Finding a voice

In my writing, I am seeking to find my “voice.” Can I get a little existential for a moment? I have to say: I think we’re ALL trying to find our voices.

ImageA voice is for speaking. It is for singing. It is for communicating. And honestly, it’s about communicating our selves. When I talk to friends, I use my voice to find out more about how they are and to share about how I am. We learn to use different tones of voice depending on how we are feeling, who we are talking to, and what situation we are in. I have a hard time getting angry at people—or at least angry enough to show it in my voice, in my words. But sometimes finally I am so emotional that it comes OUT—

Ah.

There it is.

My voice.

So perhaps in trying to discover my voice—in you trying to discover your voice—we must find what evokes strong emotion in us. The strongest emotions are the ones that refuse to be unspoken.

And it is a beautiful thing, to speak. To share. To have a voice.

I lost my voice for a while.

No, I didn’t literally lose the ability to speak. Or did I? Yes, I could still speak out loud. But I lost the ability to say MY words, MY thoughts, MY innermost feelings. I was afraid of judgment, of non-understanding, of being vulnerable and sharing my voice—my SELF—and having it glanced at, only to find it undeserving of attention. Still, the thought of sharing myself, and having others turn away from it, is terrifying. Unbearable. So sometimes I sit in quiet. I hide my words and my thoughts deep inside myself—because if they’re not seen, then they can’t be judged. No, *I* can’t be judged.

But is a lonely place, to sit in silence. With silence, there is no communication. Without communication, there is no relationship, no community. In being silent to avoid rejection from others, I found myself lonelier than I could have been with all the rejection I feared.

I don’t want to be afraid anymore. I want to find the emotions that make me speak up. I want to connect. I want to hear what others have to say, and I want to share what I have to say.

It’s time to find a voice.

Rambling…->Community

Well, here I sit. I’m not really sure what I want to write about, but I felt like writing somehow. I had my Intro to Professional Counseling class (essentially an ethics course) after work, and we got out early–which is normally awesome! But I also have an 8:00 course…so…I went back to my office and am sitting here till my second class starts. Perhaps we’ll get out early, too, and I won’t have to stay till 10:30. *crosses fingers*

I was trying to think of some great, witty, insightful, and/or deep topic to write about. I got nothing. The closest thing I could come up with was community. Lots of us live within communities: we have neighborhoods, schools, office environments, church congregations, families, and many other things that would fulfill the basic definition of “community.” But I think, if we looked deeper, we find that we’re lacking more than we realize.

Do we just have people we encounter every day, or do we have people we experience life with? Are we surrounded by people, or do we surround ourselves with people we care about? Do we expect people to make time to get to know us, or do we take the time to get to know them as we also share of ourselves?

All this to say: life gets pretty lonely without community. And by community, I mean people with whom you can really dig in and plow through life together. It (life) can be hard. We need those people who want to be doing it with us. We need people with the same heart, similar purposes, and parallel values. We need people to walk along side us. And if we don’t have them, we need to start finding them. Because we all need someone beside us on this journey.

Or at least I do. How about you?