I know what it’s like to silence myself. To feel invisible in a relationship because I’m too afraid to speak up for myself or share how I feel.
I know what it’s like to feel disconnected at the throat, unable to express myself, or even to connect with my own truth.
It was easier to take in the truth of others. To make them happy. To “keep the peace.” I didn’t like conflict. In the name of harmony, I kept my mouth shut.
But it wasn’t real harmony, only perceived. I was left out of the equation. Often, in relationship, I’d wonder, “Where did I go?” How did I get here? I followed along with what the other wanted and failed to express my own desires, especially if they were different. To love was to agree, I thought.
When I felt a “no” in my body – if I tuned in enough to feel at all – I was often too afraid of expressing it. What if they come angry? What if they leave me or stop loving me? I feared rejection, but rejected myself in the process. It was easy to feel what others felt or wanted. By taking it upon myself to meet their needs, I neglected my own. I disappeared.
When women were told they must “be silent” and “submit,” it was done intentionally to keep them small. To keep them under control. To keep them from threatening the male hierarchy in place. We were told it was the most “loving thing they could do.” If women didn’t obey, their safety and survival were at risk.
These beliefs have been firmly engrained in our minds, in our actions, and in our relationships, even if we don’t consciously agree with them. While in an abusive relationship, which required I stay mute to stay safe, I was an intelligent, feminist woman who had been a “bulldog in a skirt” prosecutor. Just because I was able to advocate on behalf of everyone else didn’t mean I could do it for myself. The thing is – deep down – I didn’t know I was worthy of it.
Now, when I speak, it’s because I know I matter. My voice matters because I matter. My feelings, my desires, my needs are just as worthy as those of the person next to me. It’s not either/or. It’s both. That is true harmony.
It took a long time to fully understand: I could not expect others to hear me until I heard myself. I had to connect with my own body-heart to know who I was separate from the expectations and demands placed upon me. I had to be willing to break free of the desire to please, which was another form of submission.
As I began to hear my inner voice, I knew myself as separate from the other. I wasn’t a part of them. I was my own person. In essence, I saw me. Who I am – not a version of me seen through the eyes of others. When I spoken my truth to others, I gave them the opportunity to see me. No longer was I invisible. No longer could I be ignored. No longer did I equate love with self-denial.
If you are ready to confront the fears and beliefs that silence you, join me to Reclaim Your Voice as Your Power. In this LIVE 5-week online course, we will dig deep, get real, and learn how to roar. Learn more here, or watch the video below.
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