My dream for this site was to see it grow, surely and steadily, into a wee community. I wanted it to feel like a good place to visit for a bit of respite and a coffee break, a place where the comments are as interesting as the posts. I’ve been moved by how quickly that has started to happen. We have good people reading these posts and sharing their thoughts and feelings, resources, insights and wisdom in the comments. If you have a chance, please have a wander through the comments from the last few weeks. Our genuine, meaningful responses on other people’s blogs contribute to the jigsaw picture of our online presence, our ‘voice’. The choices behind our guest post exchanges contribute to that mosaic, too. They’re snapshots in the albums of our journeys.
Today’s post is by Nadia Ballas-Ruta. I’ve got to know her on our common blog routes, through her wonderful blog, Happy Lotus, and through her comments here. She has supported me since the day we ‘met’ through my guest post at Write to Done and I’m pleased to have the chance to showcase her lovely presence and wisdom here. After her comment on my post about finding our voices in the silence, it seemed like the perfect time to begin our café-bistro’s ‘open mike nights’.
Claiming Your Voice
By Nadia Ballas-Ruta of Happy Lotus
One of the things that has fascinated me about life is how so many of us are trying to find our way. I used to think that my struggle to find myself was an isolated incident because so many around me seemed to be aware of who they were and what they wanted. I later learned that this appearance was just an illusion.
We all at one point or another have wondered what is it all for and what is it that we want out of life. When we are children we seem to have a better grasp on the issue because it really is not an issue. We are content to play and run. We somehow know that all will be okay because that is what our parents tell us.
As we get older, fear sets in as we experience our first heartbreaks and disappointments. Childlike innocence is replaced with logical adult rationale. Pretty soon we are just going through the motions in life without being aware that at some point in the journey we lost sight of that child within us.
My journey to happiness has been filled with many bumps. I have had my share of suffering, and spirituality was what saved me but it was not easy. During the midst of one of my emotional roller coasters, I realized that I needed to heal many aspects of my childhood in order to move forward. I had no idea how to do this so I prayed. I asked God/the Universe to show me what is it that I needed to see in order to have my pain stop.
So I closed my eyes to meditate and was hit with the image of being a little girl locked in a closet pounding on the door because she so desperately wanted to be free. My heart immediately went to that little girl…myself, many years ago.
I was 15 and I was sick and tired of opening my heart only to have it stomped upon by boys. I remember sitting in my room and swearing to myself that I would never ever open my heart again. So I opened the closet door and pushed my little self in there.
Here I was in my late twenties when I realized what I had done. No wonder I felt out of balance. I had lost sight of my voice. No wonder why none of my romances ever worked out. I was so concerned with not getting hurt, that I inadvertently closed off a part of my soul. It was a huge eye-opener.
A few days later, I came across an interview with the actress Kim Basinger. She talked about feeling like a trunk stamped with all kinds of labels and that she had spent her life ripping off those labels. I could relate wholeheartedly to the description because that is exactly how I felt. I felt that all these labels had been placed on me in an effort to hide the fact that I had locked away an essential part of my soul. Now that soul was screaming to be free.
Realizing something about yourself is one thing but the next steps of healing are not as easy. Sometimes, in order to overcome our past, we have to face it head on. We have to pull out all those unpleasant memories and come to terms with them. It can be very scary but as we face each challenge, we gain a little more insight into who we are.
We each have a voice that is uniquely ours. Each speaking voice is unique and so is each voice of the soul. We each have a purpose and we each have a philosophy that is cultivated by who we are and what we have done.
No one has a right to squash another’s voice or belittle it or condemn it or make fun of it. There are no absolutes when it comes to what makes you the person that you are. Sometimes we are afraid of claiming our power because we are afraid that we will not be liked or that someone else will rip us apart. How stupid is it for us to do that to ourselves?!
One of my heroes is Marianne Williamson and here is a passage from A Return To Love that has always spoken to my heart:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Once you claim your power, you will be amazed at what life will bring to your door. When I began to speak from my truth and claim my voice which is centered in creativity, all of these creative people began to appear in my life. When you speak from a place of strength, the Universe mirrors that strength back to you.
So take time to claim your voice and heal whatever it is that is holding you back. The world is waiting for your song!