TALK 4 - Westminster, Colorado


I haven't cried while sharing this story on tour before. Until last night. The story goes, I was pre-med, on track to go to med school, get a surgical residency, become a head/neck surgeon, and save lives like the doctor who saved my mom's life when I was a senior in high school.

But the semester after the assault, I failed chemistry 101. I thought I failed because I was stupid (starts sobbing), now it is abundantly clear that I failed because I was distracted by the unresolved trauma (choking on my spit and tears) because I didn't get help after the assault.

"I'm sorry, this part has never made me cry like this before." I said to the folks in the room. 

I got frustrated at the end because the crying interrupted my flow and I lost my train of thought. I stopped, apologized to the audience, took a few deep breaths, and finished the talk. And you know what? Nobody walked out. Nobody complained to @REI about the speaker who allowed herself to feel the feelings that were coming up.

My goal every time I do this is to lend folks a new perspective about their lives after listening to me share about mine. And last night, I think that happened. After I finished speaking, two women came up to me, crying. I had seen folks wipe a stray tear here and there during different parts of the story, but never anything like this. These women showed all the way up for themselves and allowed themselves to cry. We cried together. For me, for them, for all of us. And it was breathtaking.

Greenwood Village, let's keep this going. Laugh if you think it's funny (some of it is!), cry if you want to cry. #PermissionGranted to let down the walls and feel whatever comes up. That is the first step to getting free from the trauma that has been weighing us down: Feel the damn feelings. And please know, your feelings are not "too much" and they won't scare me away. I was blown away by the bravery and beauty I saw last night, and while I don't ever wish for people to cry, when we allow ourselves to be seen - when it's us seeing ourselves in a new light for the first time - we start to move the needle on our healing.

This is the last talk in the Denver area, I hope to see you there.