From the moment we pop our head into the world we are subservient to the voices of others. Our thinking and choice-making skills have not yet developed. We learn to depend on what we see and hear, what we are told and how we should act. Right or wrong, that’s all we know.
In a healthy environment of trust and patience and love and encouragement, a child feels valued, and that his voice, no matter how small and feeble, is heard. He can spread his delicate wings and fly without fear of being shot down and stomped for trying. He can follow his dreams, make his own choices . . . find his own voice.
If only that were true for every child born. If only their cries were heard above the screams of selfishness, manipulation and control of the world in which they live. If only they were given a morsel of love and encouragement, a crumb of understanding, a drop of trust, they wouldn’t feel so hurt, so angry and confused . . . their voice so lost.
It’s taken me a lifetime to find my own voice. Like my identity, it got lost in the sea of religion, legalism, sadness and depression. Like an obsessed stalker, fear, guilt and shame followed me everywhere I went. There was no place to hide, no shoulder to cry on, no ears to hear my faltering voice.
People still laugh today when someone says, “I’m trying to find myself.” That person is really saying, “I’m lost. I don’t know who I am or where I am going. Too many internal voices are screaming their heads off at me and I don’t know which one, if any, is mine.”
So what does it mean to find your voice and how do you go about it? For me, I had to step deep inside myself and see the faces behind the screaming voices. And there stood that scornful, overly strict parent, that insensitive teacher, that Hell, fire and brimstone preacher, and those harassing school bullies of many years ago. For the first time I realized that my entire belief system, about myself and the world I knew, was built on a crumbly foundation of lies and deceit.
So, with God’s help, I began searching for the truth; the real me that got smothered beneath the rubble of destruction. And like a loving parent, I have embraced the inner child, accepting all her imperfections, and am learning to love her as God loves her. Now the screaming voices of lies are mere whispers in His hands.
I still struggle. I still falter. I still deal with anger. But it’s all better than it’s ever been.
So, I’ve found my own voice, as feeble as it is at times. I know who I am and where I am going. And with God’s help, I will make it to the end.