“The body is always trying to tell you something. It’s whether or not we’re listening.” -Jennifer Esposito
To be heard is a powerful thing. Not just being heard, but using our voice to speak forth what it is we have to say.
Our body (and heart) are the biggest voices we have. Are we honoring what they are saying to us? Are we listening? Are we using our voice to speak forth what is needed at such a time?
It’s been said, “If you go unheard for so long, your soul starts to die a little bit. You start to believe your words don’t matter. And you stop listening to your gut.” I don’t know about you, but this speaks volumes to me. Why? Because it brings about a mighty visual picture that makes me think, stopping dead in my tracks and looking inward to reflect asking myself the question, Am I doing this?
Has there been a time in your life (or maybe many times) where you’ve used that beautiful voice of yours to speak up for something you believe, or to speak to someone openly and honestly? Maybe you haven’t voiced all those feelings, thoughts, and emotions, and your heart is murmuring or even screaming to you, “I need out of here! Please, speak forth and let me out into the world!”
Truth be told, I’ve done all of these and maybe you have too. Or maybe you haven’t. It doesn’t matter what we have or haven’t done in comparison to one another, because that is not the point! The point is are utilizing our God given voice that we are so blessed with, to speak forth our truth(s) when needed?
This subject can go in so many directions but I want to break it down in a way that people can relate to quickly and easily. I’m going to talk from both male and female perspectives. No, we won’t be covering ALL perspectives, but some of the big ones. Ready? Here we go!
For women, speaking out our truth can be daunting in many ways. Why? In today’s society woman can often get shunned for using their voice. They can get looked at as “lesser” in the eyes of masculine forces for speaking when a male may deem the voice as “not appropriate”. I’m not here to get into the politics of women vs. men, believe me! My point is, women often try to prove themselves valuable in order to speak, and it shouldn’t be that way. Women have a voice just as men do; to utilize, both stand up for and use, speaking truth to confront, hold accountable, and speak on behalf of for themselves and sometimes for others or a cause. A women shouldn’t feel less than, or shunned, for utilizing her beautiful voice. I mean, good grief, we never really know what a person is thinking until they speak, so don’t be afraid to speak forth your words, your truths, women! You are special! Your voice is valuable in this world. Don’t be afraid to use it.
Women also may not speak out due to feelings of being inadequate, feels they’re not educated enough, been told verbally (or sometimes non-verbally) their voice doesn’t matter, or they feel their mere voice is unworthy of being spoken. No matter you we are, man or woman, your voice matters! I assure you, your voice matters.
One more dilemma for women in using their voice is questioning their value, “What if people don’t listen to me.”
A prime example of questioning one’s self value is in victims of sexual abuse. Women, girls and boys too, are abused all too often. If they speak about their abuse people can joke, make fun, or even make it seem like “no big deal”. I know women personally that have experienced sexual abuse and these women bleed with their heart over this, that people’s responses hurt them just like the individual that abused them. Now, they’ve just used their voice being completely open and transparent about something very personal that happened to them. And, they feel pretty low because of other’s prior responses. They’ve felt unimportant, unworthy, unclean, like they are lesser, but they are not. We are all worthy.
For women to use their voice to speak truth is a powerful thing! In speaking we are energized even though we may feel vulnerable in this new place of speaking truth. But not just women, men too experience these “finding their voice” experiences.
Men have a voice that is often looked at as powerful. To some men this comes more easily. Others grow into speaking their voice. Yet, some men will never feel their voice is worthy or deemed as important (much the same for some women). As men work their way up in the working world, they tend to look at their voice as powerful when they feel secure, needed, and respected. They then feel proud to use it, but only to a degree. What is meant by that? That there’s one area of their voice that often gets overlooked. And that area? It’s the area of emotions. Men are taught sometimes both verbally and silently that expressing their emotions is “bad”. You know, “men don’t cry”, which is to show weakness, or, for the love, to truly express what they are feeling. If women have emotions and they can express them, why wouldn’t men? Showing emotions is a feminine quality, but we all have masculine and feminine qualities to help us be balanced humans.
Both men and women experience hundreds of emotions per day. Our brains are always working, thinking, continually being stimulated, allowing us to think and feel emotions. ALL of us human experience emotion. So men, be assured, emotions are a good thing! Don’t be afraid to express what your feeling and feel how good it IS to become more vulnerable in doing so! Which leads us to the next aspect that holds men back from using their voice; being vulnerable.
