Do you ever worry that you’re just a bit too much?

I wonder, do you ever worry that you’re just a bit too much?

Too emotional, too sensitive, too ‘out there’, too ‘over the top’, too woo woo, too enthusiatic, too anything really…

Some time ago, I realised that I’d been walking around with a monkey on my back, for, well… for a long time… for as long as I can remember.

I was aware it had something to do with not feeling safe. I sensed that I didn’t feel safe… in life, in my relationships, in what I’m offering the world in terms of my gifts/my work. I discovered that the feeling, the fear, was literally, everywhere. It was all over my life.

It was clever too. It showed itself in different ways. Sometimes it was the constricting doubt I experienced about whether the work I’m doing is any good and if anyone really wants it. Sometimes it manifested as an intense fear/jealousy, of anyone who ‘it’ perceived to be ‘better’ or ‘more’, in some way.

It is only after months of exploring, that I can now see there is something that underpins this fear.

When I was a child and living in a family where there wasn’t much expressing of emotions, I remember being told I was too emotional. Noone seemed to be able to just be with me, and to allow and accept my emotional responses. You may have had a similar experience.

As I grew, I learned to conceal, not just my emotions, but pretty much all of my true self. I learned to fit in, and to not stand out. Thinking about it now it’s funny, given my red curly hair, I wore glasses, and did really well in nearly every subject at school.

The discovery I made recently is, it’s not simply that I’d been walking around with an underlying feeling of being unsafe. It was that I felt, and sometimes still feel, unsafe… because… I’m scared, I’m too much… too emotional, too intense… just, too.

The fear is, if I show you the real me, then you will reject me, shame me, and tell me I’m wrong.

A little while ago, in a private Facebook group I was a member of, I did feel safe, and I posted a photograph of myself wearing a bikini. It was taken by my husband a couple of years ago when we were on holiday. In the photograph I am standing with my hands on my hips and my hair is pulled loosely back in a pony tail. I’m wearing not a scrap of make up, and I’m looking full on, right into the camera. I have the biggest smile on my face. My eyes are sparkling, and, there is nothing but pure, good, free, wild, f*!!**g life energy, coursing through my veins. You can see it, pouring out of me, through me.

When I look at that photograph I see my ‘muchness’, I totally feel it. I see my strength, my power… my absolute radiating love… my love for my husband, for my time on holiday with him, for the beach and the sea, for the sun on my skin, the salt in my hair, for the feeling of my bare feet firmly planted in the wet sand. In truth, in simple terms, what I see, when I look at that photograph, is my love of life, my love for life.

And that, dear reader, is where I sometimes falter if I don’t catch myself. I’m sharing this today though, to let you know, and to, most importantly, let myself know, that I am breaking free of this fear. I have put a stake in the ground.

I have told the fear, clearly, and gently, it has served its purpose in keeping me safe. I have thanked it for helping me in my life thus far. And, just so I know, I also told it, that I am tired of stopping short, holding back, being careful not to say too much, too loudly, and of being too ‘muchly’. I have told the fear, and myself, that I am here, now, being all of the woman I am.

I’m sharing this with you, so that you might see if you are weighed down by a similar gremlin of your own. I’m also inviting you to join me, in a ‘muchly’ party… I wonder, are you up for being, your ever so, super muchly self I can’t wait to see where we will go from here.

Care to join me?

2 thoughts on “Do you ever worry that you’re just a bit too much?

  1. Dearest Catherine, your post really struck a chord. Being a mum to a toddler daughter (who also has reddish curly hair) it can be hard to navigate that path when they begin to fully explore their emotions and the impact of those emotions (especially big tantrums) on those around them. We want them to fit in and behave “nicely” in social situations so often do all we can to stop them crying or screaming or making too much noise, either because it’s distressing and you want to see them smile again or it’s embarrassing in public or scary to witness. Your post was a lovely reminder to me to make sure that in seeking to calm her, I’m not just trying to shut her up. I will try and be extra vigilant to when she really is struggling with big emotions and make sure I give her time and space to express them without making her feel like what she’s doing is wrong. So thank you for writing about your childhood experiences and sharing them so openly and with such eloquence.

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