Thursday, April 11, 2013

Shrink to Fit

I am speaking my voice and living with passion
 I will rise up and not shrink

Today I had the opportunity to watch speeches from students in my public speaking class. It was inspiring. I was moved as I watched them stand in front of a crowded room and own their voices with confidence. They spoke with passion, vulnerability, and shared their stories with courage. They connected with me and the others in the room, and for me it called out my own passion. Oh how I want to live from that place of authenticity all of the time! I want to be true to myself, and by being my authentic self call out the best in others. 

Too often I find myself shrinking to fit. Sometimes that comes from the shouting voices that bombard me daily. A belittling Facebook post that attacks others with shame. An advertisement telling me how I should look, eat, smell, travel, and how I will be seen if I do not fall in line. A piece of unsolicited advice on how I should handle the most complicated and personal issues in my life. A look of disapproval, judgement, scorn. The voices that go around shoulding all over me and anyone else in their path. Sometimes I even start to internalize them.

"Who do you think you are?"

"You should keep your head down and avoid trouble."
"Don't try or you will just fail."
"You will never be accepted."

When I let those voices find purchase inside me I start to erect the watchtowers that keep my authentic self small and confined. I create my own set of guards to keep a watchful eye lest I even dare to consider stepping out from behind the bars of should. 

I will not let my voice be drowned out by those that want to keep me small. I want to rise to the full measure of my creation. I will own my authenticity and speak from the heart. I will shout an invitation to others who are willing to witness me for who I am and not what they want me to be. An invitation to be who they are. I do not need you to agree with me or fix anything, just let me know you see me and want to support my growth in all of its' awkwardness and frequent mistakes. Let me speak my voice without trying to shush me. And when you see me owning my authenticity and finding my voice encourage me to live and speak it with boldness. 

What part of you has been shushed and shrunken that needs to be voiced? 

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