For all the reasons we had wanted to say goodbye to the year 2020, one good outcome of the year was that so many individuals and groups were encouraged to–and some actually accomplished–“finding their voices and being heard.” The year saw a resurgence of courageous people calling out injustices, speaking their truths, and also adamantly demanding and accepting accountability for their actions. Being assertive and vocal became a phenomenon…a movement. But what practice has revealed is that in spite of the powerful global and societal effects of this phenomenon, most people truly struggle to find and use their voices in their daily lives. Therefore, I am challenging all of us, as we step boldly into 2021, to use our voices each and everyday, especially in our own micro-environments.
Many people are currently experiencing depression, anxiety, anger, and resentment among other emotions related to things they want to say to a person or to some people in their lives but yet don’t say. The failure to use your voice can inhibit understanding, lead to ignored needs or outright mistreatment, all because of the choice to remain silent. Suffering in silence is a lonely place, and if others are unaware of your needs, it is unlikely that any help, support, or changed behavior will be forthcoming.
I realize that the challenge I am putting forth is very daunting, not made any easier for people who find it difficult, even terrifying, to be open, honest, assertive, and vocal (primarily because to reveal our innermost thoughts, feelings, experiences, truths, etc., can leave us extremely vulnerable). It is common for people to fear the possible consequences of asserting their voice, like being rejected, misunderstood, shamed, ostracized, devalued, or abandoned. I cannot guarantee how finding and using your voice will be received by others. However, I do believe and vouch for the curative and powerful impact it can have on the individual who has the courage to speak up.
One of the most powerful outcomes of speaking out is the feeling of complete relief–a sense of healing, and the feeling that a tremendous burden has been removed. It is truly liberating! By speaking up you free yourself from being bogged down, held back, or controlled by unspoken thoughts and feelings. Using your voice will create new space for higher levels of communication, relating to others more constructively, for personal growth, and for various other opportunities and experiences that await you. So for 2021 don’t be afraid LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD!!!! What you have to say matters….YOU MATTER!!! Happy New Year!!!