I’ve never explicitly written about my experience in love, but so much has transpired over the last year and as many times as I’ve felt inadequate, more often than not, I’ve felt that I was “too much.”
Like many women, I’ve been in relationships where I politely sat and nodded and let the man be the man. But as I’ve grown, and as I’ve witnessed and experienced my share of heartache, my perception of what it means to be a man, and a woman, has changed significantly. I have always felt as If I had to quiet the immensity within for fear of threatening the manhood of significant others.
You know, that walking on broken glass, hushing your soul type of feeling? I was just never quite articulate enough to put my finger on what I was feeling.
I’ve seen and lovingly known women with a burning, hot fire that radiates from every single pore of their skin, get into relationships and slowly but surely the fire within them dies. I’ve seen that same fire within myself die as well, countless times.
Is it because we don’t want to be “too much?” Is that how we are conditioned? To shut down our outlandish ideas and dreams because they are just too far out?
I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve been told by a man, “Toni be realistic.” Those words, “be realistic” have stopped millions of souls from reaching the highest versions of themselves. Those words, “be realistic” coming from the people we value the most, can so quickly shoot down every ounce of confidence we possess within ourselves.
Our ideas represent who we are, and when those ideas are consistently hushed, then so are our identities. Are our passions and desires being hushed because they are foolish?
They are being hushed because they threaten the person who is hushing them. If we find fulfillment in something outside our significant other, then where does that leave them?
I want men and women to know they are never “too much” and if they are ever in a relationship where they feel that way, then that relationship is not the one they are meant to be in.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of sitting back and quieting the restlessness in our souls. But God has placed that restlessness there for a reason, and that reason is not to be buried underneath what society deems as “realistic.”
If I get an inkling at 59 to become a fiber artist with no previous experience in fiber art, I want the man beside me who says, “Okay baby, let’s go see what we can find out about fiber artistry at the local library or bookstore." When I feel myself biting my tongue for fear of saying too much, I MUSThave the courage to reevaluate the space I’m allowing others to take up in my life. And, in turn, I must always remember to never hush the fire inside another soul. In doing so, I’m breaking their spirit because it threatens my own.
And what about the need I have to rock my weird and quirky side?
Trust me when I say, “For some folks, weird can have a negative connotation but I love the word!” For me, it’s just a fun way to say quirky, unique, and rare which I believe is another one of the beauties that makes us who we are.
The world around us wants us to conform to be “normal.” Wants us not to be “too much.” Translation: to do things the way they think it needs to be done. Basically, what makes THEM comfortable. I mean heaven forbid we do something out of the norm, unconventional, think outside the box, challenge the status quo.
Our society is wired to treat those who embrace their individuality as outcasts.
Owning our uniqueness also means to be willing to break away from the masses. I believe that it is in those moments, when we choose to embrace the beauty that makes us stand out, that we find our true selves and it is how God wants to use us.
We were all created to be unique, to be one-of-a-kind. When we try to conform to what the world wants us to be we die a slow, emotional, death trying to fit into someone else’s box. Believe me when I tell you that I know how hard this can be. I have been, most of my life, the biggest people pleasing offender. I could lead meetings for Recovering People Pleasers. So I understand what a struggle it can be and I still have my moments of scraping together the courage to walk boldly in MY own personal TRUTH and not give two nickels what anyone else thinks.
There are going to be people in your life who walk around like they have been marinating in vinegar and NOTHING you say or do is going to please them!
It is time to break out of our shells, to embrace the beauty in our weird, to let the world see how beautifully we were designed to rock our unique talents, gifts and story.
It is time to let go of needing the acceptance from others. It’s time to stop caring about the opinions of others.
It’s time to be FEARLESSLY you, to be “too much” so you can serve the people who are searching for YOU and the difference that only YOU can make in their life!