Vulnerability is STRENGTH, never weakness.
Sharing takes courage.
Sharing doesn’t erase what happened. It doesn’t make it go away.
Sharing IS standing in our truth.
Sharing is saying ENOUGH.
Sharing is empowering those who are deep in their darkness - silenced by shame - unable to see the light.
Shame cannot survive sharing.
It needs isolation.
It needs us to know we are alone in it.
The most vivid - as a young girl with wild dreams - sexualized + objectified by my coaches. On deck. Every inch of me analyzed. All in good fun, right?
Wrong. Every f-ing bit of it.
But shame shut me down. Silenced me. I felt exposed. Trapped. I wondered, what is wrong with me?
I told no one. As teammates, subject to the same language, we didn’t talk about it.
There was no hiding in a bathing suit.
I wanted to quit swimming. And escape from my life.
Never sharing a word.
My mom noticed something was off, and we changed teams. I tried so hard to run from those memories. I shut them out. At least I tried.
We cannot outrun pain. Numbing. Running. Burying. It doesn’t work.
As Maya Angelou says :: “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.”
I’ve come home to me.
And that means stepping into the pain - in order to set it free. To set me free.
And still two words. Me too. Are so hard to write.
There’s this toxic undercurrent that exists in our culture that somehow we deserved it. That it was somehow our fault.
Here’s what I know for sure.
Awareness is empowering. And, there is so much POWER in knowing we are not alone.
We're at a cultural tipping point.
It’s time for us to start editing the stories that need to be edited - collectively - by stepping into our common humanity.
Gender. Race. Religion. Socioeconomic status.
No more choosing anger as a front for fear. No more isolating or numbing.
We’ve got a lot of pain under here. As a people.
We can move in. We can choose to listen.
We can do the hard work.
We are strong.
We are capable.
We are worthy.
We are enough.
All of THIS. It's a major drive of my WHY.
My four girls. All the girls. Women. Boys. Men. Who've been dehumanized + violated.
For those whose wounds are still so raw - I’m with you. I fight for you. Every damn day. In my work + my words + in choosing vulnerability.
Samantha Livingstone is an Olympic Gold Medalist, transformational speaker, high performance coach and mama of four. She inspires and empowers others to cultivate the courage, resilience and perseverance needed to let go of perfection and other limiting beliefs so they can live their dream. Samantha candidly shares her battles with her inner critic, depression, perfection, PTSD and parenting as a working mother because she believes in the transformative power of story – and the strength that comes from knowing we are not alone. She is on a mission to pay forward all that she’s learned to help others find joy and live free.
A mama of heart warrior and mama of twins, Samantha and her husband, Rob, live in the Berkshires with their four girls.
You can learn more about Samantha at www.samanthalivingstone.com.