I have noticed that almost nothing in life supports us to be who we are and to say it how it is.
From the beginning, we seem to be performing for others, with much attention, focus and anticipation given to our every movement… whether we will be a boy or a girl, what we look like, whether we are cute or not, or healthy or not… the list goes on.
The pressure to be what is generally accepted in society as ‘normal’ is astounding and relentless from the beginning. Whether it is better to be bottle-fed or breastfed, whether it is more acceptable to be a boy or a girl, let alone if we are healthy and without impediments and illness… What if a woman doesn’t produce the ‘perfect baby’ for everyone else? What does this then say about her?
We go to school to learn – but when we get there, we discover we aren’t learning about life and how to be in life, let alone how to create the life we want for ourselves… We are learning how to become like everyone else; if not, how to be ‘better’ than another, or smarter, prettier or tougher, and more able to conform to the expectations of others… How to fit in and play it safe, and how to be what everyone else wants us to be – all the while learning to not listen to our own knowing and body, and our own heart.
Our expression is ‘moulded’ on a daily basis – how to construct sentences ‘correctly’, articulate, pronounce, use the correct amount of adjectives, nouns, adverbs when we speak and write, with correct grammar and spelling – and all before the bell rings or the teacher says “pens down”. Even the words we use have their own set of rules for spelling and pronouncing them… This is highlighted to me on a daily basis when my daughter, who is learning to write now, writes her words exactly as they sound. So many of our words aren’t written in this way and appear far more complicated than they need to be. I can read her words and pronounce them perfectly with their raw spelling yet the same words going to school would be marked up with ‘red pen’… Remember the red pen?
(Recently I was attending a service office of some description. The lady at the counter shared with me that the number of people who come in who have issues with ‘red pens’, and prefer to never use them, is incredible. Could it be a reminder of their days at school and the many ‘corrections’ that take place to our true expression?)
There are many conflicting messages around us telling us how to be, and how not to be; what is acceptable to say, and what is not.
Something that is very noticeable during pregnancy and raising children is how much literature there is about what you ‘should’ and ‘shouldn’t’ do – what is considered ‘normal’ behaviour in a baby and what is not. Many articles contradict each other and offer opposite presentations of what ‘normal’ is. It can be very confusing as a first-time mother, with little or no experience, to be reading everywhere what is ‘normal’ and how to be – which often goes against everything that we feel and know to be true in our own heart.
When a baby is born, even more pictures are presented to us about what parenting should look like. How your baby should behave and how you should respond – nowhere is there anyone telling you to listen to your own heart, and that you already know what to do, and to trust this. The information is rapidly coming in from every direction to discount this innate knowing, and to doubt it.
I grew up in a family where feelings were discounted as indulgent and dramatic and ‘children were to be seen but not heard’. This was a sentiment I also noticed elsewhere, as if children were not equal to adults, and their expression was not valid due to their size. What I still observe around me is the way in which a contribution from a child is treated as cute and not taken seriously, or is dismissed outright as if they could not possibly know much (if anything) valid at their age, let alone be listened to, heard and respected as an equal. It appears to be generally accepted that an adult knows better. Something I have learnt from life is that age does not always equate to wisdom, for I have met many wise children and many unwise adults.
As we grow up, there appears to be a strong pressure to conform, to fit in, to have thoughts, beliefs and a ‘voice’ in line with the masses – and if you don’t, you are treated as an ‘outcast’, a ‘misfit’, as ‘rebellious’ or a ‘black sheep’. There appears to be a common belief in society that if you go against the grain, you are causing trouble and that your expression is ‘wrong’… The odds are stacked against you – how can you possibly be on track if everyone else is on another path altogether?
Another interesting observation growing up is the way in which loving, cherishing or celebrating yourself is often frowned upon by others, and seen as a negative quality and way of expression. I have always been fascinated with the way in which people would say, “You’re in love with yourself”, as if love meant the same thing as ‘arrogance’ and to ‘love yourself’ was a curse. In the past I worked very hard to prove I didn’t love myself just so that others wouldn’t feel I was judging them or feeling that I was better than them (because this was not the case), and it became easier to not express the joy I felt every day than to feel how my joy disturbed others. My true voice became quieter and quieter and the ‘voice-over’ became louder and louder. Today I would respond to the same statement “You’re in love with yourself” with a matter of fact, ‘Yes, I am, and it’s amazing… it’s definitely worth it”.
