Time to Take Up More Space

I was re-reading one of my blogposts when something struck me and not in a good way.

The day I fractured my spine, I wouldn’t let my boyfriend call an ambulance because “I didn’t want to make a fuss.” Let me say that again: I fractured my spine and still the need to “not make a fuss” over-rode everything. No amount of pain or fear could change my mind. It even made me doubt my inner voice. You know, the one that knows even when you don’t really want to know. The one that relentlessly repeats, “you broke something, you broke something, you broke something, YOU BROKE SOMETHING!!!” Ya … that one.

That got me to wonder: if I’m not willing to make a fuss when my back is broke, where else in my life am I being so fussless and how is impacting me? Does not wanting to make a fuss equal being small?

I have a friend who is letting her cousin and her husband stay with her while their new home is in the finishing stages of being built. Being that they were family, my friend thought that she would have no problem sharing her space with them. Then reality set in. Her cousin helped herself to everything. Not in a malicious way, but just in a “well it’s here so I guess I’m entitled to use it” way. The honey my friend brought back from Greece and was saving for a special Greek dessert she only made at Christmas. Gone. The extra virgin coconut oil she splurged on because it was the only thing that cured her dry cracked skin in the winter. Gone. The organic dates she bought to try out that recipe for Chocolate Almond Balls. Gone. The last free-run egg of the dozen she just bought 3 days ago and had yet to eat. Gone. “I didn’t even get to eat one,” she yelled into the phone. “Who does that?” I’ll tell you who. People who don’t feel small. Those people don’t even question whether they are worthy of a $25.00 jar of extra virgin olive oil or if the Cretan honey is too good for the nightly tea. They just use it. Nothing is saved for a “special occasion” because everyday is another day that they are worth it. Even if it technically doesn’t belong to them.

Although I don’t really agree with the concept of taking something because you feel entitled to it, I do see some value in believing you are worth anything this world has to offer. Even something as simple as a $25.00 jar of extra virgin coconut oil. I can absolutely see how playing small keeps you safe but stuck.

As I think back on my own life, I realize that I have always played a secondary role. I’m the one taking care of everyone else who gets to let loose a bit or chase their dreams. It’s become so ingrained in me that I don’t even realize I’m doing it anymore. I’ve so succinctly suffocated the voice inside of me that I can barely hear her anymore and even if I do I can shut her out before you can say the word fuss.

I’m thinking that’s not the way to go anymore. I’m 46, I wrote and published my own book, I have a successful career where I am respected and listened to. I have family and friends that love me. I am with the love of my life. In the face of all of that, why choose to go small? Why not choose to expand all of the amazing things in my life and learn to take up a bit more space? Why not make a fuss every once in a while?

I can’t think of a single good reason not to.