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Finding Your Inner Voice and Letting It Out

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by Mary Hockett, LCPC

How many times have you wished that you could stand up for yourself and say exactly what is on your mind?

Many females grow up with healthy opinions and a mind of their own, only to lose their voice when they get to high school.  They defer to the opinions of their male friends or they believe the message that society sends them expecting females to be seen and not heard.  You begin your journey through life trying to please people and always trying to say the right thing.  But what is the right thing to say?  The right thing is your truth.  The right thing is what you think and believe and feel and experience.

But you go on trying to say the “right thing”, the thing that you believe other people want to hear.  Then 10 or 20 years later, your voice remains buried deep inside.

“I just want to be heard.”

“I want my spouse to hear me and understand me.”

“I want my boss to hear my ideas.”

“I want my children to hear me.”

“Does anyone even know I exist?”

How many times have you had these thoughts?

If you are a Baby Boomer, you probably remember the hit song in the early 70’s called “I am Woman” by Helen Reddy.  “I am woman, here me roar.”  Helen Reddy expresses the freedom and the strength you can find when you speak up for yourself in the lyrics of her song.

Then you might have seen the movie “The Lord of the Rings,” when Eowyn stands up to the evil Ringwraith when he taunts her with his power and weapon and says,  “No man will kill me” with which she replies, “I am no man.”  Then she lifts off her helmet and shows everyone she is a woman and slays the evil Ringwraith.  Women have been trying to find their voice and their strength for many years.

Today is no different.  Even though our society has experienced the woman’s lib movement, many women still shrink back, fearful of raising their voice, of being true to themselves.  If you are caught in an abusive relationship with a parent or a spouse, or if you are just on the quiet side, you need to find your voice.  You need to learn to speak your truth.  What you have to say is important.

Why did you shut down?  Were you disrespected, laughed at, not taken serious, or threatened?  Were your boundaries violated? You may shrink back, hold your thoughts to yourself, or may have created walls or a fortress for yourself.  It is time to remove those barriers and to step outside into freedom.  You have a right to say what you would like to say, to express your opinion within your own boundaries.

Give yourself the freedom to be you, which includes expressing your thoughts and feelings to other people.
Once you begin to express yourself in words, you will begin to feel stronger.  There is no healing in hiding yourself from the world.  There is healing when you speak your truth.

Let people know what you like or don’t like.  Voice your opinion even if it means not agreeing with the majority.  You have the right to say “No” to people if you wish to.  If something does not feel good to you or if you simply rather not do something you can say “No”.  You don’t need to explain yourself.  No explanation needed.

Speak up and say “NO” at least once a day just to practice speaking up for yourself.

You have a story to tell.  Your story begins with your earliest memory at age 4 or so and continues to this very hour.  Tell your story to a friend, a family member, your spouse, or your child.  Express yourself in words.  If you need encouragement and support, tell a counselor who will support you and encourage you along your way.