Because I Have a Voice

By the time you read this – the Oscars will have been handed out…the red carpet will have been rolled away..and it will be just a day like any other.

Altho I’ve seen only a few of the movies that are up for the big awards – it is The King’s Speech that I most loved. The rendering of royalty as merely human – somehow surprised me. That simply being born into it..does not make one a ‘monarch’ or  ‘a leader’..and that for those who are – it is not a life of choice..but one of duty and obligation.

This humble prince’s struggle to find himself and his voice..and to speak his words clearly and without hesitation somehow resonated with me. With a path and road laid out for him..without any question as to whether that sort of a life might fit his internal parts and pieces..he was pushed and forced to rise to the occasion. To be – who we know as - King George VI of England.

On some level – I’d like to believe that  it’s a universal struggle..one each and every one of us bumps up against day after day. Or – perhaps – it’s just my own?

It wasn’t that long  ago – it seems – when I first set out to find a ‘voice’. Although I never had any sort of speech impediment or difficulties – in my own way - I stammered..and stuttered…and struggled with forming my thoughts and ideas. Of expressing myself in a way that was uniquely mine. I knew what the path was that I was supposed to follow..but I couldn’t find the one that was true to my heart.

Set your intention

The energy will follow.

The quest for this ‘voice’ has become a big part of an ongoing conversation with myself. In my personal journaling..in my daily practice..in my life.

Like the Prince – I am lucky enough to have someone who walks beside me on this quest and  journey. A trusted guide. A faithful  witness. A someone who sits with my insecurities and fears…and who repeats and echos back at me my reluctant words. A one who listens and  hears things that I’d rather not hear myself. Who sees me for who I am. A friend who often believes more in myself than I’ll ever.

It was in the last dialogue exchange between Colin Firth (the prince and reluctant King) and Geoffrey Rush  (his speech therapist) – that I most remember. Angry at himself..frustrated..terrified..and needing to make his very first speech  – the newly crowned ‘King’ challenged the credibility of his ordinary ‘teacher’…testing their relationship and trust. It was a back and forth conversation between two men who were being pushed to their emotional edge. To that – the teacher wondered and asked why it is that he should waste any more of his precious time listening to his friend and ‘King’. To which – the King replied – without hesitation or stammer or slightest hint of stutter:

“Because I have a voice.”

It was heroic..really. It was – in a man’s life – a transformative moment. To acknowledge to himself and discover that he does have a voice..and the inner strength and will to express it. I do believe – it’s  universal. It’s not just he..or me..but something that each and every one of us struggles with at  one point of another throughout life.

Lucky for me and for most -  I’ll never have to appear in public..or make any sort of monumental speeches. I can stammer and stutter and bump my way along without anyone taking much notice. But – like the regal king – I wrestle with my voice. What it is..if I and it have anything worthwhile to say..and how that voice – if it were to actually speak out loud -  might be received by its audience.

Quietly..on careful tiptoes and in soft whispers – I am finding my way. With stops and starts and long and deep and slow breaths. With exercises in proper elocution and execution. With practice. I can now say without so much question or self-doubt.

I do. I too. I have a voice.

* * *