Martin Luther King Jr. I Have a Dream Speach 1963The ultimate measure of a [person] is not where s/he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where s/he stands at times of challenge and controversy. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love

How do you react when an uncomfortable situation comes up? Alot of us quickly assess a situation, figure out who’s at the top of the food chain, and tailor our comments and actions towards pleasing them. Why? Is it really easier? Does that person or group really have that much power over us? Why do we want to give them that power? Where’s our voice?

Often we are taught to behave this way as children. Who has more power to squash a young voice than an overstressed parent? Be careful what you say to your children; your every word shapes their being and determines their approach to life.

What happens when you don’t have a voice is that you don’t get to bring your gifts to the table. The world never learns of them, and you never get to use them. In a kid, squashed voices often look like tantrums or extreme timidity. I’m not talking about that shy stage many kids go through right around three, although, after a year of terrible twos, maybe that is really a squashed rather than shy stage. Age two is often an age of differentiation between self and parent, and a year of attempting to assert oneself.

A blocked voice in an adult often manifests as someone who speaks too quietly, or with a strangled quality. It also reveals itself in people who are two-faced, who change their outward opinion based on who they are speaking with. In personal politics, they are dangerous, because they’ll stab you in the back whenever they feel they need to.

But what’s underlying that is a fear of exposing who they really are, what they think, how they feel, and what they want. It shows that they feel they lack the strength to stand within themselves, that perhaps they don’t value themselves much.

Villains of Discrimination and Injustice:

  • Hitler
  • General Custer
  • the KKK

Who marched for civil rights? Who protested against a regime that devalued them? Who madeGandhi righteous change happen? Not those who cowered or waffled, but those who stood up, who stood out, who made change happen.Mother Teresa

Each of our voices is important individually and collectively.

Push yourself to do what’s right today.

Heroes of Integrity:

What can you do if you suspect your voice has been squashed?

  1. Clear your throat and give yourself permission toSusan B Anthony speak.
  2. Have Reiki done focusing especially on your throat.
  3. Take singing lessons, join a chorus or choir.
  4. Crank the tunes up in your car and sing at the top of your lungs to music that really makes you feel great.
  5. Give others permission to speak their truth by respecting their right to their own opinion.

Heather Cate's signature, Spiritual Coach for the Creative Soul