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Amazing Possibilities!

  • Writer's pictureMatthew Kelly

Reclaim Your Voice


In this session we are going to talk about reclaiming your voice, reclaiming your priorities, and reclaiming your hope. One of the things that's critically important to remember when it comes to reclaiming any aspect of our lives is that it will not happen by mistake. It isn't something that we can just hope will just happen on its own. We actually have to very intentionally decide to reclaim these different aspects of our lives. Whether it's our voice or our priorities or our hope. This will become very clear as we get deeper into this session throughout the book book. One of the things I say over and over and over again is that the life that wants to live in us is very different to the life we are living. Okay? The life that wants to live in us is very different than the life that we are living.


What does that mean? Well, the life that wants to live in us is, is is the life of God. The Holy Spirit wants to live in us. And the thing about the Holy Spirit is there's nothing more efficient than the Holy Spirit. There's nothing more effective than the Holy Spirit. And I've never met anyone who relied too much on the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, the life of God alive within us is a very, very, very powerful thing. And so the life that wants to live in us, that's that life. And that's very different than the life we are living. And the truth is, is that the life we are living reflects how much we allow the life that wants to live in us, to live in us. The life that we're living affects how much we allow the Holy Spirit to rise up within us.


And and to affect our voice. And to influence our voice, to affect our priorities. And influence our priorities and to, to fill us with that hope. And so as we talk about reclaiming our voice, as we talk about reclaiming our priorities, as we talk about reclaiming our hope, it's critically important that we remember that the life that wants to live in us, the life of God, the Holy Spirit, is very different than the life that we are living. And to the extent that we allow the Holy Spirit to come into our lives, we will begin to live very, very different lives. When we think about reclaiming your voice, one of the things that's important to recognize is that learning to say what we need in any relationship is critically important. Learning to say, I need this is critically important. Of course, in order to say I need this or even I would like that, we have to know what we need and what we want.


You know, God's given us the ability to desire. And so we do desire things, but we have to get in touch with those desires. God's given us the need to need. And that's why we talk about legitimate needs. And that's why we talk about the idea that needs are primary and wants are secondary. Not that wants are bad, but they're secondary needs are. Primary wants are secondary. Do you know what your needs are physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually? And are you able to talk to the people in your life about what your needs are? Are you really able to come to your spouse? Are you really able to come to your children? Are you really able to come to your colleagues, your friends, and say, what I really need today is this, or What I really need in this experience is, is that because if we can't do that, we are going to handicap ourselves and handicap whoever we're relating with.


And that relationship will diminish as a result of that. The truth is, is that most of us need to reclaim our voice in some ways. And, uh, probably the most basic practical, uh, proof of this that we've all experienced is anytime, uh, people as a group are trying to make a decision, where should we go? What should we do? What should we eat? There tends to be a lot of posturing. There tends to be a lot of people not wanting to say what their preference is, sometimes out of great respect for the other people cuz they want the other people to do what they want to do, or they want to know what the other person wants or what the other person needs or these sorts of things. But we see that even a very small group of people can be paralyzed in that situation because we struggle to find our voice.


But if everyone was just honest and say, Hey, I really feel like this, and someone else says, I, I never eat that because I'm allergic to that, someone else says, I really feel like that, then we could really have an honest conversation. But we need to find our voice. We need to reclaim our voice in order to do that. And the reality is, we struggle with that. We struggle to find our voice. We ask ourselves like, how do we lose our voice? And one of the ways we lose our voice is because we stop listening to the voice within us. When we stop listening, the voice within us, usually very young, we start listening to experts or adults, people older than us, all of which has a place, but we stop listening to the voice within us. We're not taking those voices and considering them side by side with the voice within us.


