Having a Voice

January 29th, 2007

I felt angry toward my friend.
I told my wrath. My wrath did end.
I felt angry toward my foe.
I told him not. My wrath did grow.

William Blake

When we don’t air our feelings they harden in us. They become the stories that separate us. They are the hard edges that eat away at our connections Staying in a relationship requires that we each are responsible to our feelings at every moment. This requires not only the vigilance of knowing our own feelings, but for many of us, the courage to speak them.

Not giving a voice to what is true in us, keeps us in the status quo. How many of us are more afraid of the change our feelings and insights will provoke with their words than existing in the confines of whatever inequity or frustration frames our relationships. It is no way to live, it eats away at our heart and ability to trust. It is virtually impossible to grow a relationship within this stagnant air.

We believe that if someone truly loved us, they would see our pain or frustration. And so in addition to betraying ourselves by silencing our voice, we feel betrayed by our partner for not speaking it, understanding and fixing that which we will not say. As we grow up and realize that no one else can speak for us, we sometimes also realize that our truth and our issues are our responsibility alone.

This issue of owning our voice exists on many levels from the personal to the political. Really how can we be surprised about the significant disengagement of global crises that we face, when we consider how many couples and families live day in and day out without saying what needs to be said. The courage to tip this scale comes from a faith in love. Both a force of forgiveness and motivation- even a long silenced voice is strong enough to break the cycle of inertia of old behaviors and build connection.

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