It’s such a painful feeling.
Going through life feeling like you don’t have a voice. Yet so many of us experience it.
And when you do finally find your voice, that too can come at a price. It shakes your foundations and some things will crumble.
Opinions replace silence. Demands replace acquiescence. Boundaries replace easy going. Not everyone in your life will like those changes.
Motherhood has physically weakened me, but mentally empowered me. I am the caretaker of two little angels and they need me to be strong. I can’t let them down, and so my voice has grown in ways I never even knew were lacking.
And when I look back at the person I used to be, way before motherhood, and remember how afraid she was to use her voice, I ache for her…
I long for her to have felt empowered, in all the times she felt weak. I long for her to have spoken up, in all the times she shamefully chose silence. I long for her to have been her own hero, in all the times her eyes searched for someone to save her.
I long for her to have known that she is the boss of her life, of her body, of her soul. And her voice is strong and valuable.
Living What We Long For…
A friend came over recently and she was a little down. But she was playing with my kids and I was in awe of how amazing she was with them. She was so generous with her attention, so patient and joyful. And I let her know what I saw, because it was beautiful. Little did I know my words would reflect the very things she was longing to hear from the people closest to her.
With teary eyes she thanked me for making her feel so seen, so valued. And I wondered why we so often forget to do that for the ones we love the most.
There’s a old song that says:
“You always hurt the one you love
The one you shouldn’t hurt at all
You always take the sweetest rose
And crush it ‘til the pedals fall
You always break the kindest heart
With a hasty word you can’t recall, so
If I broke your heart last night
It’s because I love you most of all.”
I used to believe such ideas to be true. That love must come with pain. Love ultimately disempowers you and robs you of your voice.
But I’ve been unlearning all that I once knew to be true, so that I can make space for the truths I longed for ~ that love can feel safe, stable, gentle and kind. Love can mean you’re a supporter, a comforter, a reminder of all the good. Love can mean respect and trust and faith. Love can mean lifting others up and helping them find their own voice.
Now when I see someone consumed by all that they’re not, I know my voice is strong and I can use it to remind them of all that they are.
I was talking to a good friend the other day who also has little girls, and we both commented on how empowered girls are in the playground. How at a young age they seem to make the rules, tell the boys what to do, and rule the jungle gym roost.
And we wondered, what happens along the way that changes that dynamic? When is it that so many girls lose their voice? At what age do we learn that our pretty is more important than our authenticity? Our silence so much sweeter than our truth?
Marianne Williamson says:
“There is no single effort more radical in its potential for saving the world than a transformation of the way we raise our children.”
I think of this quote constantly during the long days of parenthood. Knowing that my best chance of impacting the world is to raise little girls who know their worth, believe in the power of kindness and feel empowered to use their voice.
I am not a perfect parent, far from it, but I’ll be damned if my girls go through life feeling silenced by shame.
Loving Through the Ugly…
I married a man who loves me through my ugly. He shows me everyday what a healthy relationship looks like, and what it means to truly love someone, without condition. He doesn’t try to save me, he stands beside me and helps me to save myself, constantly.
With him, I get to show up just as I am. Tired, cranky, happy, glowing, sad, broken, joyful, healed, torn and broken again. And there he is, loving and believing in me, no matter what. And there I will be for him just the same. And I will use all that I’m learning about love to empower our girls.
I will teach them that their vulnerabilities are safe with me, and voicing them can feel safe for them too.
I will teach them that showing up with their imperfections is better than showing up with a mask.
I will teach them that they never need to trade in their soul in the search for love and validation.
I will teach them the value of their voice, and pray they never feel silenced by shame or insecurity.
Because the only love they need is the love that allows for their full expression.
That is the kind of love I strive to give to them every day no matter how hard or long the days may get. Through their ugly, their tired, their cranky, their happy, their sad, their broken and their healed. There I promise to be, loving them and allowing their voice to be heard.
And in honoring their voice, I feel the gentle power of mine grow stronger and stronger.
It’s Never Too Late…
It’s never too late to find your voice. To unlearn all that doesn’t serve you. To take a ownership over the patterns and dynamics in your life.
To love yourself and others as you long to be loved, and not settle for less. Through all the beauty and all the ugly.
It requires taking a stand for yourself. Owning your values and choosing your truths. And learning to trust in yourself, no matter what.
And when you start to fully own your voice and all that you stand for, the world around you may crumble and it will be painful.
But as your world rebuilds, you will know that it was all worth it.
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Overcoming Cruel Words Cheat Sheet
Never allow cruel, belittling or condescending words to steal your self-esteem again. Use this cheat sheet to quickly heal and turn those words into something empowering.