Finding Your Voice
Today in the newspaper there was an article called “With experience comes knowledge”. The article was asking, “What advice would you give the younger version of you?” Is there something you would do differently? More often? Less often? Or exactly the same? I welcome your response, as I am interested in what you have to say. What advice would you give your younger self?
As I am thinking of these questions personally I could come up with a lot of answers but the following is the one I settled on. If I could give advice to my younger self I would advise myself “to be more vocal in standing up for my ethics.” Sometimes I stood by and remained silent while I knew someone was making a bad decision (especially in respect to my oldest daughter who became addicted to drugs). Some of my excuses for remaining silent were, “She knows the consequences of what she is doing, she’s old enough to make her own decisions, let her make her own decisions. “
In the book When to Speak up and When to Shut Up Dr. Sedler notes that we can often find ourselves in the predicament of whether to share personal feelings and risk offending someone or remain silent, maintaining “peace” but not being true to one’s self. I have learned as my older self that I cannot stay silent to compromise my personal ethics. I now know to speak up! This does not give me permission to run over other people’s feelings. I am trying to evaluate my past choices to make room for further growth.
Often we struggle to find our voice either as a child or in relationships. As we start the process of self change and transformation we sometimes learn what silence has a cost. My rule of good health is to speak up if I find I have to compromise my integrity. At the very least I feel better about myself.