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  • Writer's picturedavidauten


Be kind as you speak, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle. Voice is an extension of presence, a vital way of establishing connection with another, through violence or tenderness, indifference or intention. Your tone has the ability to caress another who struggles as you do. More than any particular expression you might bring to the surface for utterance from the well of soul, your history and your heart shape the intonation of words you would use to careen one like you who aches with the dull pain of exhaustion. What connects you with your heart? Come back to the question you have secretly avoided for too long: what connects you with your heart? You may not be able to voice an answer at first. Through the passage of time you may grow unknowingly tone-deaf to inner voices who care deeply for you but will never speak a single word unless you are ready to listen. Real listening is readiness to action. Beyond hearing and understanding, real listening is dangerous, the invisible precursor to change, massaging rigor mortis, revealing a life still becoming.

Voice finds a way into the world, beyond you, rocks quietly crying out, hills and valleys whispering, sunlight sharing messages that cannot be written down on a page or measured through the reverberations of airways, words that are some of the most important you will ever receive and, when taken to heart, ones that calm, soothe, center, and heal. The intimacy of your surroundings are only forgotten friends returning to embrace you just as you are.

Voice finds a way into the world even in the darkest of places. In his book Night holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel tells of a boy dying at the end of a noose on the gallows. He watches in horror and disbelief as the child hangs for more than half an hour, still alive, still red in the face, eyes not yet glazed. Behind him he hears a man ask, “Where is God?” There is no answer. Then, from within, he hears a voice answer the man: “Where is God? There He is. He is hanging there on the gallows.”

Hearing voices does not make you crazy. Not necessarily. Your inner voice has the power to save you. Learning to hear your own voice comes not with time but unbridled honesty and deep self-compassion. Finding true voice comes at the cost of covering your ears, at least for a time, to most external voices, no matter how tantalizing their allure, denying the temptation to say “yes, that is what I have always thought myself!” when in reality your own truth still lies buried within, waiting to be unearthed, longing for resurrection. Uncovering your voice means surrendering yourself to the frontier of a word you cannot live without.

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