I blame my cousin Ann Starr for this.
Biting my tongue while I enabled, obeyed an instruction that I didn't feel comfortable executing, not asking questions, not communicating in a relationship… lying… to myself and others… this was the familiar way I lived most of my life.
When Ann and I reconnected and grew close, I felt very safe sharing my life and feelings with her. Through the years of sharing my shit, she would advise in phrases beginning with "Oh honey, you need to tell him/her…."; "Don't be afraid to say…."; "I think you should just tell the truth that…"; "That may be what you are telling yourself, but…" and lastly "Speak your truth, mama!"
Yes, I blame my cousin. I blame her for encouraging me in a discipline that is honorable, Biblical and my mantra.
It is getting easier to catch myself slipping from truth. For instance, when in a voice lesson, I will self-deprecate myself with a "ugh… that sucked" and my coach Mike would reply, "That's not true. It didn't suck at all. We need to work on the mechanics of some phrasing, but actually it sounded pretty good."
He is an incredible coach because he saw my truth before I did. He saw my capability and the walls I had built that disallowed connection to my voice. Through his truth, encouragement, tough love and patience, I can vocally do things now that I never thought were possible.
Back in the land of untruth, playing politics is a skill I grew quite proficient with when working in theatre and television, but it is exhausting and one of the many reasons I left the industry. Yet, I knew how to play the game and thus carried that skill into Corporate America and eventually small business. Then I really grew tired of it. I will say speaking my truth is one of the reasons why I lost my job. I will also say NOT speaking it is why I was there or so long.
As a bodyworker and movement therapist, I have no trouble speaking the truth in my observations, assessments and in answering questions of clients. This work is also a way for me to teach truth to these clients, as many of them are caught lying to me or themselves regarding what is going on in their body. We can call it denial, but isn't denial just phase of untruth?
What I have learned: The truth comes from your heart. Open your heart, let it rule and you will find your voice.
At the tender age of 43, I feel that I can say with confidence that I have finally found my voice.
My voice now speaks clearly in response when I am asked, "What will you do with your life now?"
My voice loves to sing more than ever because my heart is no longer held with untruth.
My voice isn't afraid to say, "I love you."
My voice will never tell you what you want to hear, but will tell the truth in love (and at times extreme bluntness).
My voice will say, "I am sorry… please forgive me."
My voice declares: "I am a practitioner of the Healing and Performing Arts."
My voice desires to educate, empower, encourage, love and inspire.
This is my life now… my vocation… my reason for being created…my way to honor God.
Open your heart. Find your voice. Speak your truth.
It's the only way to live.