One of the reasons I love being a therapist is the work in helping people find their voice. We are surrounded by the opinions of others, the advice of friends, and the regulations of the world.
We live in a world of contradictions: Pave your way and also follow this path. Follow the leader and be the leader. Be kind and don’t let everyone walk on you.
It becomes difficult to hear yourself when you are trying to balance the social norms. It becomes even more difficult if you find yourself more on the quiet side and prefer to speak one-on-one rather than to a whole group.
But it is possible to use your voice and find it. The problem is it can take more than just a few sessions to discover it. In order to find your voice, you have to start to remember when you first lost it. Did you give a speech and stutter so the whole class made fun of you? Did you go home to show your parents you aced a test and they were too busy doing something else? Did you express your love and care for someone to only instantly be rejected?
We all have our own story of how we lost our voice. Whether it’s connected to family, friends, school, jobs, there is a connection and a story connected to our inability to speak our thoughts, beliefs and minds.
In the process of remembering when you first lost your voice, then you also have to be reminded of the pain it caused you. Of the shame it may have created and the fears that have haunted you since. It is not healthy nor kind to yourself to rush through this phase. You need to feel the emotions you’ve stuffed down. You need to share the pain it caused and continues to cause you today.
And then the beauty begins to happen in the painful place. You get to remember what you wish you could have said and you actually say it. You get to name the response you wanted and you get to receive it. You get to be heard and your voice gets to be honored.
Discovering your voice takes time, it takes patience, it takes trust, and it takes courage. But your voice deserves to be heard, it deserves to be used, and it has so much power.
What’s stopping you from finding your voice? What’s stopping you from using it?
I would love to hear your answer to these questions and share with you the reasons I have difficulty using my voice as well.
Let your voice be heard.