We become so good at fitting in and not disturbing others in the belief that this is being a good friend to them. Why is it that we stop short of challenging behaviours we know are not right from our family and friends, and why are we not enquiring about what is really going on for people? There appears to be so much falsity in society – the polite “How are you?” when really we don’t want to know. The other person feels this and gives the same polite response back: “Very well” or “Good”, when often this is far from their reality. Have you ever had the experience of hearing someone say they are “Great” when you can see they aren’t doing well and are barely coping?
Have you ever had the experience of taking some of the shine off what you are saying in case the other person feels worse? It doesn’t make a lot of sense. We seem to have become good at giving the responses we believe others want to hear rather than saying it as it truly is.
Why it is that we don’t ask the important questions? Or openly discuss the truth of our lives? Or wondered how there can be so much going on beneath the surface for us all, yet we don’t go there? Is it that people don’t really want to know; a “Please don’t tell me anything bad I may not be able to deal with”? Could it be that we have spent so long saying things how we think we ‘need’ to, that we have moved away from our natural voice and true expression?
What then is the quality of our discussions and our connections with each other when we are playing the charade of measured question and measured response, rather than saying what we are really feeling to share with others? How can we be truly loving, supportive and understanding of each other when we aren’t giving a voice to our true feelings and allowing our hearts to speak?
Thanks to Universal Medicine, I am re-discovering the enormous freedom in saying things as they truly are from my heart, without reservation. There is also great responsibility in this, which I will never step away from again: to be open, loving and understanding of others, to not hold back the truth and what is needed in any moment (which is an on-going learning), to not lessen myself and alter my voice to ‘keep the peace’ or not ‘rock the boat’.
Re-discovering our natural voice is nothing short of amazing and inspires others to find their true voice too… and thus begins to de-program the old operating system that has been in place for most of our lives.
277 thoughts on “Trusting our ‘True Voice’ and Expression”
Over many years I have witnessed how tentative I am to share a truth I feel with someone when I know it will unsettle the apple cart. This leads me to hold back, and equally it allows the other person to keep going with whatever has been observed… how does that evolve anyone?
Without expressing from the depth of who we are there can never be truth in our relationships. It’s like living with poverty when we could have gold.
Re-discovering our true voice brings greater intimacy with ourselves and consequently others too.
“‘better’ than another, or smarter, prettier or tougher, and more able to conform to the expectations of others… How to fit in and play it safe, and how to be what everyone else wants us to be – all the while learning to not listen to our own knowing and body, and our own heart.’ Shocking but true, this is how it is at school and parents buy into the script without discernment. We are groomed to fit into the temporal world with out even knowing its happening.
Absolutely and you don’t know you have subscribed till you find yourself afraid to speak up! It is so subtle and convincing in its normality yet there is nothing normal or right about being afraid to speak up or be true to yourself.
What struck me reading this today is how insidious that fitting in can be, it ranges from the very subtle to the extremely blunt and from the minute we are born we are put on a programme to fit in, to stifle our voices or as it would be presented to channel our voices productively … and this is a huge trap and we all fall for this in one way or another, so then it becomes an unlearning process as we un pick all the things we’ve taken on over time and come back to the honesty of the body, to speaking what we feel and allowing ourselves as we truly are to be seen by others, and to see others.
I can see how much we squash young peoples expression by making them fit into this mould because we need them to be measurable. Yet that is doing such a disservice to all they have to offer and I can see the ‘rebels’ are the ones who, although they look like they have low self esteem, are probably more connected and therefore less likely to conform.
If all we get is the same answers because everyone is taught the same thing, and they have a pre-conceived idea of what is right and wrong, then how on earth do we evolve, transform, and start to heal the patterns we have got ourselves into?
Agreed Simon, we need change makers, we need people who question and resist. The challenge is to support each other and confirm to each other that it is through the livingness of self-love, self-care and nurturing that we build a body that can commit in full to life and what is needed for us all to realise the grandness we all come from. Otherwise the so called rebels end up imploding with dysfunctional coping and numbing mechanisms to be able to live in the world what does not feel true.
