4.5
December 15, 2017

How to Reclaim our Voice—& Power.

In my journey through recovery, one thing has become clear: I can take my power back.

My sense of powerlessness stemmed from never feeling good enough and not being acknowledged by others. As I’ve listened to countless stories of people experiencing similar suffering across generations, cultures, and family backgrounds, I’ve realized that power often equates to a voice.

When our voice is silenced, suppressed, or disregarded, it can be debilitating to our sense of self—with far-reaching repercussions. It not only impacts our lives, but also keeps us from sharing our gifts with others and lighting up their lives.

It is a basic human need for our voices to be heard and to stand in our power. We all have been gifted the right to a life in which the essence of who we are is seen and heard, fully.

Riding the spirit of solidarity by tuning into our collective voice is how we will all heal. But, for a beautiful collective voice to emerge, we must each be empowered as individuals. In seeking to be heard, we need only listen:

I want you to know you are more than enough.

When you pinch the rolls, suck in your cheeks, and make the godforsaken wish, “If only I were different, it all would be better”:

I want you to know you are more than enough.

When you drive up after school and the moms give you critical side eyes at your disheveled clothes and the dark bags under your eyes, the signs of the meek single mother just trying to show up:

I want you to know you are more than enough.

In the doctor’s office, when she closes your legs and announces “it’s done” as the blood drains onto the bed, and you then go home and sob in the shower in grief, in shame, and in relief:

I want you to know you are more than enough.

Thrown down the stairs and once again trembling in fear and confusion, knowing you must oblige his every whim to stay alive and secretly hoping you die—or he dies:

I want you to know you are more than enough.

On the train, as you quietly hold your cloth around your face with a tight grip, with fear and uncertainty in your eyes that dart between the strangers boarding and you think, “Who might threaten my culture, my life?”:

I want you to know you are more than enough.

During the work meeting, when the boss disregards your proposal after 26 long and grueling nights, 26 bedtime stories lost to your children, simply because of what’s not between your legs:

I want you to know you are more than enough.

When your heart bleeds onto paper and you hesitate to push “send” in silent terror that the pieces of your vulnerable heart might be rejected by the masses:

I want you to know you are more than enough.

When he chooses her, and others, over and over until you break into a million shards of heartbeats and sobs, and you desperately will yourself not to go back again:

I want you to know you are more than enough.

When the abuse of a narcissist threatens you, invalidates you, and demeans you, and your self-concept and power crumble in its wake, even though deep down you know the truth:

I want you to know you are more than enough.

As you stand on the mountain top, feeling Spirit through you, and see from afar the institutions that have berated, guilted, and suppressed you—until now:

I want you to know you are more than enough.

When they come pounding on the door, yelling threats, and you stand paralyzed in fear as you face removal from the only home you’ve ever known, and then you begin scrambling for papers, keepsakes, and your strength:

I want you to know you are more than enough.

As you watch your mother lying helpless, close to the end, fading in and out to the other side, and in your heart you try to offer forgiveness for what she’s done and never acknowledged:

I want you to know you are more than enough.

When money is scarce and you’re scrambling for meals and a warm bath, longing for anything beyond survival and longing:

I want you to know you are more than enough.

When that old wound resurfaces in both your dreams and waking life, and you scream in frustration and confusion rather than facing this Shadow out of doubt that there is light on the other side of this darkness:

I want you to know you are more than enough.

When you cannot imagine another day of walking the same path, staring at the same walls, slowly dying as you hide from what feeds your soul:

My love, I want you to know what you already know in your heart—you are enough.

Trust this voice, and know that there are countless others expressing their need of belonging, and community, and love. In the absence of fear, there will be many voices heard throughout the world. They will serve as a reminder that we cannot be buried, burned, domesticated, or silenced.

Every scar is an awakening. In every voice is a truth.

You are more than enough. You are everything.

~

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Author: Vanessa Sandberg
Image: Memesville
Editor: Callie Rushton
Copy Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Social Editor: Lindesy Block

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