When I was in fifth grade, the choir director asked me if I would mouth the words, instead of singing out loud. She said my voice was off-key and throwing the rest of the choir off.
I didn’t sing out loud—not even in the shower—for probably twenty years, even though I love to sing.
After years of mouthing the words, however, I’ve finally found my Voice. And now I sing out loud—gratefully, regardless of whether I’m on key or not.
Somewhere along the way someone may have told you to mouth the words too. Maybe not exactly the same way as me; but maybe, someone or something stifled you, told you, you weren’t right, you weren’t loved, you were off key.
In one way or another I think all of us are searching to find our Voice. All of us have been shamed by someone else’s expectations of us; someone’s false beliefs about us; or by our own misguided beliefs about ourselves or the Divine Being that created us.
Life’s negative experiences have a way of creating layers of onionskins around our personalities that hide from us our deepest Truth, the One Reality. Life’s tough experiences inflict wounds in us.
And it takes a long time sometimes to wake up, do the inner work to unpeel those onionskins one layer at a time so we discover the core of who we are.
If we’re open to it, however, life’s negative experiences can become a pathway to wisdom. Because when we’re lost or hurt, we search for understanding, we yearn to connect to something bigger than ourselves. We search for meaning, seek to find our voice and the voice of the One who created us.
I believe God has a voice and that voice is accessible. I hear it within myself sometimes when I ask God for answers, when I wonder where I’m going. I hear it when I sit in the Quiet in the morning and open myself up to its Presence.
Others tell me they hear that voice too. It’s that August Rush voice that’s in and around all of us like a gentle whisper, as we learn to listen.
The other day, I sat with a man in spiritual direction. His tongue stumbled as he struggled to tell me he thought he was hearing God’s voice for the first time. He described it as a quiet whoosh, a silent whisper. He said it had its own distinct resonance within him, a deep tone, a unique clarity. It was unlike any other voice he had heard. And the words were those of love, words of guidance and affirmation.
Tears filled me eyes as he shared his discovering with me. That’s it, I told him. You’re hearing it too. And it doesn’t matter whether you can understand or not where that voice comes from. It doesn’t matter if you can determine if it’s yours or God’s voice, because it’s the One Voice God has promised he would fill each of us with to guide and lead us to happiness.
Keep finding your True Voice.
It’s as real as your breath;
as close as your heartbeat;
it’s our universal human experience that connects us and touches us all.
-brian j plachta
In this fast-paced, often overwhelming world, it’s important to develop life-giving practices that teach us how to slow down and care for ourselves. Taking time to focus on our breath—both during quiet times of meditation and throughout the day—restores our balance and inner peace.