Finding Your Voice
There is a weight upon her
A pressure that’s unseen
A burden carried on her own
A yoke she can’t break free
There is a rage within her
A simmer down below
A space she dare not enter
A space you dare not go
There is a light within her
Stifled, yet still there
A subtle, distant glimmer
That soon shall be a flare
There is a heat within her
It radiates, it glows
A passion lying in the wait
It’s presence no one knows
There is a captivation
Much more than meets the eyes
She’ll learn to call herself “enough”
Imperfect, though she tries
There is a power within her
She calls on it by choice
A resonance with those like her
She calls her power...”voice”
There is a weight upon her
A rage that bubbles deep
A flare is sparked, which lights the dark,
Gives presence to the heat
Her captivation grips you
You thought you called her bluff,
But her power, “voice,” sustains her;
She calls herself “enough.”
How is it that we find our own voice in a world where so many voices seem to weigh in?
Many of us have lived under the weight of what others have chosen for us for so long that we don’t even know whose voice we’re following. Is it ours? Is it theirs?
...Who are “they” anyway?
Or maybe we don’t even realize that we aren’t actually listening to our voice because it’s been so long since we’ve heard our voice for what it is....maybe we have never heard it because it was stifled so early.
There is no secret here. I don’t have the magic answer or the “How to Find Your Voice Cheat-Sheet.”
Although, it would be cool if I did!
What I can say is it requires a lot of listening, first. Listening to yourself.
No- for real.
Like reeeAAaaallllyy listening to your intuition, trying to pinpoint the moment when your voice rises up, and before it becomes stifled by the voices around you.
By the way- those “voices” take a lot of forms. Friends, co-workers, parents, siblings, children, pastors, teachers, spouses, media, your barista....should I go on?
AND- it’s not like all those voices are inherently wrong.
What I’m saying is that they just aren’t YOURS, and to live authentically and whole, we must have recognition of our own voice before we can side with the voice of others.
How do you learn to listen to yourself when you haven’t heard yourself speak?
You notice. Notice the fear that rises when you feel pressured to have an answer. Notice the inadequacy you feel when you’ve made a mistake. Notice the way you speak to yourself on a daily basis. Notice the rage the comes forth when you feel the injustice of a situation. Notice the peace of doing what you enjoy. Notice the joy or excitement when everything goes just “right.”
Simply, notice. And then begin to breathe those moments in.
I don’t mean to sound fluffy here, really I don’t.
But literally breathing into these moments helps you to center your thoughts and feelings in the here-and-now. It activates your parasympathetic nervous system, decreasing anxiety and external “static” and increasing your ability to focus your attention to the feeling of being in your body, in that very moment.
And wouldn’t you know...your voice happens to live right there in your body with you! What a concept, huh?
We can learn (or re-learn) to rest in the “enough-ness” of the voice that is our own by first taking the time to notice it, without judgement.
Sometimes we can do this easily on our own. Sometimes, our voice has become so muddled that we don’t know where to start- that’s where the help of a professional can be of benefit.
Be patient. Hold compassion for yourself in this process. It takes time, patience, practice, and consistency, but you’ll find your voice again. I know you will.
Take some time to write stream-of-conscious (that means whatever comes to mind-no filter!) for at least 10 minutes. Ask your voice what it has to say and how you will know, in other moments, that it’s speaking to you.
Write anything that pops into your mind as it is- no need for perfectly formed sentences, punctuation, or spelling and grammar checks. Also, it doesn’t have to make sense right now. Trust that whatever comes to mind has important meaning, even if you aren’t sure what it is right now. (P.S. Congratulations on listening to your voice!)