We’ve all heard that birth order can, and most often does, affect personality, but I hadn’t realized how far reaching this can be. I’ve always heard friends talk about their kids and how, “she’s definitely a middle child,” or “somehow, I got two first-borns.”
I’ve always been the baby of my family. Youngest of all the cousins and in my class at school, too! I hadn’t really thought about how that affected me until the other day when I was standing in the sanctuary after church and my husband, our pastor, and a deacon were talking. I tried to put my thoughts out there and add to the discussion, but every time I began, it fell on deaf ears.
Later the same day, Nathan and Chas were talking… passionately, in the car and I was trying to interject and be the voice of reason, but in the car with two loud boys, I was just overpowered.
This has always been an issue for me. I’ve always felt unheard and often that my words don’t matter because of it. When I am talked over or just plain ignored, it brings back old fears and hurts. I tend to clam up and it is a major confidence hit. For years, I would never try to jump into conversations because of that fear.
Not having a voice can be paralyzing. Even more so when that lack of voice is merely perceived and not real. It is a tool of the Adversary and shuts up more people, especially women, than we can even imagine. There are many reasons why we may feel that our voice is silenced. Most often it is due to hurt or trauma. I am not one of those.
No, my muteness is of my own making. This makes it difficult to overcome because there’s really nothing concrete to overcome. It’s all an abstract idea in my head that makes me believe that my voice isn’t good enough; I’m not good enough. I’m still working through this.
This blog is one of the main ways that I try to beat this. Putting my words out there in a medium where they can be heard and my voice is out there. I still fear having others read them. I still worry every time I hit publish, but I’m doing it anyway. I’m trying to push through one blog post at a time.
Whether anyone reads these words or they are just for me, I see triumph each time one is posted. A sense of accomplishment every time I know that I overcame and pushed through that fear. Victory at each post that gets published.
And in a world where it is he, who talks loudest, that is heard, I’m learning to value quiet and to truly discern when it is time to speak up and when it is okay to be silent.
How do you use your voice? What do you do to speak out?