My Authentic Voice

Updated: Sep 28, 2020

I never did figure out how to pray like a proper follower of the religion I was brought up in. The directions felt like I was putting together something that was supposed to be important and I was using instructions from a kit or it wouldn’t work. For years I acted the part, even getting on my knees, the required prerequisite for proof I was doing it right.

After my daughter was born so ill, I turned to prayer desperately. On the way back from the hospital I stopped into my local white-steepled church for the first time to meet my deep need to connect with a higher power. The aged minister was deeply moved by my story and stopped mid lunch to sit and pray with me. It felt so foreign. I was so desperate. He succumbed to his practice so familiar to him. I was hoping to become part of this supportive community, but the minister moved on due to various indiscretions with a fellow congregant. My newly formed bubble asking for help evaporated.

I kept being told people were praying for us. I even resorted to pretending I was praying but truth be told I was really angry. I fought with prayer and when I got desperate again, I pleaded. I never really felt like I learned how to pray until I stopped trying to emulate everyone else’s idea of prayer. Until I made it personal to me.

I set up ground rules because if I was going to pray to a higher power, this higher power was going to be safe for me. No mighty man in the sky any more. I liked the sound of God and I added Goddess too because women and men are equally counted in my heart. Then I added in every other being that represents love and light because I believe there is so much we cannot see. Okay, I had my first line.

God, Goddess, and all beings that represent love and light.

That got me started in prayer and I haven’t stopped. I defined what I needed for me to speak with my higher power. I set up my boundaries, answered my needs, made my rules and ignored all the ‘this way’s’ and ‘that way’s’. This became my foundation to keep moving as I struggled in my life. I found the voice of my heart.

My Authentic Voice

by Danna Faulds

from “From Root to Bloom”

I know my authentic voice

because it moves me like

No other. Emerging not from

the grooves of habit or belief,

but out of far left field,

or wherever the mystery

resides in me, it surprises

with honesty or shocks me

out of my complacency.

From the babble of competing

voices in my head, this one

stands out. I know my authentic

voice because integrity insists

on being noticed. It delivers

the experience of truth, the

take-my-breath-away instant

when presence fills every

cell of me with “Yes.”

Participants’ Reflections: