#MeToo Ritual Prayer

Remembering to breathe and to breathe deeply and then once more, to take the breath in and let the breath out, we pause, poised as we are, at a point of risking, at a possibility of courage: #metoo.

Risking vulnerability

Risking pain

Risking being known

Risking being not believed

Risking being believed

Risking so much, including leaving the shadows behind, and stepping into healing light.

Risking being brave.

I invite any women, girls, and those who grew up in female bodies in the room who understand yourselves to be included in the #metoo movement, this moment in time when women are stating publicly that we have been sexually harassed, or sexually assaulted, or sexually harmed, any one of these or all of them. I invite you to come forward and be with me, and stay with me, and if you are so moved, to add your stone to this well of tears.

[allow time & space for those to join]

I will try to be brave. And if you are not feeling brave, you can have some of mine. And if I am not feeling brave, I will borrow some of yours. We will add our brave together, add it all up so that our brave-together light will outshine the shadow.

I add this stone—larger than the actual one in my hand—for those in the room who are not yet ready to come forward, but know the truth of their story and are a part of #metoo. We honor your choice to not come forward at this time.

I invite anyone in the room who knows someone, loves someone, regardless of their gender, who has been sexually harassed, sexually assaulted, sexually harmed—any one of these or all of them. I invite you to rise in body or raise your arms, adding your committed witness to those who have risked coming forward, who have risked being brave.

I will try to be brave. And if you are not feeling brave, you can have some of mine. And if I am not feeling brave, I will borrow some of yours. We will add our brave together, add it all up so that our brave-together light will outshine the shadow.

Let us bring intention to this act of courage, of witness, of solidarity. Let us notice and see, truly see, the pain in this room…and the possibility. Let us commit in the quiet of our hearts to do what you can to stop any future harm. And may we build and ever rebuild the world where safety, equality, and justice, wholeness and integrity, are the air we breathe.

May it be so. Amen.

About the Author

Karen G. Johnston

Karen G. Johnston (she/her/hers) is the settled minister at The Unitarian Society in East Brunswick, NJ. Before becoming a minister, she spent 20+ years as a clinical social worker....

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