When my first child was born I had no idea that there were all these ideals and beliefs waiting to come to the forefront and they did. It was as if a package had been downloaded and boom it was there to be used – right or wrong, there seemed to be no escape as suddenly I found myself looking to the ways of my parents without discerning if those ways were true for me or not.
That so many people have red pen issues as an adult shows us how deep our unresolved hurts can run.
We are moulded to fit in and in that moulding our natural expression is lost, and we and the world lose us, the spark only we can bring. For each of us brings a spark like no other and each spark is needed as part of the grand whole we’re all from.
‘I have always been fascinated with the way in which people would say, “You’re in love with yourself”, as if love meant the same thing as ‘arrogance’ and to ‘love yourself’ was a curse.’ When I was young I also wondered why it was so bad to love oneself, it may be that many other people wondered this too but went with the status quo in order to fit in and actually turned our backs on our truth and became self-dismissive. There was a lot of talk about loving oneself in the New Age Movement several years ago and I remember doing various exercises around this but I did not feel and know love in my body until I applied the techniques of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine which allowed me to reconnect to the truth again.
Trying to fit into someone else’s normal has to be one of the greatest rabbit holes of all time. What a massive distraction and tension it creates that we then spend an equal if not greater amount of time trying to extract ourselves from. The hooks for the need for acceptance from others run deeply.
I can speak for myself in that I’ve never had a really solid sense of who I am, it’s always been guided by who’s around me, or what job I’m doing, or the partner I’m with, I’m just beginning to learn now what it means to stand on my own two feet and not compromise or change who I am according to who is around me or what situation I’m in, in it’s most basic sense it’s a process of learning to honour myself and hold onto that no matter what.
‘I grew up in a family where feelings were discounted as indulgent and dramatic and ‘children were to be seen but not heard’.’ Me too I was brought up the same way, and I have observed others keeping the same belief going, children are often very aware of what is going on around them, and when we engage with them they offer us a wealth of information if we listen, therefore there are many adults missing out on children’s truthful expression.
A really great article Deborah, thank you, one I can really relate to, as a child if you spoke up you were told you were getting too big for your boots, and if you looked at yourself in the mirror you were told you were being vain, so much capping of our true voice, our expression. At last in my seventies I am finding my true voice a little at a time as I get used to expressing what I am honestly feeling.
Getting real, starts with the quality of our internal dialogue within ourselves. That, in itself is an expression and once it is true, then naturally the way you express to others holds the same quality as the relationship you have with yourself.
Well said Sarah. If we do not walk the talk first then what we are saying to ourselves will be so normal.. Very often it will be really harsh and we will most likely ‘tone it down’ for others and think we are being kind!!!
By debasing the quality of our conversations with others because we hold back in expressing truth (for all the reasons you have mentioned) we are left unable to truly connect which results in feelings of isolation and contributes to our ever increasing mental ill-health. The best prescription we can be given: trust our ‘true voice’.
What a devastating expose of the current purpose of education of ‘learning how to become like everyone else… all the while learning to not listen to our own knowing and body, and our own heart.’ Reconnecting to our ‘true voice’ allows us to express from the heart and reconfigure ourselves and reflect to others how possible this is.
When we share and express from our inner-heart we do that in respect and appreciation of the all we are part of, our families and all people we live with on this planet, the planet itself and everything that lives on it, the universe and more but when we express from the restricted mind, we only express for ourselves, to keep everything safe and secure and to protect our hurt we hold from not being able to live and express who we naturally are.
The pressure not to be you is paramount in our societies. It is like there is a sign that every newborn gets that says:
Welcome to this world!
Please, do not be yourself and if you wish get angry with us for pushing you not to be yourself, so you get so busy dealing with the hurt of not being you and the devastating consequences that this has on your body that you will never even consider or know how to be the true you.
I have done a lot of work with my voice and expression in recent years. What a powerful thing it is to do. Our voice reflects so much about us – everything maybe – and working with it is very healing. Learning to express myself more and more fully has been a transformation in my life and today I feel great joy in sharing this with others.
