Does a lump form in your throat when you try to speak up for yourself?
Is it easy to advocate for others, yet feel silent on your own behalf?
Are you afraid of how others will respond to your words?
I’ve always had a really strong voice – on behalf of other people. A lifelong advocate, I spoke up loudly for harms done to others. Championed their right to be heard. But when it came to speaking up for myself, there was only dead air.
A massive lump formed in my throat. If I opened my mouth to speak, tears often welled up beneath my eyes. Fear took its grip and left me paralyzed. As a result, I was practically incapable of defending myself, saying how I felt, or what I needed.
How could I be a successful criminal prosecutor, known as a “bulldog in a skirt,” and yet fear even a whisper on my own behalf? It took years of self-inquiry to finally access the deep roots of my silence. It was easier to “submit” than to risk harm, disapproval, rejection, or conflict. Yet by doing so, I disconnected from myself.
First, I had to access my own voice – the one that arose from deep within – and not the voice expected of me. There could be no more denial. Then, I had to claim my right to exist. My right to take up space. My right to be heard. Because I matter.
It is an act of great courage to make noise in a society that has told women to remain silent. They, and the men who listened to them, would be punished for speaking their truth. Yet the old stories that perpetuated fear and domination must be rewritten by each one of us. It starts by being radically honest with yourself.
Your voice is your power, especially when it is grounded in the roots of your own being.
The Egyptian Goddess Isis spoke the words of magic that revived her husband Osiris.
Inanna, Sumerian Queen of Heaven & Earth, demanded the recognition of her lover Dumuzi.
Legendary first wife of Adam, Lilith, claimed her own divinity.
Discover the power of your own voice by remembering the wisdom of those who have come before.