Most people I have met in my life would no doubt refer to me as “too much”: Too much energy, too emotional, too loud, talk too much, talk too fast, too rambunctious, ask too personal of questions, reveal too much of myself, too hyper, too needy, too intense, too giggly, too happy (some people are really pissed at my constant happiness), too loving…too much.
Because of this perceived too muchness, I have had to tamp myself down in many arenas to be accepted by the people I was with. This happened most profoundly in the corporate world as I worked my way up into management. They call it “grooming”; I call it robotisizing. My experience is that they want everyone to look, act, and think within very narrow boundaries. The more you fit in, the further you will go (and bigger bonuses you’ll will be). I bought all that for many years…yearning to hear all the ways in which my manager at the time saw how I could improve myself. Then I changed to fit the mold.
My first husband was overwhelmed with my too muchness, so I tamped down at home as well. He, too, had what I perceived as very narrow boundaries of acceptable behavior. The more I talked, the more he shut down, the louder I was, the quieter he got. The more outgoing I was, the more he wanted to stay at home. I bought all that as well…conforming to the mold to make my husband happy (which, of course didn’t work for either of us in the long run).
One of my earliest memories of being told that I was too much was when I was around 7-years old. We were at home celebrating someone’s birthday…singing with the candles and the cake. I was so overwhelmed with love for this person and the beauty of love, that I started to cry. My 17-year old brother (who I admired) looked at me and said, “Oh Joyce, stop being such a cry baby.” I struggled for YEARS with the shame of my intense feelings and emotions.
I met my current husband about 10-years ago. He has opened me to myself. He accepts and can handle my too muchness. The most beautiful part is that he doesn’t judge me for who I am or try to change me…he doesn’t try or even want to mold me. He encourages me to explore who I am and to emerge as my pure self. So this is what I have been doing over the past 10-years: discovering who I truly, purely am.
About a year ago, I moved to the San Lorenzo Valley, in the Santa Cruz Mountains to take care of my father-in-law, who has lived here since 1960. This is a spiritual, earthy valley…and a lot of spiritual people are attracted here. I find in these mountains that I am able to be even more fully myself…because everyone is doing their own thing. Several months ago, I met three incredible women here…we are all in the same class together: “Sacred Commerce, for Holistic Practitioners and Spiritually Oriented People looking to develop their heart based business ideas.” Over the months that we have been meeting, we have come to know each others truths very well. It seems we ALL have felt that we are too much…ALL of us have tamped down who we are, all our lives, in order to fit in, be accepted, and loved.
Truth be told, we are too much for most folks, and we BASK in our too muchness when we are together. “Bring it on!”, we say to each other, “We can take it.” And I think that is the truth here…all four of us experience life to the fullest…the fullest emotions, the fullest ideas, the fullest energy, the fullest love, the fullest beauty, the fullest gratitude, the fullest grace, the fullest spirit, the fullest truth. We are totally at home in this fullness…and need to live our lives this way in order to be fully authentic. Between us, we are not too much, but perfectly much.
Our group is now a sacred ground for exploring and living out who we fully are in our muchness, for encouraging each other to live even more authentic, ‘much’ lives. We are shedding the too of too much, as that doesn’t serves us. We are standing in our muchness with dignity and grace. In this space, we fulfill our soul’s calling and, as a side benefit, assist in opening up others to their muchness, authenticity, and their soul’s calling. And this is how the world will start to heal…one authentic, much person at a time.