On the last day of 2018, I attended a a spiritual gathering of women at a friend’s home. After we had each shared what we were glad to have shed in 2018 and then what we hoped for in 2019, my friend directed us to stand in a circle, hold hands, and yell.
Yell. Out loud. For no reason other than to raise our voices. No words, just noise.
We started low and then raised our volume until there were fourteen women yelling at the top of their lungs. It was an incredibly freeing and elating moment. It was amazing. But I couldn’t figure out WHY it felt so wonderful.
Upon reflection, I think the emotions came from doing something that I never allow myself to do.
My experience that day reminded me of years ago when my oldest daughter was very young and very well-behaved, perhaps too well-behaved to use her voice if the need arose. I used to take her onto the pedestrian bridge over the freeway, and up there, discreetly drowned out by the din of the speeding traffic below us, we’d practice yelling.
Yelling. Out loud. For no reason other than to raise our voices. No words, just noise.
Just to know how to do it if the need ever arose. Just to practice making ourselves heard in the world.
I can see now that I needed the lesson as much as she did. Sadly, it’s a lesson I’d since forgotten under the weight of my need to be a well-behaved adult. There have been numerous times since then when I should have yelled, should have made myself heard, but never did.
I’m grateful for the reminder of how wonderful that freedom feels.