Your Voice Says Who You Are
Many years ago, I joined a writing club within the community where I live and started to enjoy the bi-monthly meetings. Members came and went, but some were with the group since it began, and we have come to know each other fairly well.
One meeting focuses on each of us sharing our personal writing projects and receiving feedback from the others. The other is devoted to what we call a ‘Quick Write’, in which a phrase or word is given and everyone incorporates this into their writing. We write for a specified time-period, usually 15 minutes, at the end of which we stop and take turns reading aloud what we have written.
Interestingly, what has become apparent to almost all of us is in these Quick Write meetings, is that “our voice” emerges and can be distinctly heard through our writing. “I can hear your voice in it,” is a frequent comment made by several of us, expressing the feeling that our voice contains the essence of who we are—our life-experiences, beliefs and values.
It is an interesting and true observation for most of us. But for some of the newer members of the club, it may take a while before we can really discern their voices.
Your Spiritual Voice
Perhaps this is also true for those of us pursuing and living from spiritual awareness. Some of us need time to discover our voices. And I am happy to admit it remains an ongoing process for me.
Sometimes though, there are people in our lives who can distinguish what we cannot. I remember years ago, someone telling me she could hear my beautiful voice. “It is there, but no-one else can hear it,” she said, “You need to let others hear/know who you are.” I recall being puzzled by what she said (when had she heard me singing?) and I didn’t realize what she meant back then. Only now do I understand what she was saying.
My voice was hidden underneath layers of hurt and pain. It was difficult to make out because it was timid, unsure of itself and quiet. I kept hearing someone else’s voice and thinking it was mine. When I expressed myself, it was indistinct—a blend of other people’s voices. Even I didn’t recognize it as mine!
I did not know who I was/am. I wonder if that sounds familiar. I was confused, lost to myself, pretending to fit in, going through the motions of enjoying life, but the truth was that much of what I was doing seemed utterly meaningless to me. I made a lot of mistakes trying to find my voice.
When at last I had exhausted all external possibilities—other people and things—that might have contributed to my happiness or feeling good about myself but didn’t, I began to look inside. Finally, as my beliefs changed and I felt better, I started to hear my voice.
Still, it was a very small voice for a long time. I had to get used to it, to trust it. After all, it had been found only after I had spent considerable time getting to know myself, becoming comfortable with who I am.
Allowing Yourself to Sing
Now, as I reflect on my inward journey, I can see what was happening outside of me was pushing me in the right direction. The difficult people, trying circumstances and harsh decisions I had to deal with—all were exercises in finding my voice.
I had always wanted to sing, but knew it wasn’t realistic since I didn’t have a good voice. In fact, I had often been told by family and friends that I could not sing a note in tune! But what I didn’t appreciate was that you can learn to sing. What I also did not realize was you don’t have to be able to sing, for your voice to be heard.
There was/is a voice inside me and indeed in us all—my soul energy—which wants to show me the way. My intuition, that wants to guide me to know and use my voice as an expression of who I am.
All I needed to do was listen to and open myself up to be guided by that inner voice.
When I did that, when I heard and absorbed the notes I was trying to sing, it became easier. I had to keep trying, even though my voice did not sound so good at first and I missed a lot of notes. I kept on listening to the music, heard and accepted what it was saying. And as I focused on doing that, my voice became stronger.
That is when I discovered each of us is unique—we have beautiful, powerful voices. We can allow our inner voice to guide us in asking questions, requesting help and challenging our beliefs. We can follow that guidance too, in offering forgiveness, expressing appreciation, and extending kindness.
We may also choose to let our voices join with others to produce the most amazing songs which reach the ears and hearts of those who also want to sing. So, perhaps the question we all need to answer becomes: Will I let my voice be heard today?
Iqra from East County on April 26, 2021:
I love this article. It's true some of us need time to discover our voices. Thanks for sharing this spiritual voice.