“The first thing you should know about Mike is he used to sing the Pledge of Allegiance so loudly in second grade that a teacher from the other side of the school had to come in and tell him to be quiet.”
That’s how I was introduced this past weekend at a wedding by a childhood friend. Another loud, energetic, maybe even brash person. It’s something we bonded over even way back at seven years old.
We were too much.
My entire life, I was always too loud, too passionate, too emotional, too intense. I remember flinging a number of glasses off the table at dinner, watching the glass shatter on the floor.
I remember once I empathetically put a cup down as I was telling a story, and the glass table I put it on caved into itself.
I broke things regularly. I got yelled at in school for speaking too loudly.
I was a kid who asked a lot of questions. I needed to know the why behind everything. I was insatiable. Unsatisfied until I felt I understood. And incredibly tenacious about finding that answer. I wouldn’t stop.
I remember some of my first internet usage was to research different religions. By age 10, I was determined to memorize the Greco-Roman, Egyptian, and Hindu pantheons.
I was always secretly researching magick spells and Druid religion and Egyptian rituals as a child. I so badly wanted to understand how different people saw, experienced, and affected change in the world.
And no one around me could answer my questions. I was never satisfied by the world around me. I always wanted more.
I was too much.
When I was 12, I wrote a screenplay about a popular girl who committed suicide, and her journey through objectification and depression. I used to use paper dolls with my sister to explore the story.
When I was 16, I wrote my first novel—an alternating chapter, first-person narrative by two kids who had entirely different high school and socioeconomic experiences, but were forced to interact through circumstances.
I wanted to understand the world around me. I wanted to understand myself. And I felt like I was selfish and spoiled and ungrateful. All I did was want, want, want.
I was so bored with the toys around me, like paintball guns and scooters. It all felt like I was just passing time until I could get back to talking about topics that felt big and powerful to me.
I always think about that study where scientists put fleas in a jar covered with a lid. At first, the fleas kept jumping up and hitting the lid. But, over time, they learned to jump just below, so as not to get hurt. And, eventually, the scientists even took the lid off, and the fleas still didn’t jump out of the jar.
They were conditioned to be less. Even when they were free.
I was like the fleas. In almost every container—every relationship, every friendship, every school assignment—I was too much. I was busting out of the jar. I was breaking things everywhere I want. I was singing too loudly. And asking too many questions. And demanding too much out of life.
And, sooner or later, I learned it wasn’t safe to be too much. That I was going to keep getting hurt. That I wasn’t going to survive in this world.
So I started jumping a little smaller. I started toning myself down. I started speaking less loudly. And acting less passionately. And generally being less of myself.
And it took me a long, long time to begin to remember that I can jump really high. That I can be really loud. That my natural state is powerful and big.
So many of us have been in small containers for our entire lives, and we’ve learned how to keep ourselves just a little bit smaller to feel safe. To not be too much.
And now we forget how to be all of ourselves. All of our powerful selves.
I was too much. Even today, I’m still too much a lot of times. But the point of reference has changed. Now I don’t see it as a need to tone myself down; I see it as a need for a bigger container.
Something that can actually hold all of me and my power.
I’ve been thinking about that quite a bit—that switch of reference point. Instead of assuming we’re wrong, we’re assuming we’re right.
Because it’s exactly what we’re exploring in the Sacred Circle this week—who we are and if the containers if our lives can truly hold all of us or not.
Have you ever felt like you’re too much? Do you still feel like you’re too much?
Have you ever felt ashamed about it?
Can your current containers—be they relationships, jobs, friendships, even clothing—handle all of you? Or do you need bigger containers?
Let me know in the comments or jump over to the Sacred Branding™ Facebook group to continue the conversation over there.
Sending you lots of love.