One struggle we all face in this crazy ride called life is the challenge of having our own voice—a voice that expresses what we feel, what we need, and who we are—a voice that says I am here, and I want you to see me as I am.
We’re all more than capable of finding different ways to silence our own voice. The most common way in which we quiet ourselves is through avoidance.
Often, when we’re not with a person, we gain clarity and insight into what’s going on, and what most needs to be said. But then we sit down next to them, and our anxiety gets the best of us, and we find ourselves either “forgetting”, or simply choosing not to share. We often hide from each other in plain sight.
However, another form of communication—one that gives us our voice back—is to invite: To approach the other person with what we’re needing and what were feeling, in a way that is not critical of them, but rather fully expressive of us. To be able to say, this is me, this is what I feel, and this is what I need, and this is my hope for our relationship. And to invite the other person to hear us, to understand, and to respond graciously with their own feelings and their own needs.
Perhaps the greatest gift we can give ourselves in our lives, and perhaps the first and most important gift we need, is a gift of expressing our own existence: To stand and express who we are, what we feel, and what we need, in a way that invites the contact. To bravely stand before the other person and to say, I bring me to you, and I don’t protect myself from you, but rather I bring myself to you in a way that allows you to see me.
This is at the heart of loving each other, at the heart of being present, and at the heart of being fully alive.