Think about a time when you heard the sound of your voice on an audio or video tape. I have never spoken with anyone about this who hasn’t said, “Oh my, is that what I sound like?” Makes you wonder about all of the other ways in which we perceive ourselves as showing up in the world, that is totally out of sync with how others see us. How hard do we work to pull together a certain ‘image’, even though we know that the mirror that we looked in before we sent that out in public is not the same as the lens that others will see us through?
When I think about the sound of my own voice, I have to acknowledge some realities
- I cannot change it
- I can never hear it as others do
- Through my own ears, it seems like it ‘fits’ me
Done, and done. I know I can’t live effectively or happily in the world without talking, so I need to choose acceptance (or suffering) around this.
But when we talk about finding your voice – that is something much broader. When we speak of this, it is easy to confuse it with simply saying what you think more loudly. That is certainly not what I mean here. Finding one’s voice doesn’t have to have anything to do with talking at all. I see it instead as the centered-ness you have about who you are and what you believe.
And when I work with someone who is struggling to acknowledge who they are so they can give voice to this through their actions, I suggest that it is rarely found by talking and thinking more. Rather, it is made clear by listening to yourself. Interestingly, the most common reaction to this is fear. In part because we have such little practice at truly listening to our heart. But also because we are afraid of our light, our power. Unfortunately, when we keep ourselves small, we fail to serve ourselves and others.
If your dreams weren’t already within you, you couldn’t dream them – you don’t need anyone’s permission but your own to give voice to them.