“We’ve discovered we have a voice”

A nursing colleague recently said to me from the picket line.

Which confirmed my fears: this is probably the first time this group of women don’t feel the need to remain silent.

It happens all the time. Humans are good at fitting in and pretending to be people we’re not until one day, we can’t do it any more. We strike, march and protest and leave toxic environments and end harmful relationships when it becomes too painful to keep telling ourselves and the people around us a false story that everything is okay.

Here’s the thing: very few of us are taught the skills needed to embrace our imperfections and be our true selves. And so we suppress who we are at school, at home, at work and in our relationships because it feels safer that way.

Mostly, we learn from a young age that it’s better to fit in, remain quiet and hide our real thoughts and feelings than it is to be honest.

And yet, when we courageously show up and be generously vulnerable with the right people at the right time, that’s when we are seen as the individuals we are meant to be.

The point of finding our voice and being who we really are isn’t to be heard. The point, I think, is to feel worthy of belonging to ourselves and the people we care about.

Going to the edge to discover your voice can be a lonely place, but it’s the best place to be. Don’t let other people finish your story. Find your voice, and tell it yourself.