While I normally write about sex, I felt moved to share something that grabbed me this morning.
Where did my voice go? I know I have one. I've used it to speak up for myself and for others. I have used it to encourage a loved one to do the right thing, for themselves or for someone else. I have used it to call out an injustice, to express rage and pain, to point to something that I feel is Not Right.
I have to cultivate my voice, or it will break into a thousand pieces and lose its power. My voice is diminished by a thousand other voices. It is diminished by the child's voice that tells me grownups know best, even when they hurt me. It is diminished by the young woman's voice that tells me that he really does love her. He just has problems, and she should be more supportive. There is the voice that tells me not to bother people, and that I'm probably just being paranoid. There is a little voice that tells me not to be alarmist, and to know my place: in the quiet, in the dark. The voice that tells me I'm not good enough is one of the worst. It screams and howls and rages in my ear so loud that I don't understand why others don't hear it. The voice tells me I'm never going to reach my goals because I'm lazy, I'm stupid, and I'll never amount to anything.
My own voice defeats me if I don't work to keep it as a unified whole. If I let it fragment, if I let it scatter into pieces, it will work against me. My voice is a community: it is stronger than its pieces, and greater than the sum of its parts. Without unity, without balance, my voice is nothing. It steals my power. It takes from me.
I am not the only one.