We very often prioritize those voices. When we stop listening to the voice within us, voice of God, the voice of conscience, that quiet still gentle voice within us, that when we follow, we tend to find happiness. And when we ignore, we tend to find regrets. When we stop listening to that voice, we tend to lose our voice. Because when we stop listening to that voice within us, we lose confidence in our own voice. And so one of the unintended consequences of ignoring that voice within us is we actually lose our voice, especially in relationships. Whenever anything happens, there's always unintended consequences. And, and when we do things, we tend to focus on consequences. What the desired outcome. We are going to do this and we want that to happen, the desired consequences. But whenever we do anything, there's always unintended consequences. An example is on the airlines. The airlines decide all of a sudden to charge you to check your bags. What happens? Everyone takes their bags on board, takes an hour to board a flight. It's complete chaos. This is an unintended consequence. The airline's intended consequence was to get more money by getting people to check their bags. The unintended consequences takes an hour to board every flight. Flights are delayed, creates chaos.


Whenever we do anything, we need to think about, okay, what are our intended consequences? And what are the possible unintended consequences? And when we ignore that voice within us, one of the unintended consequences is we lose our voice. We lose our ability to speak into life, to speak into relationships, to speak into the world in a way that's authentic and valuable. The first step to reclaiming our voice in the world, our voice in relationships, is learning again. To listen to that voice within is taking those 10 minutes each day to step into the classroom of silence, to get, reconnect with ourselves, reconnect with our God, and learning to listen to that voice within again. And then honoring that voice in the moments of the day. Because the more we listen to that voice, the more we honor that voice, the stronger that voice will get and the stronger that voice gets, the more confident we will be in our own voice as we speak into the world, as we speak into relationships.


And that voice is the life that wants to live within you. And remember, there's nothing more effective. There's nothing more efficient than the Holy Spirit. And I've never met anybody who relied on the Holy Spirit too much. I've never met anybody who listened to that voice within them too much. The mistake we make is to ignore that voice within us. And almost all of our regrets in life come from moments where that voice within us said, walk this path. And we ignored it and we walked another path. And so the first step to reclaiming our voice in the world, our external voice is to listen to that internal voice, is to take the time each day to listen to that internal voice. And then in the moments of the day, to follow what that internal voice leads us to and leads us in. And then to have the courage to speak into our relationships, particularly around our needs.


What are your needs? I talked to, um, my children about this all the time. You know, I was talking to Harry the other night and um, he came into my office and sometimes they come into the office and they sort of just, just sort of mill around a little bit and they, they chat about this, they chat about that. But you can sense that they've come in for something very specific, but they're sort of reading the room. You know, first thing they do, they come in, is dad on the phone? Okay, dad's not on the phone. Does Dad look really focused and concentrated? Okay, no. Throw out a question or talk about something little, see how dad responds to that. But I can sense, okay, he came here for something very specific. Very specific. And I'll say, Harry, what's on your mind.


And finally he say, oh, I, I, I need this. Or I, I was hoping we could do that. Or what do you think about this idea? One of the things I say to the kids over and over again is, daddy can't read your mind. Okay? Daddy can't read your mind. Mommy can't read your mind. Your teachers can't read your mind. Your friends can't read your mind. If you need something, you have to voice your need. You have to say, I need this. And if you want something, it's okay to say, I want this, or I would really like to do this. Or Can we do that? There's nothing wrong with that. That doesn't mean every time your mom or your dad or your teachers or your friends are gonna say, yes, you can have what you want, because life doesn't work that way. But we all have to find our voice because we cannot read each other's minds.


We cannot read each other's minds. And when we tell the people around us what we need, we give them a great gift. Cuz the people who really love you, they want to help you fulfill your real and legitimate needs physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. The people who really love you, they want to help you fulfill those legitimate needs. And, and they can't read our minds. And so when we say to them, ah, listen, I just, I really need to just sit down and talk, or I really need some space this afternoon, or I really need to just go out and get a walk. We're giving them a gift because the people who love us, they want to collaborate with us in that. And by speaking our needs, we give other people the courage to speak their needs. And so if we're going to reclaim our voice, going to reclaim our voice, the verse, first step is to listen to our voice deep within us.


And the second step is then to honor that voice and to speak into the world with our needs, with our desires, and of course, to listen to other people's needs and desires.


Matthew Kelly


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