I’ve been struggling for some time with trying to find my voice.
You know the voice. Not the one that tells you to give up or that you need to be better. The one that is clear as a bell and won’t take no for an answer. The one you believe, not because of what it says but because you know deep down it’s your voice.
And it’s speaking your truth.
Sometimes I hear what sounds like this voice coming from other people’s writing, words, or life. It’s misleading because it makes me think, Hey, there’s my voice! I just need to say what she’s saying or do what he’s doing or live like they’re living and I’ll have it.
So I try that. I try subscribing to other people’s ideas, copying other people’s practices, living other people’s lives.
It always dumps me back in the same unsatisfied spot, feeling disconnected and wondering why.
One of the reasons it’s so hard to hear my voice is because there’s so many other voices out there trying to tell me who I should be. They’re so loud and authoritative. They come with bells and whistles. They shout at me from magazine covers and websites and billboards.
It’s hard to block them out without also blocking out my own voice. I try to lower their volume by lowering mine.
If I don’t speak so loud they won’t tell me to be quiet, simmer down, and live like everybody else. If I don’t speak so loud they won’t ask me to back up my words with some action.
I think that’s how we end up living lives of quiet desperation.
Lately though I’ve been hearing my own voice. It’s strong and clear and getting louder. It asks me tough questions and it doesn’t take cop-outs for answers.
It asks me what I’m made of and what I would do today if I was going to die tomorrow.
It asks me what really matters to me and what value I put on every moment.
It asks me to show up and when I don’t it asks me what was more important than being Here right Now.
Then it asks me to show up again.
This is the voice I’ve been trying to hear. This is the voice I’ve been terrified of hearing.
I’m beginning to hear it even through the cacophony of voices media and society throw at me. I’m beginning to listen to it even when it says what I don’t want to hear.
And I’m beginning to use it. To use my own voice that speaks my own truth that was always there that I’m just beginning to hear that has something to say.
It tells me to get ready for the journey from my head to my heart. It tells me it won’t be easy and I’ll want to turn back. It tells me I’ll have to get naked and vulnerable and leave all my shields and defenses behind. It asks me to get up close and personal with my unfiltered, unedited, unbreakable truth.
It asks me to speak that truth, even if no one will listen.
It reminds me that I say I don’t want to go to my grave with my song still in me, so I better get singing.
What is your voice saying to you?
photo credit: dullhunk