The power of stories, the power of listening, I too am “Pro-Voice”.

www.4exhale.org

The random magic of using my ADD on the internet. 

Somehow I found Exhale an after abortion counseling hot-line.  What a concept, a place for people to talk.  Religion and politics and right and wrong – all about abortion.  Not a lot of room for acceptance, listening, compassion, when politics, religion, right, wrong are in play.  And regardless how you feel about abortion, or which side of the topic you fall on, this post is about something bigger than that.

I was quoted in Glamour magazine in a brief editorial piece titled “It’s Time to Make Peace on Abortion”.  I am quoted talking about the impact of personal stories.

I’ve always thought that carefully planned and specifically intented a healing circle a sharing circle about abortion would be helpful.  I can just imagine the power of sharing your story in the strong loving container a circle creates.  I ran this idea by someone once with no idea about what I would hear back.

She had two abortions.  She needed to tell me about the circumstances.  I of course listened with all of my heart.  Then she told me how difficult it would be to come to a talking circle.  The fear of judgement, the fear of who else would be coming to the Circle.  I put the idea away.  Until today.

Something about the topic grips me.  I’ve never had an abortion.  Like most women, I know people who have.  If abortion was more accessible and legal in 1968 I might not be here.  I had an unplanned pregnancy, I did not have an abortion.

I am about healing and justice.  I am about compassion and caring.  I am about helping people be better than their past.  How can I not be “PRO-VOICE”?

After reading more about Exhale, I had to get to the blog of the Executive Director, Aspen Baker.

From Aspen Baker’s blog:

I had completed some important stage of the healing process by physically getting the story outside of my body.   By telling the story to strangers, I really was able to let go of some of the residual pain and trauma I’d been carrying -B.T.

I don’t know what this quote is about, and that’s the not point.  The point is the power of storytelling for healing.  The point is the power of “Pro-Voice”.

In restorative justice we harness the power of storytelling.  The power of having victims and others listen to offenders speak about “what happened”.  Community members and offenders supporting victims as they share their stories.  Hearing stories helps.  I am a far better human being because of all the stories I have heard in Circles.  The work of exhale, is a vivid and strong reminder of why the simple act of speaking and listening in Circle, helps heal hearts.

follow them on Twitter@XhaleIsProVoice  (building abortion peace through listening and storytelling).