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  • Karen Sussan, LMHC

Finding Your Own Voice

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

For most of my life, I doubted I found my voice.

I always understood this expression as a literary or musical term having to do with authenticity and originality of style as well as having something to say. There seemed to be a non-literary context, too.

Searching the internet on the subject now, I read the words of a podcast, The Meant Movement, “The Secret to Finding Your Voice”: where Dan Cumberland says:

“Finding your voice is mostly having the courage to speak and letting it be enough.”

When COVID hit, I had a watershed moment where I found my voice in a non-literary context.

For many years, I have been useful, helping people make changes in psychotherapy or as a chaplain helping people cope. But, I had the habit of dismissing the significance of my contributions towards such transformations.

Then, the pandemic gave me a kick in the pants.

It was a simple turn of events that made me realize I found my voice. I stepped up when an opportunity arose early on to volunteer with a new remote pandemic start-up, RUACH: A Network for Emotional and Spiritual Support and Referral. I said, “I have to help. And, I’d like to pay it forward” — the latter thought was an attribute to many great supervisors behind my work.

Even though the pandemic has shaken me like so many others, I find I am clearer, stronger and more confident than ever before in my work. I found my voice in the skills and experience I have developed over the years as I pay it forward. Like Dan Cumberland discusses in the podcast, my voice was always there. I just did not let it be enough.

So, after 61 years of life experience, I can honestly say with confidence I finally have it. I have found my voice.

Self-acceptance is a subjective matter. No one can do it for you.

Like Cumberland says,

“The real work is wondering why you don’t like what you already have to say. The real work is letting your voice speak and to let it be good enough.”

Looking back on my question of finding my voice, I see hard work on self-understanding, change, and self-compassion as the only way to get there.

To anyone reading who doubts it, the healing, transformation, and growth have definitely been worth the effort.

I hope others will persevere with the work of healing. You, too, have your own voice to develop or uncover. You are worth the effort and devotion. Do not give up!

I am here to help others who seek to transform their lives from shame to dignity or make changes through psychotherapy.

Reach out to me.

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