The other night I was indulging in an episode of trashy reality television. Cat fights, gossip, stilettos — the whole bit. It’s not often I watch these shows because of how sensitive my stress response is, plus I’m just not proud of it, but it’s one of the few guilty pleasures I still can’t shake because it’s so darn ridiculous.
In this episode, one of the cast was arrested and taken into court before a judge. While the judge was executing orders, the charged woman tried to ask a question. The judge cut her off and quickly replied, “Don’t speak. Anything you say can and will be used against you.” Even though this statement shouldn’t seem remarkable, it struck me.
Sure, we’ve all heard those words before (hopefully not in the same circumstances as this woman) but this time it reminded me of something: expression, freedom, the thyroid gland, silence. “Anything you say can and will be used against you.”
Many of the thyroid clients I work with have never (and I do mean never) learned to speak because of how scary it feels. I don’t mean the mechanics of speaking here because of course they do know how to string words together. Rather, I mean the intention of speaking: putting forth new ideas, vulnerable sharing of experiences, speaking off the cuff and from the hip, creation, sussing it out for as long as it takes, and change making.
Why are we so scared to speak?
The fifth chakra of the body governs several things, including the thyroid gland, the throat, the voice box, and the neck. The thyroid gland, which operates as the “master” controlling one’s metabolism, is not separate from your voice. While they may be anatomically distinct systems, they share an energy center which is acting out tension patterns every single day whether we know it or not. This energy pattern usually originates in childhood (or after trauma) and will either be over-developed or underdeveloped based on the adaptation strategies we have learned in order to get the love and care we desire — or, in order to avoid certain punishments from those who prefer we do not speak.
In some ways, developing your fifth chakra abilities is like a baby learning to make its first audible sounds. At first the noises come out as indecipherable vowels and consonants, squeals, shrieks, and growls. Eventually though, through immersion, the child learns to form words, then sentences, and eventually masters written and spoken communication to the point where it is effortless.
So too is our relationship with speaking the truth and our thyroid gland. When you speak authentically, you will release excess tension in that area or you will build-up energy where there was none. Too much energy can indicate hyperthyroid tendencies, and too little can indicate hypothyroid. (I have observed that those with thyroid nodules or comorbid thyroid conditions tend to have a little bit of both.) Knowing when and how to speak is a balancing act that can be remedied in a split second or it may take years depending on the internalized trauma one has endured. Only through practice can we get to the point where we trust our “first” or instinctual voice.
In order to communicate freely, you must address why you were not vocalizing things in the first place. If you take a step back, think about how many times you were scared to speak. Think about how many times you were given “the look” by those in authority. Think about how many times you were spanked, ignored, neglected, ridiculed, guilted, shamed, or had something taken away when you said something others did not like. Is it still happening? Who is doing this to you? It may surprise you that even those closest to us, those whom we love and whom we know love us, are perpetually acting out the silencing.
In many ways, dysregulation of thyroid chakra energy (whether it be too much or too little), points us back to that warning: “anything you say can and will be used against you.” Because it absolutely categorically has been used against us and we have had to learn this lesson over and over to our own detriment. Chances are you have learned to associate speaking with withdrawal, retribution, embarrassment, deprivation, rejection, imperfection, and penance due.
I know you have done these things because I have too. After being silenced for 32 years of my life, I now choose to speak. I choose to speak against the odds, against retaliation, against judgment, against isolation or scapegoating, and against whatever hatred may ensue. I no longer care about the punishment because I have seen the dire consequences of not speaking. I have seen how physically sickened people can become when they turn off this life-giving part of themselves. I have seen how small and miserable it can make people feel when they have no voice.
Your voice is your power. It corrects, it acknowledges, it processes, it prevents, it brings about justice, it plans, it feels, it enjoys, and it releases. When you learn to speak without judging your speech, the power others once had over you no longer activates the sympathetic fight-or-flight response because you see that you are too powerful to be silent for them. You can no longer cater to their desires in martyrdom of your own. In fact, chances are, you were probably so powerful to begin with that your voice was silenced to make life easier for others. Think about that for a minute.
We all get to decide when, how, and to what degree we will speak. Know this: there may always be punishment lurking around the corner. There may always be someone ready to play “gotcha”, ready to argue, ready to tell you it’s your fault because you said something, ready to tell you off. Let me ask you this question: does it matter? Once you activate your fifth chakra, these things no longer hold so much weight because you are fully capable of defending and protecting whatever you have said in truth and honesty to begin with.
Yes, “anything you say can and will be used against you” but whatever is bubbling up to the surface for you to talk about is as necessary to the spirit as pure water is to the body. It may be used against you but how much longer will your body and soul allow you to remain silent?