“You have a voice. Use it.”
Those two phrases have been said to me many times. They’ve lived in my head for years and I’ve even spoken them to others from time to time. But it hasn’t been until recently that I have begun to understand the gravity of these words and the importance of sharing them with others.
Inside all of us lives a portion of truth. Truth that people have taught us, truth that we’ve learned from our successes and failures, truth that our heart sings out in moments of surrender to the Divine. That truth shapes us, leads and guides us through life and anchors us to hope.
But sometimes it’s not enough to carry our truth around inside. Some of us have the urge to share it. It’s an inescapable desire to see others inspired and encouraged by the truth that we hold dear. We have felt the joy of learning and applying truth in our own lives and we wonder if anyone else would want to know our truth also.
In order to get it out into the world, or even just to share it with one other person, truth must be expressed. It needs a voice to get it out there. When I say a “voice” I don’t just mean a spoken word. Your voice could be a song, a poem, a painting, a movie or a novel — whatever your mode of expression is. For me, my voice takes many forms – I paint my truth, write it, speak it and sometimes even sing it (though mostly to myself). Whatever it is for you, the important part is getting it out there. Sharing it with one other person or one thousand other people still carries the same requirements:
1. Acknowledging that there is truth within you and that it has value.
2. Knowing that your voice is unique and that you are the only one who can use your voice to express that truth that you know so intimately.
3. Opening your mouth (or sketchbook or laptop or instrument case) and letting your truth out.
4. Accepting that it won’t be perfect, that it will most likely be misunderstood by some, rejected by others and perhaps judged as incomplete or wrong, but deciding that it’s OKAY if people don’t get it and going for it anyway.
And once you’ve done it, you’ve got to keep doing it. Because the next time you use your voice it might shake a little less. It might feel a little less scary. You might feel a little more confident in the sound of your own voice. And one day, someone might sneak up next to you and whisper, “I heard what you said. That was just what I needed.” Or they might even say, “Your truth sounds like my truth. I’ll speak it with you.”
Sharing your truth might seem small and insignificant, but all it takes is one spark to start a fire. That fire might be a slow burn, but continuing to use your voice will fan the flames. You might think that no one is listening, but keep talking. Your voice is important – use it!
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.