In the heat of the political events last weekend (marches, inaugurations, things like that), I heard a woman say,
“I’ve lost my voice. I feel like I’ve got no voice.”
She said these words over and over and over. It felt like a punch in the gut, because those words mean something to me as a voice teacher and fellow human being. And, I wanted to help. But she wasn’t asking for help. She was entrenched in this feeling, this idea. She was holding onto the statement “I’ve lost my voice” for dear life.
“Wow,” I thought. “Her voice works just fine, but she doesn’t FEEL like she has a voice. Is there even a difference? Maybe not! Maybe it’s the same thing in a way.”
This beautiful woman with a perfectly healthy speaking voice feels . . . unheard, lost, and helpless in the political tumult of our current zeitgeist. Her voice was physically intact, but she didn’t feel like she could speak up, or that maybe anyone cared what she had to say.
I may never fully understand why she clung so tightly to these words. But I do know that feeling like someone hears you is fundamental to healthy living. Having a voice is important.
And if we loose our voices – figuratively or literally – we can tend to feel like we’ve lost part of ourselves. I don’t care whether you can’t make sound, or don’t feel like you can speak up, it’s the same thing.
In terms of helping people find their voices, I can only share what I’ve witnessed in myself and others. Today’s post is about remembering that we all have a voice, and we can find creative ways to use it. Or heal it. Or accept where we are with it in the moment, if that’s what needs to happen.
Finding Your Voice
So, back to the woman who feels like she’s lost her voice.
What if finding her voice starts with the realization that she has a healthy speaking voice? (Everyone in the room heard it. She used her voice to say, “I don’t have a voice.”)
I ask this question in all humility, because sometimes we need to get honest-to-goodness literal in order to make changes.
What would happen if she could stop, take a breath, and say, “even though it doesn’t always feel like I have a voice, I do. Here it is. Can you hear me?”
I would answer her, “yes.”