I’ve been talking a lot these days about being whole. I speak to my wholeness on an almost daily basis.
Most of the time it’s easy.
But also, there are times when it’s not.
There are times when it’s easier to cry or run or let whatever is pounding at the door come in.
I am grateful though, that the easy outweighs the hard these day
I haven’t always been this whole.
Even now, speaking out about the non-wholeness that used to infiltrate my being is tricky.
Somewhere in my life a very simple sentence spurred its way into my thinking, thought life and being:
Don’t take up space.
This translated out into my life in so many ways: always be helpful, don’t be a burden, don’t have people be mad at you, be quiet.
Don’t take up space.
This thought from somewhere in my life colored everything. My interactions with friends, bosses, family, coworkers. It spiraled me into serious depression, burn out and thoughts of suicide.
Those four words crushed my spirit and almost killed me.
I didn’t necessarily know how to deal with them. I sat in therapy for almost four years, was on and off antidepressants. I stopped smiling, stopped living, I didn’t know who I was.
And I wasn’t going to make what I was going through anyone else’s problem.
How wrong I was.
There’s a saying that says “it takes a village to raise a child”—but what happens when that child is raised?
Does the village leave?
Does the village throw you into the forest to fend for yourself?
No, the village becomes community.
And we raise each other into the humans we were meant to be.
I lived a lot of my life working my hardest to not take up space. And then four years ago I chose to do this crazy thing called the world race where getting packed like sardines into a bus or in a stable or taxi cab was a norm and I physically couldn’t help taking up space.
I couldn’t be alone at all. Like physically we weren’t allowed to. For 11 months. And community becomes a mirror. You begin to see yourself in others. I was with the same women for most of the race. And you being to learn that who you are effects others. And if you aren’t living in your whole self, it actually makes it pretty damn hard for someone else to live in their whole self.
So, I tucked that knowledge in my pocket, stamped myself as complete and went on my merry way.
Then, I went to Spain, kicking and screaming, and was shoved into a huge room and told to fill the space (not literally, that’d be weird).
But, what I learned in Spain was that I was fully capable of filling that space. Easily.
I’m really great at looking like I’m filling a space. I’m great at being who I am. I’m pretty awesome at my job. I’m great at communication.
I’m excellent at being the center of attention, when it’s my choice.
I’ve come to realize though it’s not necessarily my choice.
I’ve come to realize that me filling a space is a part of who I am. I’m not meant to be a background person, I’m not meant to be alone. I’m not meant to give up my space for someone who isn’t as great at taking their own. But a part of who I am is helping them find their seat. A wise Yoda once told me to never diminish myself.
And that’s not just for my benefit.
A part of my wholeness is the community that surrounds me. A part of my wholeness is me taking up the space at the table that I was meant too.
That goes for you too.
We need you at the table.
You don’t have to be whole.
You don’t have to know who you are.
We can help.
You, my friend, were meant to take up space.