Whilst reading this blog I had the image of a bunch of joy-full children playing together – and then all the ‘conditioning’ of life coming along like a dark cloud to ‘teach them responsibility and to be more serious’. Why on Earth would we do this? Why do we not appreciate, celebrate and nurture this innate wisdom children have? True responsibility is important but when it is true, it actually supports joy-fullness rather than crushes it. Dismissing this joy as childish can negate it in us for life. ‘We are not allowed to be joy-full’ is the message we give and get. Why not? How would the world be if we nurtured joy and playfulness rather than created seriousness?
‘Today I would respond to the same statement “You’re in love with yourself” with a matter of fact, ‘Yes, I am, and it’s amazing… it’s definitely worth it”.’ And life starts to be joyful again. A joy to let love in and let love out!
It’s just incredible how much effort we put into not being and expressing who we are from an early age, and it is something many, if not all, recognise as unloving – yet this way of upbringing seems to have been passed on and carried on for eons. Why? If no one likes it, why is it still here and we are still owned by it? This tells me it is not really the systems so-called but there is something in us that is finding some attraction in that way of being.
A great sharing Deborah. What you share here is very important for all, to be connected to our hearts and express the truth.
We all have been identified and or allowed ourselves to fit into different categories wether it be at work, home in our family the list is endless. But what truly breaks that mould is exploring the joy’s of our own inner connection and honouring who we are because it is from here we can shift the paradigm and show and inspire others there is always another choice to make and it is always just around the corner.
With choosing to shut down our true voice in fact we are voluntarily stepping into the prison cell that is offered to us to go into.
You describe very aptly how the way we have made life to be shuts down our innate expression and lets us live by rules and standards and the many roles that have been assigned to us, all the while we are all yearning for a deeper connection with each other and simply letting go of all these restrictions and allow ourselves to just be who we are.
I could certainly relate to this Deborah and I’m sure many others could too “it became easier to not express the joy I felt every day than to feel how my joy disturbed others”. Being polite and being taught to “care for” / accommodate others in a way that means we don’t share the fullness of our joy, love, and truth so as to not disturb them is part of the foundation we need to change worldwide. We feel disturbed because when confronted by another’s joy, etc we feel acutely what we too are choosing not to live. But it’s something we need to be continually reminded of. We are designed to live the love, joy and truth we are in our essence.
A great sharing Deborah on the constraints placed on us when we conform or want to belong to a way of life or behaviour that fundamentally goes against our own bodies true knowing. Ever since we are born we are told to be, act and express in a way that conforms us to a way of life that goes against our own natural expression. When we begin to undo these old patterns and or behaviours we see we are not tied down by these behaviours and that we can re-connect to our bodies and gain a greater understanding for why we had these behaviours and patterns in the first place and to then really value and appreciate our true essence that is waiting ever so patiently to be revealed to the world in full by the next movements we make.
Thanks for bringing up the topic of the red pen. It’s actually seen as rude to write in red. Many schools in the UK have changed the colour to green, but it’s still the same message of getting our young to conform to a set way of being. There is a lot that needs changing in our current education system.
Thanks Deborah, there is a wealth of wisdom contained in your blog and your many observations of life. I hadn’t considered til recently the effects of the “red pen” and being corrected and moulded in my expression in school. The education system separates people from their true expression by focusing on the regurgitation of knowledge, and by not placing the person first. Because of this when school work based on knowledge is corrected children can feel like who they are is being corrected.
It is interesting how much we hold ourselves back and play small, just to fit in and not stick out, it shows how much people who shine get cut down and are put back into place out of pure jealousy and malevolence.
Yes we have allowed ourselves to be programmed but with growing awareness and caring attention we can alter these old debilitating patterns and begin to reconnect with a purity that has no room for these impositions and allows us to express from a deeper and more honest place.
Conventional education systems have a lot to learn.
Great summary here: “Today I would respond to the same statement “You’re in love with yourself” with a matter of fact, ‘Yes, I am, and it’s amazing… it’s definitely worth it”. Everything is upside down and back to front in the way we live and how we are with each other and that is especially so around what is called ‘normal’.
