There are days when we feel connected and really good about ourselves, however, there are times when we don’t feel that wonderful; we feel uncomfortable, maybe tread lightly around certain people or feel less than or not good enough around others.

Perhaps we wish we could speak up and share how we really feel, but we don’t know how…we hold back, not wanting to hurt someone else’s feelings or are afraid of their reaction. We may end up suppressing our feelings and then out of the blue, we can get so triggered that they explode out of us, usually onto another.

I am no different than most people I know – I never knew how to speak about my feelings. I remember starting to talk and then my bottom lip would start quivering, I would be overcome with emotion, my throat felt like it was closing and the words just couldn’t come out…this happened as a child, a teenager and continued into my adulthood – I didn’t find my voice until I was over 40!

Throughout my own journey, I have been open and shared with my kids what I have learned for myself…the shifts that have taken place in me and my life and always encouraged them to find their voice.

I was so moved when my close friend Bonnie, who has also learned to do her inner work, recently shared this amazing story with me.

Since her divorce, Bonnie’s children have been spending time with both her and their father. Over the years, she has transformed into a newer, more improved version of herself, having let go of the emotional pain that had kept her closed from living and parenting from her open heart; her inner and outer space now reflected the peace she had connected to.

As a result she had changed the way she had behaved and reacted with everyone in her life, most importantly with her children…her open heart inspired her kids to feel safe and share their feelings with her.

Knowing how healthy this was, she continually encouraged them to also share how they felt with their father; especially when they found themselves on the receiving end of his anger, disappointment, disapproval and control.

Having experienced the difference in how she felt in each of her parent’s homes, at the tender age of 16, Bonnie’s daughter decided it was time to make a choice for herself; she found her voice with her father.

She shared with him how she was tired of the projection of anger and disappointment, especially at her brother and how she felt the burden of being the “good kid”, the light of his life.

She told him that she loved him, but it wasn’t her job to make him happy, only he could do that. She described how she could feel the negativity that lingered in the home, even after he blew up and how she didn’t feel comfortable as she walked on eggshells around his moods.

It took great courage and inner strength for her daughter to speak her truth and equally, great courage and humility for her father to hear her…and he did. They hugged and cried in each other’s arms, as she shared her decision to move in with her mom.

Her father apologized…he had no idea how his behavior had affected her. But he now saw himself through her eyes and this self- realization has transformed not only their relationship but also his relationship with his son.

I told Bonnie how proud I was of her; that how she was living had inspired her daughter to find her voice, a quarter of a century before we learned how to! We also shared the deep compassion we both felt for her former partner, feeling how devastating this experience must have been for him.

I believe there is a child in all of us who perhaps didn’t feel safe enough to share how they felt or weren’t taught how to communicate about their feelings in a loving way and we carry this into all of our adult relationships.

Miracles can happen when we connect and speak the truth through our hearts.

Finding our voice can inspire our children to do the same and the ripple effect of creating healthier and more peaceful relationships can and will change our world!

Author's Bio: 

As an author, speaker and awareness coach, Jo-Anne Cutler has become a passionate voice for children by building the awareness of what we are teaching them by our example and following her vision to inspire and empower others to be the connected parents, teachers and role models our children need them to be. She has created an audio program called Breaking the Cycle, is in the process of writing her own book (scheduled release early 2008), is a certified life coach using The Inner Workout™ program and is also the author of several published articles and co-author of 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life, Vol. 2. She offers personal/telephone consultations, seminars, and a free monthly e-newsletter, opening hearts to the harmony that we all desire in our homes, our classrooms and in our lives; one connection at a time. For more information, please visit or