The title may have led you to believe that I’d be commenting on the post-Superbowl adventures of Adam, Cee Lo, Christina, and Blake. I’m not, other than to say I watched and found several of the singer’s stories and emotions quite moving.

I’ve been thinking more about our own inner voice, largely thanks to Parker J. Palmer’s Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation. We often equate the concept of vocation with job or career, yet it comes from the same root as voice and we can think of it as the expression of what is deep within us, perhaps taking the actions that fit with our life purpose.

Palmer’s description of his quest resonated with my efforts to “live a better life” and “be a better person.” He wrote, “I lined up the most elevated ideals I could find and set out to achieve them … The results were rarely admirable, often laughable, and sometimes grotesque…. I had simply found a ‘noble’ way of living a life that was not my own, a life spent imitating heroes instead of listening to my heart.”

From the back seat of my Prius earlier this week, Andrew asked, “What’s a mid-life crisis?” My first thought was, “That’s what your daddy’s having” – not sure the mix of truth and self-amusement. It’s easy to wonder to what extent we are following external demands instead of listening to internal callings.

Palmer explained that learning to let his life speak means “living the life that wants to live in me.” It involves creating enough stillness and quiet to allow a soul to speak its truth. It also means setting aside external notions about what a vocation should and shouldn’t be so that we can attune ourselves to the call of our inner voice.

Part of Palmer’s journey included clinical depression and he noted that the path to leadership and awareness of our vocation involves confronting our darkness.

Finding my own voice amidst the cacophony of external demands, opportunities, and mileposts feels like a daunting challenge. Yet I’m convinced that clarity is available by locating that frequency.

For those of us who will never be “The Voice,” there may be solace in hearing our own purest expression.

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