Have you ever woken up suddenly from a dream during the night needing to examine it deeply before you could go back to sleep? One night I did.
I was in a group of people and there was a man in front of us, asking everyone what their greatest difficulty or challenge in life had been so far in accomplishing our goals.
Surprised by this question I was getting more and more dismayed as he went through the crowd because everyone’s answers were so wise and excellent. Then he looked at me. I heard myself speaking! “Finding my voice”, I said confidently. I looked at him questioningly. Nodding at me he went to the next person… and I woke up!!!
I knew the man had given me a profound answer. “Finding my voice”, I said it over and over. I could still feel his nod, so I knew my answer was correct! The more I repeated it the more it was embedded in my mind, my heart and yes, in my soul. This mystical answer began to resonate in me as truth. I had, indeed, lost my voice. This made me think for hours – when, where, how did I allow this to happen and WHY was it so difficult to find again?
When we are babies, we do not worry about speaking up for ourselves.
When we are wet, we cry. When we are hungry, uncomfortable or when we want to be held and loved, we cry.
We speak up!
We do not enter this world being afraid to use our voices. We did not think – what will he think about me? What will she say about me? Will they like me or reject me if I speak up? No – we are born with great courage and even greater expectations. Somewhere I, and perhaps if you can see yourself in this struggle – you, WE lost that courage to use our voices and need to find them again.
How and where do we look? How do we know what kind of voice we should find?
“Cry aloud: do not hold back; lift up your voice like a trumpet.” A good man named Isaiah was told this and was immediately put in the brass section in this orchestra of life!
“The soothing tongue is a tree of life”, Proverbs teaches. Perhaps our part is in the more melodic section of this orchestra, as with the piano.
“Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious”, Ecclesiastes shares. Ah, the string section, with the violins, violas, and haunting tones of the cellos might be beckoning.
Does the percussion section need us, either as a loud and thundering drum or the beautiful twinkling of the chimes?
What a high calling it is to find our voices, to tell our stories, for encouragement, for counsel, to help others know we care.
This is a journey. It is like sitting by a lake – but looking inside. We have a beautiful vision in front of us, but we must first look inside to see the steps to get there.
- The steps of forgiving those who have wounded our hearts, stifling our voices like blowing out a candle.
- The steps of trusting again when we have had all the different carpets possible pulled out from under us, abruptly landing us repeatedly on the ground.
- The steps of believing in a dream, when ours have been all stomped on and broken into pieces until they were no more.
- The steps to loving again, despite having our hearts cut open bleeding, crying.
All these life events, one by one and as subtle as a grey sunrise, caused me to lose my voice.
So now, how can I find it again?
I find when I take my walk in the countryside, I return braver, and stronger than when I started.
I find when I do an act of kindness for someone, I am happier, MY spirit is lifted!
I find when I look up and think of all the blessings that have been bestowed upon me since birth, and before, I am so grateful. With gratitude comes the miracle of healing, of strength, of hearing my voice.
We no longer soil our diapers and cry to be changed. We do, however, become hungry, cold, uncomfortable, and needing of affection.
I encourage you to remember there IS hope in the morning! I encourage you to find, with me, your voice to speak of things that are important to you!
Gently, and in a mysterious way, you might find, as I have, the quiet nodding from Someone Who is watching over you, guiding you, watching the miracle of self-esteem, of your voice being remembered, reformed, and restored. It is to be felt, to be understood, as a good thing! Then comes the joy of the morning!