You deserve to take up space
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
I remember in high school the feeling that I would get when I would finally get the courage to speak up and someone would confidently abrupt “Louder!” The feeling of having to repeat myself as well as now suddenly doubting what I had to say even more. But for some reason I always did speak up, especially when I had an opinion I was passionate about, I would be nervous about it, but I would still speak up. Somehow I knew it mattered especially if no one had said what had been in my heart to say.
My journey of speaking up or taking space as I also like call it, has been an interesting one. A gradual one, that requires spiral like improvements in the same area over and over again. There are moments where I feel doubt concerning if it matters if I speak up, while I now seldom feel the urge to doubt my own opinions, I still could be better at not only speaking up, but like in classrooms years ago – speaking loud enough to be heard by all who could be interested in what I have to say.
When I finished my last three posts on codenpendency, posts that were very therapeutic to even write and remember back to, I wondered if I should let it stay just at that and let whoever finds it find it- to not do much else about it. I have struggled a lot with self-promoting, even on my OWN damn digital spaces – as in cross-promoting the same thing across my different platforms. I wanted to understand why I did this, actually, it shouldn´t be that much of a mystery, since I know it is rooted in a limiting thought that perhaps no one really needs to know or even cares that much. Yet after talking to a beautiful soul sister who I had met through a soul circle I had hosted a few months ago, I realized that I was still in the habit of playing small. Not only that, but being vague about my wishes and goals with the things I share and do, I am learning, is another form of protection – because if you stay vague, you never have clear defining moments of success or failure right? It´s safe. Yet I have been feeling that I am ready to be more than just safe – I what to live much fuller than that. I want to be ready for that, so I need to practice in the small things, like speaking up and louder.
So, I finally decided that I wanted to share the posts on my instagram with my community there and it turned out that some people really needed to read what I had written in those three posts. Some people found it to be an alignment that I had shared my posts on that day. To say that it moved me would be one way to put it but really it confirmed my intuition: That yes, perhaps there are tons of people doing the same things I would like to do someday and even more who are doing it even better, but no one can do it like I would do it. No one has lived my particular life or sees my particular visions for the things I create or want to create. The same goes for all of us.
Don´t let this scarcity based limitation stop you from doing your work and sharing it and speaking louder and taking up space. Your space! A raindrop doesn´t shy away from joining the divinity of the ocean nor does a wildflower fear claiming its place in the field, why should you, why should I?
This is a subject that I feel I have touched on before already but as I always say, growth and healing are not linear, they are spiral. We keep smoothing over the same rough edges in our lives over and over until they become baby-feet smooth and kissable hahaha. So, I make space for that and I hope you do too.
As Marie Forleo puts it – remember that “the world needs that special gift that only you have” –
May you continue to find the courage and self-validation you need to know that your voice, talents, passions, and dreams are also valid and you are worthy of taking up space and letting people, or whoever will listen, know that you are here and #doingthedamnthing 😉. When in doubt, remember that you are not alone in this- we are all trying our best to show up to and with our work, especially as black women who sometimes think and feel that we have to be beyond spectacular to ever dare even ask to be heard. If no one else will listen to us, we will, I will sis, so speak up, someone might be in desperate need of what you have and need to share from your particular perspective.
May life find you blooming and growing and taking up your special space wherever you are.