Tonight I attended an event at ABC Home & Carpet in the Deepak Homebase studio. Eve Ensler (of the Vagina Monologues) led this discussion about supporting Congolese women recover and heal from the war atrocities of gang rapes and mutilation.  But it was so much more than that…the discussion covered the political and social issues in the Congo, the horrific violence against females (ALL ages), and her vision of a long-term solution to stabilizing the Congo…empowering the women in the City of Joy.

The City of Joy was built by the Congolese, and for the first time ever in the Congo, there were women ‘construction workers’. In this refuge girls and women of all ages are medically cared for and then begin to thrive “through healing therapy, learning their rights, literacy training, self defense, civics, computer skills, agricultural training and public speaking. In less than six months, graduates have returned to their villages and created farming cooperatives, opened orphanages and homes for the aged and infirm, demanded their rights, given speeches, built community and taught what they have learned.”

What does this have to do with Lyme disease?  Nothing and everything.

Nothing in that they are not dealing with Lyme disease, everything in that they are human beings who’s bodies were damaged (some unimaginably), who’s spirits were broken and their lives destroyed.

These women are rising up. They have reignited their inner light, they are healing at a soul level and they are powerful.  There is no human being more powerful than the one who has hit rock bottom, and then rebuilt their life on that rock solid foundation.

joyI was so moved by the stories that were shared, and I was so inspired to hear that when these women were asked what they wanted from other people, they said they just wanted to be empowered.  This is the human spirit in revival - a slow and steady healing.  No matter how we hit our lows, the opportunities are the same. Turning inward to the power that we are, standing for our rights but without using past methods of dominance or fear, holding on for what serves the greater good…now that is some stuff to make us dance with joy.

The Congolese women in The City of Joy are going beyond physically mending, they are healing. And that causes a shift in consciousness, and it has no boundaries when it comes to the ripple effect.

May we all be blessed by those ripples…

(In case you have any interest in learning more, here are links to  The City of Joy or V-Day: A Global Movement to end violence against women and girls.)

Amazing letters, just amazing!