Seven BILLION people inhabit this Earth. That is 7,000,000,000 voices. Each of us has one, even if we can’t vocalize, we still find a way to communicate. We all want to be heard, in big and small ways. Whether it’s being heard in a relationship, at work, in school, or by the other 6,999,999,999 people we coexist with. I think we forget sometimes that we all have a unique story to tell, we may find others that we have things in common with, but ultimately we are all unique. We all can contribute something in this world, but more often than not we let fear get in the way. At least I know that I do. The reptilian brain- the amygdala- kicks into high gear when facing something we perceive as dangerous, ya know like sharing how you really feel about something. As I type this I can feel the effects of this sliver in my brain, kicking my senses into overdrive, palms sweating, increased sense of hearing, and all the while- my thoughts saying “why do you think you have any right to speak about anything?”….. Ah yes, good old fear with a mixture of self-doubt.
But I have a voice. I have a story. I am making the choice to use it, in every good way I can think of, and you should too. I am pushing past my comfort zone of fear, I am breaking out of the prison of self-doubt. The freedom in that choice allows my body to gain back it’s sense of lightness, there’s power in speaking- even if it’s just written words.
I come from a family of addicts. I saw what anger can turn people into- monsters. I witnessed the near death of my mother- twice. I came out bruised, broken, and strong. I am not my past, I am not my parents, I am not the things that people have said I am in their voices used in anger. I am me. I am a unique combination of all those things, I am not unaffected- I am empathetic and compassionate because of it. I am using my voice to give hope, I am using my voice to remind myself that I am not alone. It would be so easy to fall down the rabbit hole of negativity, to use the past as an escape route and hide from life. I refuse to be a victim of my mind, I choose to see life as something worth living, as a place to be with others as different and the same as me. I don’t know you- the you reading this. What I do know is that you have a voice in this world, and you have the choice to use it, to find something that moves you and speak on it.
I choose to speak to out about addiction, domestic violence, homelessness, cruelty against humans and animals- all of these things are representative of perception. We can choose to see them differently, to use empathy instead of apathy. I believe my voice has power and so does yours. Let’s learn to use it.