Today I was gifted the most validating feedback. I made an impact with a reader. I felt that warm feeling of “being right”. I was accepted. I was well-received. My heart sang. That may seem superficial, but the feeling brought so much gratitude and appreciation for growth.
At a very young age I remember feeling like I didn’t fit in anywhere. There never seemed to be room at the tables of my peers and if there was not enough room, then I needed to be smaller to take up less space. In order to fit in, I had to quiet my laughter and sense of humor. I couldn’t say anything weird or unique.
I couldn’t dress a certain way and I better always flat iron my hair. I couldn’t be too prude, but I better not be too fast. I had to be incredibly thin, but I should always eat what my peers ate. I needed to be smart, but not too smart otherwise I may come off as contrary or a know-it-all.
Sometimes I was a “good girl” and I stayed small and quiet. Sometimes the pressure built-up, and I would burst through and make sure there was no room for anyone else. I would become, like, a very cruel and very vocal seagull from “Finding Nemo”.
“Mine. Mine. Mine”
As I got older and lived through some stuff, I realized I was never small and even though I was not small, there was still room for everyone at the table, I just needed to pull up more chairs! Today I get that support and validation and it feels good because I am not being too small or dominating every inch of the universe, I am just being myself and loving people.
I am just owning my truths and celebrating others. Love breaks barriers. Love is fluid and powerful and can translate in so many different ways and languages.
I have a dear friend who made me watch a Brene Brown video. She talked about this quote by Maya Angelou: “I don’t trust people who don’t love themselves and tell me, ‘I love you.’ … There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.”
By finding love for myself and acceptance of who I am, I found love and acceptance for the other people around me. When I could celebrate my own accomplishments, I could truly celebrate everyone else’s.
Mama, do not minimize your own value or the size of your own dreams to fit at the table. There is room for all of us. You can come sit by me!
Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.