One of the toughest and most important choices for a leader is to look within and do the deep work to heal the echoes of trauma. By looking and healing our past, they lighten the load of their burdens so they can lead themselves—and others—better.
On the contrary, right now, we are watching in real-time the dangers of leaders who are not in touch with their humanity and lead with pain, bullying, and fear. We are breathing in so much toxicity right now and it is taking a toll on all of us.
And even still, I’m struck by how those leaders who have done the work to heal the echoes of their trauma are navigating 2020. I am noticing fatigue, for sure. But I am seeing something else...
The resilience and tenderness I am seeing in these leaders is inspiring me: they are navigating these echoes imperfectly but with an ownership and confidence grounded in their inherent worthiness and value—less encumbered by seeking value and safety externally.
However, the echoes of trauma from domestic and intimate partner violence are particularly insidious—creeping into day-to-day decisions in ways that are often hard to detect but show up in ways that impact confidence and clarity.
My guest today, Former Congresswoman Katie Hill, is a powerhouse in work and life and she is also a survivor of domestic violence. She wasn't yet 30 when she embarked on her run for Congress. By 31, she had become not only a Member of Congress - and one of the youngest women to ever serve in the House of Representatives - but also a member of Congressional Leadership.
Former Congresswoman Hill resigned from her position less than a year after entering Congress, following political sabotage by her abusive ex-husband in a scandal that began a national conversation around questions of bisexuality, domestic abuse, cyber exploitation, workplace power dynamics, and what happens when regular people who live regular lives run for office.
Former Congresswoman Hill is also the author of She Will Rise: Becoming a Warrior in the Battle for True Equality and the founder of Her Time, a political action committee supporting women in politics who are shaping their communities, and the country, for the better.
Please note: This episode will be discussing domestic violence and suicidal ideation. Take care as you listen and pause if you need to. If you or someone you know is struggling with domestic violence and/or thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at www.thehotline.org or call 800.799.7233 or contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.8255.