I was so sick last week. My little guy came down with this horrible cold, cough, plague kind of thing and by Tuesday I had caught it too and was fading fast.
And it’s a good thing my word for the year is grace because I sure needed it last week. Our days consisted of a lot of lying on the couch and watching movies while mommy tried to stay alive.
Anyhow by Friday I was feeling much better but I was losing my voice from all the coughing and sickness. *Note-it is very hard to yell at your children when you’ve lost your voice. Don’t try it, it can be rather painful. So this was a challenge for me because I’m a talker and not being able to actually talk made me feel not quite myself.
Well, at the same time I’m taking this writing class. Because I want to be a better writer and stuff. And we’ve been talking about “finding our voice” and whatever that means. So I’ve been reflecting on “voice” both literally and figuratively.
And it’s struck me how I have spent much of my life playing down my voice. As a child, I was scary quiet, never spoke up in class; painfully shy. Not wanting to stir up any trouble and almost wishing I could just be invisible. As a teenager, I kept to myself, not quite fitting in struggling with my words as I wondered if anyone could possibly care about what I had to say.
As an adult, I’m finally learning to claim my voice. But it has come slowly and softly. . .
Just yesterday I spoke at my moms’ group that I co-lead at church. I was a little worried because I was still struggling physically with my voice. Thankfully, it showed up enough that I was able to get my message out. Anyway, I shared about how it is important to parent from our strengths and I led the moms in the group through an exercise to help identify their own strengths.
I shared as an example that one of my own strengths is that I can be very easy going and agreeable. My children might not agree with this but most other adults that I know will concur I’m pretty much open to doing whatever and going along with the flow.
I consider this a strength but I must also be aware of how it might paint me as passive and not able to speak up for myself or have a strong opinion. I have struggled with finding my voice in my family especially because I don’t want to stir the pot or cause any conflict but I’m working on this because at the same time I know the value in being honest and being heard.
She writes that courage originally meant “to speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.”
I want to live more courageously.
Just yesterday after I spoke my sweet friend thanked me for sharing and for always being real and transparent with my life and my struggles. That’s what I want my voice to do. Sometimes I will be easygoing and amenable because that’s just a part of my personality but I want to give words to my experiences and stories. My challenges and struggles, my hopes and my joys. The realness in my life.
Shame hates it when we reach out and tell our story. It hates having words wrapped around it– it can’t survive being shared. -Brene’ Brown , The Gifts of Imperfection
On this blog I’ve struggled a little between wanting to be more “professional” and not sharing too much but at the same wanting to be honest and write what’s on my heart. But, I think I’ve decided that this is my space so I get to write what I want. And I so hope my words will bless others, that through my own stories, people will be less alone and encouraged to be brave about their stories as well, but if nothing else I need to write my words because I have a voice and because I don’t want to live in shame but with courage.