needs more people, not less, who are raised in love by caring parents.
“Because we believe in victory” our eyes still shine, our hearts stay human, we can smile to ourselves, we can steel ourselves and we can cut through confusion about our future. If we sit quietly with ourselves and our children, we might find that victory is happening now, is never extinguished, and can be felt at all times. That is our launching pad, our home and our heart. There is nothing more powerful than this. Deep inside we know this, and that is why we live. Whether its 6 years of war against Hitler, or the next 500 of healing our planet, we have what we need already inside us: victory.
Photo: Peter Rivera