The first step to finding your voice is to know yourself and be at peace with yourself. That knowing and that peace begins with you assessing who you are as a person and what your beliefs about the world and the way you should live your life are. For me, one of the biggest struggles was being comfortable with myself as an empath, as someone who always embraced vulnerability but felt that it was wrong and did not know why. Brené Brown's talk on vulnerability unravelled to me the way I felt "wrong" because of shame.
We often make the mistake of looking at other people's lives and their voices to find our own voice. We look at their beliefs hoping that we will find the same relief we believe they have. What we really need to do is look into our own lives and reflect on our beliefs and embracing them. For me, the biggest struggle was always coming to terms with my ability to always think of the bigger picture and doing what was right even though no one was watching. That struggle with sincerity that I had and the world putting me down for it came to a halt when I read The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, my favourite writer of all time.
It's quite funny that your voice is born with you but you struggle to find it, right? People rarely find their voice at an early age. So don't be too hard on yourself if you haven't found yours yet. As you attempt to share your truth- the truth of who you are, what happened to you (if anything) and what your beliefs are- that will create the path for you to find your voice.
This is the gold of this path. Sharing your story is both the way and the result of finding your voice. Read that again and let it sink in. Before I shared my story, I had so many fears. My job was on the line. My relationships (family, community, work). My whole life and everything in it was on the line. It was safer to stay quiet, but it was so painful to live with injustice and feel silenced. I had to ask myself: what was more worth it? Continuing to live safely, pleasing everyone around me with someone I am not, or being myself and owning my story? And you know the answer. That was the beginning of me starting to write my story. You don't always have to share your story publicly. But share it with whoever you need to share it with (make sure they are worthy of hearing your story) to be at peace with yourself. Let the pain leave you so you can heal.
What Story Do I Tell You? by Najwa Zebian
Najwa Zebian | #MeToo [Twitter]
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The Price of Sharing Your Story: #MeToo -by Najwa Zebian
This is usually another place where we get stuck. If we can't see a clear goal or purpose, a clear end, we are so afraid of leaving the place in life that we are in. We want to be certain that us sharing our story and living wholeheartedly, with all the risks attached to it, is going to be worth it because it is going to lead us to a better place. We want the "better place" without risking leaving the place that we are in right now. We want that "better place" to be guaranteed when the reality is that life is not as certain or orchestrated as we would like it to be. The takeaway here is that the "place" that you should aim for will always be better if it is leading you towards your voice and your authentic self. Everything else will fall into place based on that.
The most important thing here is to focus on your end goal, which is being your true authentic self. If that's the goal, you will have to start with letting go of all that no longer serves a positive purpose for you. It's just like wanting to cleanse your skin. You begin with exfoliating to create a clear canvas of skin ready to be nourished and revitalized. After letting go, the building of the new you begins.
Learn more from Najwa through her story and her work.