So much of my life requires that I have a voice. I love to sing for creativity or for worship. I thrive on coffee with friends, talking about our lives and our dreams. I talk to people on the phone for both work and coaching, so even my livelihood depends on my voice. This summer, I lost it to a throat infection, twice in one month. When my voice did come back, it took awhile to get up to full functionality. It was a tiny taste of hell for this normally chatty extrovert. My voice is more than just the sound that comes out of my mouth, and so is yours.
Your voice is an outward expression of who you are and what matters most to your heart.
My voice is strong, even though you can hear a slight quiver when I talk about the things that drive me or upset me. My voice is quiet; I won’t be the loudest just to get my ideas and insight heard. My voice is hopeful, although you may hear it as straightforward and maybe a little too honest. I speak that way because I see the potential in you, and I really want you to see it too.
I’ve figured out quickly in life, love and work, that there are some who don’t want to hear a voice like mine. There are those who believe that status quo is a happy place. There are those who want to believe that they are just okay, that there isn’t any more for them to go after. There are those who once had a voice like mine, but gave it away, slowly and in small pieces, to a boss, a lover or to repetitive disappointments. I’ve given away pieces of mine.
I’ve had some instances recently where I could have just backed down and nodded my head. I could have been respectful or polite, obeyed the rules of order and gotten through my day. I could have given up pieces of my voice for the sake of being nice, but I’d rather be kind. I’d rather love, even when it means that some don’t approve.
“I Spoke Up”, by Steffany Gretzinger, has been playing over and over in my head for a month now. Listen to it, but know that if you're the type to read this blog, it will make you cry.
I've been stuck on this one line:
“I’ve learned that love don’t hold its tongue, and passion doesn’t bow to what they think...so I spoke up…”
Your voice is beautiful. It speaks not only for you, but also for the ideals you live by, the people you love, the injustices you fight and the dreams that you work toward. Your voice is a kindness that you give to the world.
Finding your voice is a way to be kind to yourself. Using your voice is a way to be kind to the rest of us.
How will you speak up?