We are all stewards of one another’s spirits. When others suffer, we suffer, because we are all connected.
As difficult as it is to empathize with the pain of others, it’s why we are here ~ to love one another. To recognize that we all hold a mirror to each other and to develop such deep love and compassion toward ourselves and our fellow humans that it is our innate inclination to alleviate suffering of all kinds and no longer live in judgement or assumptions.
Yes, it’s hard to go to those dark places. Trust me, I’m the one who cries in commercials and literally doesn’t watch the news because I just “can’t bear” the heartbreak of others. Or so I tell myself. But, what’s the alternative?! I have spent many nights crying myself to sleep thinking about these kids being exploited through human trafficking. I have even questioned bringing my kids into this world with the bombardment of things that my heart and brain have an impossible time comprehending. I wrestle daily in figuring out my place in how to solve and heal the profound soul sickness our society is experiencing.
I’ve been exposing myself to what I consider to be the most excruciating crisis on our planet today. Selling people, including children, for sex, labor, and body organs. Really?! I’m an unlikely advocate given my high sensitivity. Anyone who knows me well and learned about my involvement with Children’s Voice International has gently asked the question, “Are you sure you are able to handle this type of work?”
To give just two examples that give you a window into me: I burst out crying 3 years ago when I saw the bullying scene in “A Christmas Story” for the first time – ask my kids. When my middle-school son told me he watched “The Purge” at a sleepover and I went to watch the trailer to see what it was, I burst out hysterically crying and felt like I was going to throw up (ask my friend Nancy – she saw me shortly thereafter).
Exposing myself to this issue has also opened up old wounds about my mom and Aunt Veronica (my namesake), who were brutally physically, sexually, and mentally abused in the hands of a foster care family at the ages of 4 and 5 and as a result, have Multiple Personality Disorder (now called Dissociative Identity Disorder). They wrote a book about it a few years ago that they never attempted to publish as part of their healing process, and I just brought myself to read it for the first time after having the manuscript for years, because, well, I know myself.
What I have come to believe, and the reason I’m able to keep showing up every day and not be curled up in a ball somewhere, is because I have discovered that I won’t die from a broken heart. It hurts like hell to go to the places that scare us, yet, in my experience, it undoubtedly hurts more to shut the heart down. The heart is not meant to have a barrier around it to keep the pain out. If you get still, you can even feel the wall you have built to keep the uncomfortable feelings at bay. It doesn’t work though! The heart needs to be wide open in order for us to truly flourish and thrive.
Ironically, I have found that our hearts just open wider and wider when we are really able to open them up to the shadow sides of ourselves and our brothers and sisters. When our hearts are open, we see ourselves and we see each other for who we really are. All of the masks and illusions of the culture fall away, and all we see is love.
When we shut our hearts down and put our head in the sand regarding the suffering of others, we suffer, because deep down our souls know that we are the same…that the other person is us. When we turn our backs on the pain others are experiencing, we turn our backs on ourselves.
When we open up ourselves to the truth of who we are – pure, good, and kind at the core – we naturally desire to be generous with our thoughts, prayers, and actions and begin to live from a “do no harm philosophy”. When we do this, we organically begin advocating for a “do no harm” world. We all play a critical role in creating that. Each and every one of us.
The human spirit is phenomenally resilient, and kids, teens, and adults can heal from the emotional, mental and physical trauma that is a result of the horror of human trafficking. The real horror to the victims of these crimes is when we, as a culture, turn our backs on taking a stand against this evil because we don’t think our voices matter or just accept that this is the world we live in today, or that these crimes have been around since the beginning of time. Every single one of our voices and actions matter greatly, and these children need us!
Let’s make sure our kids’ kids only know human trafficking from a history lesson, and put an end to this humanitarian crime once and for all.
I’m incredibly inspired and in awe of the countless organizations that are taking the many pieces of this very complicated puzzle and putting them together to heal. As we help the victims heal, we allow ourselves to heal in the process.
Next we need to be talking about the perpetrators of these crimes, who need love, compassion, and forgiveness to break the cycle of violence, addiction, and dysfunction that they likely came from. More on that in another post.
Children’s Voice International is stepping in at the point where children have begun their healing process to help them get back on their feet by providing scholarship money to pursue an education and gain employment when they graduate.
We partner with other anti-trafficking organizations who are providing rescue, mental & emotional healing, legal support, and advocacy for people who have fallen into this darkness. We all need to take an active role in advocacy and prevention for the love of our brothers and sisters, and most especially, our innocent children. Our kids are not for sale.
We all get to be the light for people who have suffered in such a profound way. This is why we are here. Love truly is all there is, and kindness truly is the solution to all of our suffering, individually and collectively.
Please share the work we are doing so we can create awareness, healing, and opportunities for the kids who need it most.
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Veronica SommerStatus is reachable
Life Coach at The Kindness Solution; Board Member at Children’s Voice International
Published • 8mo
People have been asking me why I joined Children’s Voice International at the exact same time I launched my coaching business this year. Turns out I have 3 vocations – raising my kids, helping people get “unstuck” and do what they are truly called to do, and building and organization dedicated to helping children who have been victims of human trafficking.
The irony of it all is that the old, hard-driving, success-at-any-cost, recovering-from-workaholism-and-burnout- Veronica, has gone to pasture. 🤣
I have transitioned from hustle and struggle, to grace, ease, and flow, and I’m kind of digging this new life.
And even though I find human trafficking to be the most heart-wrenching issue on our planet today, I’m doing the work I feel called to do, and I have learned to let these values guide me now: Trust, Faith, and Surrender. I’m a slow take, but I finally caught on. I am not in charge here. Note to self!
With all of the challenges I have faced over the past 5-10 years, I wouldn’t change any of it. All of it has led me to right here, right now. And I have finally learned to live in the present and have the returning feelings of joy and fulfillment.
Love is why we are here ❤. Thank you for sharing this journey with me!