Finding a Voice

If you’re looking for a chipper, smiley face post, this probably isn’t the one for you. No brownies, either. Sorry. Maybe tomorrow?

I have a long standing history of swallowing my voice. Refusing to speak, because speaking means exposing myself, being vulnerable, risking the displeasure of others and some unknown other boogeymen.  So I stay quiet, suck it up and just work harder.

I’m stressed. I came back from a wonderful retreat, and am faced with a “to do” mound (we’re way past list or pile). I’m faced with an influx of insurance denials for clients and really being pissed that the system isn’t supporting people with real, genuine medical needs and now I have to go chase people around to get paid. I always feel guilty doing that.

I’ve (once again) taken on too many projects. And there are ones that I hate to say no to, and people who need help, in areas that don’t fit my interests. I feel obligated to say yes, and know it’s not the right choice for me.

It makes me feel physically ill because I’m put in that same, familiar place: either go along with it and truly devalue myself and my work, or risk conflict. I will be saying something—it’s non-negotiable. I just hate this running theme where I am frantically paddling to keep up and so very afraid of upsetting others.

Please don’t get me wrong—all of these projects are things I’ve taken on out of love. They’re things that I believe in and care about.

And yet they’re still missing the most important part.

Self-love. Self-worth. The non-negotiable ability to stand strong and let things bounce around however they will.

The ability to say no, fully understanding that it will disappoint others, and accepting that, too.

The funniest part is that on some goofy level I think that doing the polite thing is generous, but that can’t be further from the truth. Not only is it taking away from ME and my life, but I imagine it’s siphoning my energy from other areas and (at this moment) causing me bitterness.

When I give too much out of fear, I cheat myself, and I cheat everyone around me.

At least the maximum bullshit point is a great catalyst for change. The more still I am when I’m meditating, the more motivated I become to bring that peace into daily life, and the less willing I am to tolerate the everyday ways I sell myself short.


About Cheryl Harris

Life played a funny trick on me. I've studied nutrition for years, and much to my surprise, found out that I could manage many of my health issues via diet. I've been GF for years, and I've got a bunch of allergies and sensitivities. But it definitely doesn't keep me from cooking, baking and enjoying my food. Thanks for stopping by.
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6 Responses to Finding a Voice

  1. carrie says:

    Brave of you to post Cheryl and I can only imagine how frustrating it is for you having to wear so many hats for your job, especially doing the things that don’t fulfill you and aren’t the enjoyable aspects of your career. I wish I could be the office meanie for you and handle the annoying insurance companies! But I hope you know that parts of your job that you ARE so very good at (like coaching) make life so much better for so many people, I’m so thankful for you and what you do!

  2. Karyl says:

    You are loved, treasured and valued by many people around you. We are here to hold you up on days when you’re feeling down, always in our hearts if we’re not close by.

  3. Ricki says:

    Cheryl, we’ve all been there (heck, I AM there!). I so admire your honest self-assessment and ability to see things clearly. So many of us undervalue our worth and end up doing things so we don’t disappoint others–and in the end, everyone is disappointed. Go with your gut. And thanks for sharing this so eloquently.

  4. Thank you Carrie! I really appreciate that and I’m thankful for you, too! I agree that I need an office meanie for insurance companies.

    You are so very sweet, and that is just a darling thing to say. I truly appreciate it.

    Sorry you’re having similar issues, and I think it’s particularly an issue for people like us: women/nurturers because it’s so in our nature to love to give…and we forget the giving to ourselves.

  5. I am sorry that you are having to deal with such BS. You’re right. So often being a woman is a huge factor. We are taught to be nice, to get along. Many times that serves us well, but often it does not. Yes, this is a brave post, Cheryl, and I applaud you for writing it! It is timely for me, too, as I was second guessing myself on my own self-worth in some negotiations. Especially with this economy, the “take it or leave it” thinking/message is most definitely there. It might not be said out loud but, again, it’s clearly there. Sometimes you speak up and it still doesn’t work out and you have to walk away, but it’s better than compromising your ethics and yourself daily. There is no future in that. Remember your mission as well as your worth and stay true to it. (I’m saying this as much to myself as I am to you.)

    Best of luck on all, Cheryl!

  6. Thanks, Shirley, and I’m sorry you’re having the same struggles. It’s funny, I had E read the post, and his comment was, ya sure you really want to post something that personal? And I had to think, but the answer was yes…because it’s such a pervasive them, and typing it out loud helps me strengthen my resolve.
    Huge hugs!

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