"The Mind Knows No Answers. The Heart Knows No Questions." - Buddha
I want to own my voice.
Proudly. Without shame, embarrassment or judgment.
I want to tune in and listen to the humble, yet determined voice that resides deep within me.
The voice that knows. The voice I often hush. The voice that is the truest thing I own.
After years of fits and starts, I’m finally able to celebrate my inner voice. And believe in it. Completely.
It hasn’t always been easy to do because I’ve sometimes gone against the advice of well-meaning people in my life. People I love. People I trust.
But the minute I start to feel that tug of war within me, head versus heart, I know.
That’s my sign to go digging. To look within. All the voices swirling around me start to fade away as I quiet my brain and search my heart.
The heart always knows.
Obstacles and speed bumps invariably get in the way. Life is complicated like that. Relationships–even more so.
Lately, I find I’m able to navigate the bumpy road with confidence because I recognize that this is MY road. I understand it. Everything on this path is of my choosing, and therefore feels good and right. Maybe not in the moment, where uncertainty strikes and self-doubt dwells, but eventually, always, good and right.
There have been times when I’ve been tempted to go off course and follow someone else’s road for a bit. But that path felt unnatural. I didn’t recognize the terrain and I found myself tripping. After a while, I felt spent and regretful. I was off kilter.
I’m getting better at understanding and appreciating all the different paths around me and knowing when they’re not right for me. I’m more confident staying on my road because I’m building something unique and precious here; my life. And I want to own every last pebble of it.
How did it change for me?
When I was younger, I thought owning my voice meant I had to be loud and opinionated. I thought I had to replicate or mimic someone else’s road, someone successful or well regarded, in order to be heard and respected.
It was exhausting. And it felt wrong.
Then a wonderful thing happened to me. Women of grace entered my life.
To this day, I feel as if these women were gifts intentionally sent to me at a time when I was veering off course.
Thank God I was paying attention.
I watched. I listened. I absorbed their energy.
Intelligent, compassionate and self-assured women changed me.
They showed me that owning my voice wasn’t about talking above others or being argumentative or dismissive. It had nothing to do with being loud. Or proud.
Owning my voice was about peace.
A peace that settles my soul. A peace that makes me feel authentic and true. I wake up in the morning and feel sincere. Content.
Graceful, older women, from all walks of life, showed me the way.
I don’t see these women nearly enough to satiate my desire to be in their presence. One generous soul has already passed on.
My tribe of women bring out the best in me. I love how I feel when I’m around them. And I love how I feel when I think about them.
They hear me. They allow my inner voice to lead. They do not pass judgment. They do not instill a fear of reprisal.
Their understated, poised selves glow. They’re magnetic. A tonic, really, for all the self-sabotaging I sometimes fall back on.
Their grace and acceptance have encouraged me as I’ve learned to walk my own path, to hear my own voice, and to trust it above all else.
Theirs are the most profound gifts I’ve ever received.