She Who Dares

“How dare you write that out loud,” she wrote to me.

It was launch day of Season Two of the pod, AKA my birthday, and the day was FULL of to-do lists and last minute details to make sure everything went off without a hitch. As I pulled into the parking lot to pick up the wine for the evening, I saw the notification that we had a Facebook message. I’m a bit obsessed with providing an immediate response to these, so I stopped in my tracks and opened it, expecting it to be another congratulatory sentiment about podcast launch day. Instead, I read this:

“I oftentimes can’t figure out what to do with these posts. They can be inspiring and at the same time evoke painful emotions and I find myself saying, ‘How dare you write that out loud.’ Do you find other women questioning - ‘What should I do about this?’”

Well, damn.. didn’t see that one coming.

I could not tear my eyes away from that phrase….

How dare you

You know, those are not words we use when we are feeling warm and safe and comfy.

It’s a phrase we use when we feel hurt, afraid, or even betrayed by someone trusted.

And in case you had any doubts, I NEVER…literally never, ever, ever… want a woman to come here and read things that leave her feeling betrayed.

So, this message required my immediate attention.

I replied, and we had a nice little exchange, but her words have stayed with me all of these months. Every time our team made a decision about future content, I would think about her. I would wonder how this would land with her. I would consider if this was just another moment where the words we share would crack her open, but would offer little to help with the pieces that spilled out.

And the “let us crack you open, but good luck sorting through your mess” approach.. well, I’m just not having that.

Your pain has a purpose, and we are going to find a way to walk beside you while you search for it, leaving you only when you tell us you want to walk alone.

But I began to realize that in order to walk with you, we need to lay eyes on you. We need to be able to speak the words we’ve written, to hear your stories out loud, to wrap our arms around you when you feel like your pain might be too big to bear.

We have to translate this virtual storytelling collective into a real-life, living, breathing collective of courage completely capable of helping you find the freedom you crave. We have to introduce you to the chorus of voices who have been where you are, who can see where you want to go, who can walk with you as long as you need.

And so that is exactly what we are going to do.

And we are calling it The Full Circle. Because that’s what it is.

A wide-open circle of women inviting you to be and do and live and love.

I know, I know.. a circle of women is a lot of commitment and you’re just not a “joiner”. Neither am I.

But imagine, if you will, sitting in a room where you didn’t have to prove anything. You didn't even have to speak if you didn’t want to. Your only job is to show up and just keep breathing.

And yes, I know asking for help is not your thing. It’s not mine either.

But imagine, if you will, a world in which the offer to help was subtle, any judgment suspended, and only required you to receive it, palms up and heart open.

We are going to create that room. We are going to create that world. And we don’t have to dare to do it alone.

So join us. We have each other. And we are all we need.

Sarah Stevens