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Years ago, I lost my voice.
And what’s more remarkable? I didn’t even notice. I mean, seriously, no idea whatsoever—shocking, right?
Now, I’m clearly not talking here about the kind of “losing your voice” as result of ill-health, such as tonsillitis or laryngitis. No, here I’m talking about the ability to communicate verbally, from a place of truth. Sounds heavy? Well, unapologetically, it is.
It’s also incredibly important.
Before I expand, let me make two things clear: First, no one did this to me—I take full responsibility. Second, I’ve always communicated my love for others with an openness that sits more than comfortably with me.
So that leaves one area most notably lacking: my inability to vocalize, articulate, communicate honestly on all matters relating to my relationship with myself.
I realized this through some coaching training I became involved in last year. We were working on the use of live video (a big challenge since I felt horribly exposed and I really struggled to articulate my message). I was experiencing a block. Why? I ran my mental checklist. My day-to-day communication was fine. But to this depth, with such openness? I was struggling.
A valued friend, my mentor at the time, tried to help me out as my frustration hit an all-time high. He suggested, “From the heart, Amanda. From the heart. It’s fluent—it simply takes no effort. It flows.”
And slowly, it started to dawn on me that I’d somehow lost the most innate gift and capability a human being has—the ability to speak my truth. At some stage, I had seemingly made a conscious decision to deny it, to avoid it, to neglect it.
I then realized something else—I am so not alone on this. Many of us walk through our lives in the same state, doing the same thing. We select the messages, the forms of expression, we consider most safe. The messages we feel are expected from us. The messages which suit and serve us most effectively. Basically, we conform. We compromise our being.
A massive, disingenuous, inner disconnect. Is this a passive survival technique—to voluntarily dumb-down?
Please don’t get me wrong here—some “holdback” is good and healthy. I’m not suggesting we go around spilling our innards. We require boundaries, that I understand, but what about when we want to express ourselves and we suddenly realize we’re unable? What happens when our truths have been buried by the thoughts we so purposely use to cover them?
Consider the last time you felt genuinely excited and passionate about something—it could be love, anger, even a sense of injustice. You share your thoughts on this extemporaneously. Notice the fuel and energy behind your fire, the lack of clumsiness, the flow and ease of thought as you articulate? This is because you have direct communication from your heart, your truth.
So, how do we speak our truth and why is it important we do?
This comes down to our ability to communicate from our heart, as opposed to our head. Coming from our heart, our truth is pure, unquestionable, unfiltered. The communication from our heart is sincere and genuine.
When we speak our truth, we allow ourselves to live freely, to be authentic, to establish a sense of peace. These things have a profound impact on our lives, but most notably lead to increased self-awareness and a substantially improved relationship with ourselves and others.
When we look inward, everything we want to articulate and honor is there, within our hearts. We simply need to create space and opportunity for reflection and discovery. We can do this through reading, writing, or meditating, but the most important thing is to create the right environment to embrace, accept, and to honor it.
We must choose our external influences with care. These should be supportive, encouraging, nurturing, and above all, accepting. We should consider our environment, the people around us, our jobs, how we spend our time, who we spend it with. How are we impacted by the books we read, the movies we watch, our social media?
We should also have awareness of our own responses. How do we show up for ourselves? Do we suppress deeper thoughts to keep things safe, comfortable, to keep other people happy? Those thoughts that reoccur—do we ignore them or bury them? We should address personal conflict, since conflict carries the weight of neglected intuition; those messages we most need to hear but for whatever reason, choose not to.
And in consideration of our values. Every one one of us have our own, unique values (i.e. the things that matter the most to us and we hold closest to our heart). Keeping mindful of these makes a fundamental difference as to whether we simply function or live our lives more fully, more vibrant.
Practice is commendable! My experience suggests that acknowledging a lost voice takes time and gentle address. One way is to take opportunity to sit with dear, trusted friends and try to open a little. I promise, gradually, over time, this process becomes more natural.
Finally, but perhaps most importantly, we should always strive to start from a position of self-love, for we need to understand and sit comfortably with our truth before we begin to articulate it.
“It is time to speak your truth. Create your community, be good to each other. And do not look outside yourself for the leader. There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold onto the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly. Know the river has its own destination. We must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open and our heads above water. Now see who is in there with you and celebrate” ~ Hopi Elder Prayer