“You’re getting close. You’re at that breaking point. You just have to get louder.” She says to me.
“I’m scared. I feel like I’m yelling.”
“I know. But you’ll start to notice a difference soon. It’s not yelling when you do it right.”
I’m at my 6th lesson with my singing teacher. She’s teaching me how to use my voice, how to project it, how to actually be heard. This is why I’m here. Because this year was about learning to use my voice, and not just for singing, but for life, and singing is such a perfect way to start.
So far, my voice hasn’t been strong and loud enough. There’s a part of me holding back. Afraid.
“What does it feel like?” I ask. “When I actually allow myself to let go and sing as loud as I’m supposed to?”
Ah. I knew it. Freedom. My favorite word. It feels like freedom. When you let go. When you stop holding back. When you embrace all that you are capable of, it feels like freedom. Of course.
I find myself at this edge with my clients, often. “I’m scared. I feel like I’m fucking up.” they say, when they’re about to take a big leap in the direction of their dreams. “I know. But on the other side of your leap is freedom.” I encourage gently.
Singing for me is deeply entangled with some unresolved childhood trauma. Being loud and projecting my voice instantly transports me back to the years I spent hiding under stairs and in quiet rooms while the vocal storms of my mother and stepfather rose throughout the homes we lived in.
It’s the loudness that scares me, because that loudness used to signify danger in my life. If they hadn’t taken it out enough on each other, I would be next. Yelled at for anything they could find to blame me for. They were angry, unhappy people. It had nothing to do with me, and I knew that, but it still scared me.
As a result, all of my adult life I have been soft-spoken, avoided conflict and terrified to raise my voice.
Avoidance doesn’t resolve things, however. It just creates a comfortable pocket in which I can hide from one aspect that is asking to be stripped back, revealed and cleansed.
I know that thinking about the past and choosing to let go is not enough in this instance. I need a physical and psychological challenge where I actively learn that it’s safe for me to use my voice. And so I find myself in singing lessons every week.
I love singing. I also love learning to sing. And I’m excited to find myself at this edge, as terrifying as it is.
I will jump. I will sing at my full capacity. And when I do. When I finally get it, it’ll feel like freedom.
Image from FreePeople.com
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