“I write for those women who do not speak,
for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified,
because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves.
We’ve been taught that silence would save us, but it won’t.”
- Audre Lorde
Yesterday, I received an email from a dear patient who’d recently moved to the other side of the continent, to follow her dreams of a fulfilling job and to be with her love. She used to see me to treat her lower back pain. But, according to her email, our treatments had helped her on a spiritual level, too. She mentioned that our time together had helped her to see that her physical pain and stress was part of a greater problem, even if she never discussed it with me. And, that she realized she could never be truly happy unless she got to the root of her unhappiness.
In the email, she continued to share, that, a few hours after reading my blog post on Martin Luther King (“What Martin Luther King, Jr. Taught Me About Liberation From Mental Slavery”), which gave her the extra push she’d needed, she told someone for the first time that she had been suffering from anorexia since age nine. She then told me that my spirit was deeply appreciated, and that my care has meant so much to her.
Of course, I had a crumpled ball of tissue in hand after reading her email. I was so honored to know I’d made such a difference; but, mostly, I was incredibly proud of her for stepping into her voice more fully. My heart was jumping up and down for her, with flailing pink pom poms!
It takes such courage to tell our stories. And, as women, we are encouraged to be seen and not heard. To speak only when spoken to. To only speak of pleasantries and the weather. Or, as in my patient’s case, to be and look perfect, no matter what the cost. Of course, many women break that stereotype today, but women are still forced to suppress their true emotions and feelings, lest they seem “hysterical”, “overly emotional”, or “weak”. I’ve heard this many times over from successful women in high corporate positions, their need to hold all feelings in, lest they lose their power hold in the boys’ club at work.
However, it is dangerous to totally suppress emotions, because what needs to be said will always find another way to come out. And, if you squelch your voice, your body, mind, and spirit will rebel. Expect throat issues, such as feeling that “frog in the throat” or sensation of lump in the throat (Chinese Medicine practitioners call this “plum pit qi”), hives or rashes in that area, digestive issues, or it manifesting in physical pain somewhere in the body (especially the shoulders or neck) or as panic attacks. I have seen people who live the facade of “keeping it together”, for the sake of looking perfect, totally lose all composure, because sometimes a total breakdown is the only outlet for the emotions to be acknowledged.
Either way, not speaking your truth eats away at your spirit, and tells your heart that she does not exist. And, no matter how great an actress you may be to the outside world, your heart always knows the 411.
The key to becoming a happy woman is to be a woman aligned with her heart and speaking her truth. This concept seeps into all facets of life: love, career, and family, among some.
Saturday, March 8th, is International Women’s Day, and the theme is “Inspiring Change”. My transcontinental patient is an excellent example of a woman who is honoring her voice, speaking her truth, and creating change to align with her heart. She may be feeling the momentary unease of exposing the truth of her anorexia, but what she’s actually done is taken the power away from it – this deep, dark secret. And, whenever you take the power away from something, it no longer has a hold on you. Even if you may have a road of rebuilding your concept of “what next?”, you are liberated. The heart calms with the validation.
So, never think that your voice is your weakness. They have been trying to tell us that for ages! Don’t believe the illusion. We are entering the energies of the Divine Goddess, after all.
Your voice, as well as your capacity to express it while being tapped into your heart center, is your greatest strength.
Your voice is unique, and can never be broken unless you allow it to be.
Love your self. Love your truth.
Are you honoring your voice?
Happy International Women’s Day!,