Even if we do not speak the truth of how we are and how we feel it’s all still communicated. We may as well also just say it as it is.
We are so often shocked by society or shocked in and around our circles of friends. If someone gets seriously sick or something happens it’s like we say we never saw that coming. What if and as this article is saying we create the blind spot from how we are in those relationships or communities? If we are all ‘good thank you’ then that’s the level we know each other at, ‘good’. What if the only reason we get shocked is because the basis of our relationship isn’t true? It maybe friendly, courteous etc but are we truly being ourselves or is it just ticking a box in the friendship column. I’m not saying when it counts we are all not there for each other but why do we leave it until “when it counts” doesn’t every moment with someone count? What we are bringing to life is that feeling or that living of one life, no downs or ups, goods or bad’s, just one movement to the next movement and no focus on one heading, it is all the all.
Staying true to ourselves and not being swayed by outside forces seems to be an ongoing choice, and the more we choose Truth the stronger that foundation builds for us. The outside forces may strengthen and /or become more wily but all the while we are growing in the power that this dedication brings.
I always used to consider that those older than me were naturally wiser than me, putting them on a pedestal and then sitting at their feet grabbing any crumbs of wisdom that they shared. But eventually, and from learning the hard way, I have come to realise that “age does not always equate to wisdom,” I see around me adults who act in the most self destructive ways, with not a skerrick of wisdom in sight, and they are applauded by others for their wayward behaviours. And then I have seen young children who share their innate wisdom and are put down for it by adults who think they know better. We sure have things back to front in this world of ours. No wonder many people are struggling to live a life that in many cases doesn’t make sense.
My husband and I were just talking about writing this morning and how what we were taught in school around punctuation and how you ‘should’ word something, has really stifled how we write as children and adults… being concerned with have we put enough punctuation in or has it been articulated properly really stops us from naturally expressing what is there to express. It’s seeing these restrictions we may be carrying around expressing and letting them go so our natural expression can be allowed through again.
So many conversations can be somewhat muted by the lack of connection or transparency and people measuring what they feel they can or cannot say. I have found that through Universal Medicine inspiring me to speak from my heart and to embody a willingness to be loving in expression and not hold back, the muting is overcome and deep connections in relationships are given permission to flourish.
Fitting in is a way of lessening our otherwise true and unique reflection that offers a point of difference and connection for others to remember and feel their own.
I love the word de-programming, it very aptly describes how very much we have bought into the belief that we need to be filled with knowledge instead of drawing from our inner knowing and learn to be in the world from there.
So very true we have made life about achieving and becoming someone, all the while we are (someone) already and simply need to live by this inner rhythm we know and feel.
I agree I have often felt the pressure you speak of from society to behave or express in a certain way and the unseen threat that I can feel is often there if I step out of line and follow my heart rather than what society says is the ‘normal’ way of doing things. Slowly I am learning to trust and follow my heart and what I have discovered is that much of what we have been told and sold about human life is actually not true and does not stand up to loving scrutiny and investigation. We have just been following on, generation after generation, doing things the same way but we have not bothered to check why we are doing it and is it really helping humanity to live together in harmony or not.
When we do honour the depth and beauty of our own expression , we start to heal what seems like lifetimes of not expressing our truth.
Re-discovering the truly natural and beautiful voice that we are all born with is a wonderful steppingstone into a world of expression and connection that supports us in all aspects of our life
Like you Deborah I too ‘have met many wise children and many unwise adults’, including with some of the decisions I have made as an adult, myself at times.
Could these pressures that you speak about build up in us and cause us to react to situations with more force than we would otherwise bring? There is a lot of emphasis now on expressing your emotions, such as letting your anger out or giving vent to your frustration. There is even a form of yoga that encourages this. I would say that reliving the anger or frustration in this way may not be helpful. Often we think we are reconnecting with these emotions when we are just mentally picturing them and then expressing them from the picture until we are acting out the anger or frustration or other emotion. We may think we feel better but how do our bodies really feel? Could this activity in itself be draining? What if emotion itself were a reaction to a feeling and that it is reconnecting to the feeling that may be more revealing and potentially healing? It seems our true voice may be under a lot more layers than we had at first imagined.