Finding your voice

I’m linking up in the Faith Jam today and the writing prompt is … Finding Your Voice.

Deuteronomy 26:7-8 (NIV)

Then we cried out to the Lord, the God of our ancestors, and the Lord heard our voice and saw our misery, toil and oppression.  So the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror and with signs and wonders.

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SILENT.

Don’t say anything.  Shhhhhh.  The quiet is so loud.  This part of me fades away into something tiny inside of me that is really huge, yet the deeper down I push it the smaller it seems.  In the silence, there is no chatter, just shame.  Questions never enter into the equation.  Everything is processed within and there are no buffers or safety nets.  There are no words.  Sometimes, there are colors and they blend together to create a scene.  Other times, there are images, smells or textures, but there are simply no words.  Shhhhhh, words are not spoken.

SUBSTITUTE SPEECH.

Make sense of the silence with music, art and movement.  Certain lyrics or beats connect to the quiet.  It may be way off or painfully on point, but it connects loudly.  When the dance begins, the rhythm and the loud pounding are in sync.  Create color with markers, crayons, or paints and start to make bright sounds.  Utter a word or two.  Images and words tell entire volumes of history.  One picture can depict an entire chapter.

WORDS.

Choppy.  Too much, not enough.  Complicated and impossible balance.  It’s either a drought or a monsoon.   It’s either constipation or diarrhea.   Like acid reflux, it boils and burns until you throw it all up.  All gauges blown long ago.

AFTERSHOCKS.

The ripple of fear mixed with waves of shame, blending in an ocean of vulnerability.  Lacking confidence, and unsure of even what words escaped.  Always feeling like more were let out than necessary.  Focusing on every expression in response to the words, as rejection is anticipated.  Blame is expected.  Guilt is inevitable.  Regret sinks in…

RESPONSE.

An attentive ear is found.  Expressions of shock with hugs that encourage.  Long overdue oxygen breathes in fresh hope by whispering three sentences, “you are not alone… I believe you…. it was not your fault” and each letter of each word topples ancient brick walls carefully constructed to protect.  The oxygen continually replenishes as hope depletes quickly.  The ear listens, the mouth encourages, and the eyes share unspoken pain.  Exposed, yet accepted.

ADJUST.

Learning to measure, and balance.   Learning to accept.   Showing up, when curling up is easier.  Being brave.  Being strong.  Being courageous.  Meeting deeply feared rejection and refusing to cower.  Chin up, shoulders back, confidence.   Who I am takes shape as layers peel back, finding what was lost.  Convinced there are others, more who lost…. quietly looking for their voice too.

IMPACT.

Reaching towards others to offer hope.  Whispering three sentences, “you are not alone……I believe you…..it was not your fault.”  The decibels are low, but the ground gently quakes as the voices rise.  Speak, friend.

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2 thoughts on “Finding your voice

  1. Wow, Michelle. This is so moving and creative. I really identified with it. You really “show” the fears, learnings, and longings. I often have the Aftershock after I write a blog post. I experience also the “Expressions of shock with hugs that encourage.” And I could go on with how much you know my heart… Thank you for sharing this, Michelle.

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  2. Trudy, thank you! Your response is such an encouragement to me. Ahhh, the aftershock…I forgot to mention the beforeshock….the time where I sit and stare at the publish button for quite some time before finally pushing it and closing the laptop immediately…( maybe that’s just me? )

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