I’m going to be honest here. I only know a handful of men that have been with me, and are completely vulnerable. The majority of men I know are not vulnerable and have a hard time doing this. Men are non-verbally and sometimes verbally taught to not be vulnerable. Men are supposed to “have it all together”, so individuals may think. But vulnerability doesn’t have entry into “having it together”. For a man to try to be vulnerable all the while “have it all together” at the same exact time is, 1) unrealistic, and 2) impossible.
The last big dilemma for men not using their voice goes with vulnerability. The dilemma is “being respected”. Meaning, being respected for sharing what they say, no matter what they say. Men want respect. If they’re going to be vulnerable and if they’re not respected for being vulnerable, many guys may choose to not want to be vulnerable much for the same reasons women do when they don’t feel they’re being heard when they share in THEIR vulnerability.
Men and women choose to speak using their voice, or choose not to speak for a number of reasons. As we’ve visited some of the bigger reasons above, do you the Reader see any patterns that make sense? Do you feel any connection with anything voiced above? Do you see any relation between men and women in how we speak/don’t speak? These are questions that I’m asking myself, and asking you to ask yourself, too. We are in this journey together. None of us is better than the other, so we can discuss this together on equal ground. Right? This is a deep subject, so if you’ve read thus far I want to briefly stop and say, “THANK YOU” for hearing me!
Being real, honest, open, and transparent about using the beautiful voice that we have is hands down scary to use at times. I’ve had times in my life that using my voice to tell someone something literally scared me speechless, well kind of… until I gained it back again! LOL! Really though, some of the hardest times for me to use my voice were the times that, today, I look back on and smile at. I look at those times where I literally made huge strides in feeling more okay and confident (in a humble way) with using my voice.
To lighten up the mood of this heavy subject allow me to humor you with a few short stories, because they are worth a laugh, or maybe even two! Laughing is really good for us!
I’ve shared before in other posts but I’ll say it again. I was the young girl, up until her late teenage years, that kept all her emotions and words bottled up inside until the point where they literally erupted out of me. Yes. Sad, but also slightly comical in the fact that I KNEW better. So here’s a visual picture of myself in all my childish dignity with a tear stained face, sitting at the kitchen counter with my parents and they calmly (and patently mind you), tried to help me make words to express what I was feeling. I’d cry and literally try to speak, only to have disconnected words make incoherent sentences, and then cry more until I didn’t think any more tears could come. I’d get mad at myself for not using my voice, and then try to speak again. And yes, I was just a hot mess. Literally.
Another story, a light-hearted one, is when I shared, “‘I have a crush on you story.” Ummm, did I just say that to the world? Yes, telling the person that you have a crush on literally made me about squirm out of my chair in finally voicing it. Wait! I did squirm out of my chair, catching myself before I hit the floor! I do believe that’s enough entertainment for one day on my behalf 😉 Let’s finish wrapping this up…
Men and women each can struggle to use our beautiful voices. Not utilizing our voices and keeping our words and thoughts all bottled up inside of us isn’t the remedy (take it from my personal experience – it doesn’t work!) Men, I encourage you to find your true, authentic, real voice that brings to use the courageous, unique and out-of-this-world amazing voice that you have. Share that voice with others; your co-workers, buddies, relatives, and wife.
Women. You are worthy to speak. You are worth of being heard. And you are worthy of using a voice that is rightfully yours. Papa God made you, his beautiful bride (men too), and he wants you to speak forth what is inside of you. Use your God given voice to let this world shine brighter with what you have to say. Share it with all those you rub shoulders with.
My friends, thank you again for taking the time to read, listen, and dive deep into real life subjects that we can talk about openly. I hope you got a laugh or two despite the seriousness of the topic. But most of all, I hope you walk away from reading this feeling empowered to start using your authentic voice. Your voice cannot be replicated. Your voice cannot be understood until your words are put into the universe. And your voice cannot be heard until you start to use it. Please, embrace your voice… and if you feel led, start to trust the voice that longs to be heard. Empower yourself by using the voice that you rightful own and honor it with use. Be your voice that’s longing to speak forth it’s truths.