April 2011

Posted by Michael G. Duhaney on 9 April 2011 | 1 Comments

Expressions by Shauna Rae

Your Voice Matters

I was in a funk.

For several months, I had lived each day like it was my last, taking in and appreciating each encounter, each conversation and each adventure. And it made me blissfully happy, probably happier than I have even been!

And then it hit me.

I had been unemployed and still not sure what I wanted to do, for SIX MONTHS! For some reason, that sounded like a REALLY long time. Likely because for me, it's the longest I've been out of work since I was 15.

I've always worked, always done something. A close friend said to me, "Six months? What have you been doing all this time?" I thought to myself, "Yeah, what HAVE I been doing all this time???"

That's when the train fell off the rails.

Other contributions included meeting a man who made it clear he only wanted friendship and I became distracted by trying to change his mind, and a number of friends all vying for a position at a new radio station, constantly questioning and frankly, dogging me about what I thought and how it would all go.

Up till that point, I had just trusted that everything would fall into place as it should and I need do nothing but surrender to it.

But it got to me, the questioning, the wondering. And I began to think, I need to do SOMETHING but what? I became obsessed with it. What should I be doing? I felt badly about myself that I had allowed so much time to pass and not have a "plan".

Then a friend, whom I had never met in person and only had contact with through Facebook, a person who brings focus to individuals in his position as a life coach, kindly offered sight unseen to meet with me to try and help me bring some direction to my future.

It was like meeting an old friend, almost like family! We chatted easily and warmly. I was scattered in my conversation but desperately wanted him to tell me what I should do next.

After only a short time, we realized we are on a similar path. I don't feel like my next job will be traditional nor have a title but I had been feeling the pull to do something easy to make some money.

I told him I felt like I was going to be part of a "shift" in the way people think and that I'm not sure how I will fit in to it but that I was fairly certain I was to be involved in it.

It was like a light switch turned on. He said he thought so too and he wanted to be part of it.

He had been making notes as I was talking and he wrote down on a piece of paper this simple phrase:

"Your Voice Matters"

It was chilling to me because I had interviewed Paul Young, the author of The Shack in person, when I had my radio talk show, and he signed my copy of his book. The Shack is a fictional story about a man who lost his way after his daughter was sexually assaulted and murdered. It's a book about forgiveness and faith, about the questions we all have when something horrible happens like, "How can a loving God let things like that happen?"

After the interview with Paul we had a very emotional conversation, in which I disclosed a lot of painful things that were going on in my own personal life. He not only signed my book but wrote a personal note of comfort. Part of the note he left said:

"You SO matter!"

It was magical and goosepimply! I can't tell you the freedom and mystical energy it brought! That simple phrase my new friend Michael had handwritten brought back the memory of what Paul had written and it freed me from the guilt I felt for not doing "something"! It was pretty much all I needed! It was confirmation from the universe that I need only to remain open to opportunities and to trust that I matter, that my voice matters.

But maybe that's the message for us all. Why do you think that people are incessantly posting things on social media websites? They're looking for validation, searching for confirmation that they, too, matter. We ALL want to matter to someone.

Wouldn't it be nice if we all looked each other in the face, even strangers, and told each other that we matter, that even just our existence and inclusion on this earth is of interest and vitally important? Think of the lives we'd save, the depression we might avoid, the happiness just one conversation could bring.

Ironically, as my new friend and I walked into a coffee shop and he ordered a coffee, we continued to talk and Kathy the barista behind the counter quipped, "Wow, it sounds like you guys are planning something really exciting!"

As I was once again overwhelmed with goose bumps, we simply smiled at each other with a twinkle in our eyes because we both knew, she was right.

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  • ...so glad I found this today! "You Matter" - seems so simple but it is a message that too many don't get to hear or feel. I have had the joy (and sorrow) of working with an organization helping young people struggling with suicidal thoughts. The empathy which emanates from two simple words - "You Matter - can and do work wonders for all human beings. Thanks for sharing!!

    Posted by Rosemary Travis, 10/04/2011 8:56am (8 years ago)

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