I’m not proud to admit that I let people take pieces of me over the years — that I let myself believe I was wrong for who I am — and so I changed or shrunk or tucked parts away. I’m not to the point of feeling grateful for all the times I gave away my power to someone or something else, because I’m still untangling the mess of beliefs and stories and emotions that came from allowing other people’s “stuff” (aka fears or discomfort or insecurities or individual beliefs) to mold me.
But, I am learning how to take those pieces back, to reclaim the parts of me I bent or folded down to ”fit” inside someones expectation of who I should be. I am learning how to let the “too-muchness” shine bright, wiping away all the layers of “stuff” that dimmed my inner light over the years. I’m learning how to anchor myself more deeply into my own truth, so that I only stand taller and more firmly rooted in myself when the winds of challenge or shame try to uproot me.
I’m learning how to fight for the right to be who I am. To take up space. To have a voice.
This work is hard.
Some of the hardest I’ve done.
Because it’s asking me to face my greatest fears and my deepest wounds: that I’m not enough… that I’m too much… or, and this is the hardest to even write out, that I’m unlovable at my core.
We all share similar beliefs to the ones I wrote above. They show up for us differently. They were planted in varying ways. And they continue to grow and be triggered by very individual things. But if you’re still reading this post, my sense is that you likely resonate with one or all of them. Or, you simply struggle to take up your own space in this world.
Being who we are, taking up space, and owning our voice is hard and terrifying and challenging work. It opens us up to rejection and judgment, sometimes even abandonment. It bumps up against our deepest wounds and pains.
Yes, it’s highly likely we’ll be judged and even rejected.
Yes, it’s one of the hardest things we may ever face.
Yes, it cracks us open, time and time again.
Yes, it hurts like hell and leaves bumps and bruises as it goes.
Yes, it requires sinking into the deepest depths of our souls.
Yes, it requires facing the parts of us we’d rather ignore.
AND… it’s the most important work we will ever do.
The most rewarding, life altering work.
Because as hard as it’s been to learn how to take up space, share my voice, and be myself fully and completely at all times — with all people — I have never felt more aligned, fulfilled, and light. Nothing is left unsaid. Nothing is buried or tucked away. And there’s a beautiful lightness inside that I’ve never experienced before.
I had to fight like hell to get to where I am… and I still have so much more work to do. I’ve had to take a stand in ways that feel very jarring and confrontational to my quiet, still, people-pleasing self. I’ve shed a lot of angry, sad, highly emotional tears with the ones I love. And I’ve received so much wisdom and guidance from my mentors, closest friends, healing practices, and divine downloads.
I hate this work.
And I love it so, so much.
I’m tired and worn down.
And I’ve never felt as light as I do right now.
I’m deep in the muck of my own “stuff.”
And I’ve never been more free.
So today, this week, this month… I invite you to take up a little more space.
Let your voice and preferences and beliefs be heard. Take a stand for what matters most to you, in whatever way feels right. Be a presence in every room and conversation.
The world needs YOU.
Stephenie Zamora is the founder of www.stepheniezamora.com, a full-service, life-purpose development, design and branding boutique and author of Awesome Life Tips. Through her Mastery program, she merges the worlds of personal development and branding to help men and women build passion-based lives and businesses they love. Her articles have been featured in The Huffington Post, Yahoo Shine, Positively Positive & Brian Tracy International. Click here to access her free Foundations for Unshakable Joy™ video training series and learn the unexpected trick to transforming your life with one single question! Connect with Stephenie on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!