Sometimes amid the chaos, the buzz and the constant rhythm of life, I forget that I have a voice. Have you ever forgotten yours?
We know what we want to say, but sometimes it only comes out when we’re talking with someone else about another situation or person.
“Did you really say that?” they ask.
“Well, no, but I wanted to,” you reply. The moment passed, and your thoughts were not shared when they mattered most. I don’t know why I feel so paralyzed at times, but I do. It could be nothing more than a simple comment that comes to mind, but I sometimes can’t get it to come out. Perhaps it’s shy.
Other times, we might intentionally forget about our voice. We might think that there are only two options: say what’s on our mind and risk alienating or offending someone, or let it go. When we do the latter, we silence the harshness before it can materialize and, once again, the moment is gone. The middle ground, of course, is to find a tactful way of saying something. Sometimes I remember to do this, sometimes I don’t. I hate when I don’t.
Then there are the instances where we may think we have no right — or that it’s pointless — to speak.
It’s been too long, so why now?
It’s not my place to say; I’d be butting in.
This is my lot in life, so I’ll just suck it up and stay silent.
Nobody will care, so I’ll keep my mouth shut.
I can’t make a difference on my own, so what’s the use?
I don’t stand a chance.
I’ll be embarrassed.
I don’t want to let my guard down.
I don’t want to hear their response.
I don’t want to be rejected.
What’s funny is that most of the time we’re bracing ourselves for, well, ourselves. In those times when we say what we mean with the heart, passion and voice that we’re so fortunate to have, we realize that it wasn’t so bad after all. In fact, it might even be a bit liberating — and you kind of can’t wait to do it again. In a second, all the voices in our head are quieted, and the one voice that matters was finally heard…by our own ears, as well as those of the person to whom you cared enough about to let it be heard. When it happens — when the truth and clarity is on the table — isn’t it a wonderful feeling?
Tonight I am thankful for my voice — one that could, frankly, stand to be used a bit more. I’m thankful for knowing that I’m sometimes my own worst enemy, and that the people who are worthy of being in our lives are the ones who will let us say what’s on our minds — without blame, without ridicule and without judgment, but with a welcome carpet of warmth and acceptance that our voices all deserve to receive.