I have felt that I'm “too much" my entire life. I'm too intense. Too passionate. Too compassionate. Too sensitive. I wrote a sentence for my piece in Jane Magazine issue five that may best describe this:
“I concealed my intensity in order to exist within a culture that champions aloofness.”
While I no longer want to conceal this part of myself because it is paramount to my being, de-conditioning does not happen overnight. I often feel misunderstood because I find deep connections in relationships and situations where others seem to feel less so. I've never been able to be "cultured" enough to be conditioned in this way. Or perhaps I’m just not drinking the cool-aid. I am not cool enough to hold back. I simply cannot be tamed.
I have been gaslighted many times in my life for having the audacity to use the word “connection" - dare I say it! That word does not mean that I want you to be my best friend or life partner. A connection can last a lifetime, yet it can also last for just an hour. Even a strong connection does not denote an associated relationship status to go along with it. I personally think everyone else needs to get off the cool-aid and cool off with their projections, which most likely point to a fear of intimacy. However, it's not my business what other people fear or don't fear and how they act or don't act.
Beyond this, I also sometimes feel like I’m “too much" for myself. I have so many feelings that I don't even know what to do with them. Oftentimes, I feel like "I'm STILL having to feel this?! When will it go away?” Yet, I know the answer isn't to suppress those feelings. When I do so, they come up over and over again in different situations, entangled with the same messages, which equate to the same feelings (simply different packaging). It comes down to this: I'm afraid of my own power, so I dim it. Perhaps I do so in order to make others more comfortable, but beneath that, there's fear of truly showing up as my deepest, fullest self. Because what will that bring?
I recently experienced a situation where I edited/modified my truth in order for it to be “appropriate” within the context of the situation. Had I stated my truth with some more heart and left room for a bit of messiness, rather than with proper and structured wording, perhaps I wouldn't have grappled with feeling disappointed in myself afterwards. Everything is a lesson. This exact experience lead me to truly feeling into this “too much-ness.” It came to the surface during a conversation with a dear friend, which guided me to getting to the simple truth of the situation and of myself. What we don't accept, we repress. Acceptance is about receiving - receiving awareness, receiving presence, receiving truth. When I don’t share my truth, I shut myself off from receiving. And I am afraid of just that - truly receiving.
The deepest work we do doesn’t always come from healing sessions or intentionally trying to make shifts. It often comes from the situations and relationships that show up in our lives, and if we pay attention, we can learn and grow tremendously. When something feels “off,” or when you are not happy with how you may have handled a situation or responded to someone, if you get in touch with your feelings and emotions and let them come to the surface, deeper truths can be revealed. The truth is simple. It doesn’t require editing or explanation. It just is, and it is powerful.
We can look to our objects to help us to sit with ourselves. They are the invitations to pause, to quiet the mind, and to get into the physical. Simply touching an object while breathing into the body can bring enough awareness to access a wealth of internal wisdom. I'm now working on receiving. From others yes, but from my objects as well. My practices right now revolve around receiving my feelings and emotions, so that I can allow them to surface. The more I sit with my "too much-ness,” the less I feel that I’m too much, or not enough. I'm not only allowing my feelings to express themselves, but I'm also separating them from my being, in order to set myself free.