When Who You Are Is Too Much
Have you ever been told you are being too much? That you’re laughing too loud? Or your child is too shy? Maybe your husband is too competitive? I know I’ve heard things about myself, and have said things along those lines to other people. But where does that come from, exactly? Who sets the standard for any of those things? I’m pretty sure there is only one standard, and God set it. He designed us each in our own way, whether it’s too loud, too optimistic, too quiet, or too tough. As a mother, I seriously dislike when someone tells me my child is too _______ -fill in the blank. But I get it to a point. I’ve heard it all before.
See, when the hubs and I first began dating, he was completely thrown off by me. I’m a naturally loud, over friendly, cares too much, enjoys things greatly…. Basically I was too much for this guy who was an only child and wasn’t one to date much prior to me. How in the world could that be?? Fast forward 9 years, and most days… I’m still too much. Just ask my in-laws 😁. I’ll be honest, I do try to “fit in” and do what’s expected. And every time I do, I feel like I’m suffocating. Like my happiness and true self is being ripped away, a layer at a time. I get so worn out from the effort that it takes a couple of days to refuel myself.
But during a sermon the other day, our preacher was talking about a church that grew to 3,000 people very quickly. And they shared everything, and were so real, that even those who were non Christians favored them. Those of all types of other faith knew those people were exactly who they said they were and were to be trusted. How would that look in us?
Be real. Not the society designed, perfect on the outside real. But real.
Now, I am a Southern girl, born and bred. I have been surrounded by “bless his heart” comments my whole life, which if you’re not Southern is a nice way of saying something about someone, because you then follow the hurtful comment up with “bless his heart”. I’ve said it myself, and know I’ll probably say it again. I love my Southern heritage, but the biggest thing I can’t stand is fake. And there’s a level of false appearance to most southern conversation and life.
When you see someone you know, you immediately ask how they are. But what would you do if they told you: their day has been terrible, their kid had a terrible mess in the bed first thing this morning, they got in a wreck on the way to work, their mom just called to say she was on the way to the hospital, and to top it off, the dog died yesterday.
Did you just break into a sweat? That’s because we’re all trained to say “Great, and you?” barely pausing for the answer. Dave Ramsey always responds, “Better than I deserve”, because he’s right. We should all be miserable because we deserve that, as sinners. But thank God He loves us. But I digress. Look, life isn’t always easy. Don’t cover up who you are. You may be an introvert who enjoys sports. Or an extrovert who likes to paint. Those don’t seem to mix, but it doesn’t matter. Be who you are.
Life isn’t Facebook moments. It’s all the tough in-betweens.
Why do we look at Facebook? We say it’s because we like to catch up with friends, see what’s going on, keep up with people. Come on. Delete the Facebook app and guess what? Life still happens!! But this crazy thing happens too. You start enjoying the regular days. The days that consist of settling disputes between kids, rushing to the store before dinner because you realized you forgot the main part of the meal, and meltdowns in car because your oldest touched his brother’s carseat. But you start focusing on the other things, smaller, not as easy to see. Like the kids reading the Bible together while you washed dishes, extra moments stolen with your hubs when the kids are watching Trolls, even a bit of peace and quiet during naptime.
Does that sound good? It does to me. To me, Facebook makes us all jealous. Maybe not that we’re aware, but suddenly we’re looking at our kids, wondering why they aren’t as sweet or well-behaved. Looking at our husbands, wishing they would buy us flowers and presents. Facebook (and Pinterest) make you want to look good and hide the ugly. You want to appear as if you can handle it all, but really the kids are making you cry in the bathroom while eating the peanut butter and chocolate chips out of the peanut butter jar.
You want a life that is made up only of Facebook worthy moments. And it makes you miss out on all the just plain worthy moments.
Why fit in when you were born to STAND OUT? – Dr. Suess
Who can argue with the genius Dr. Suess? As parents, we all tell our kids to be themselves. But then we turn around and question why they act a certain way.
“Why don’t you want to play sports?”
“Why can’t you be more outgoing?”
“Why are you so quiet? Speak up and show them who you are!”
Here’s the thing. They are. They are showing you, me, all of us, who they are. They are all different and have different gifts. They can shine in their own way, but instead we view them through the lens of the world, assuming they have to “fit” so that they can be successful. Writers used to be almost exclusively introverts. But then writing became about book tours and interviews, and the introverts shrunk back into the shadows. The world’s standards cause individuals, created by God to stand out, to blend in. We have to stop this. We have to enjoy the differences we each have, and find a way to help each other be successful in their own way, not the way the world views success.
Be too much.
Everyone is too much of something. I want to be too generous, too caring, too loving, too loud, too excited, too crazy. I want to be the real me, who was created for a purpose by God. I want to be intentional, teach my kids to be real, unfiltered, 100% who they were created to be using the gifts God has given them and me to change the world, even if that means that some people can’t handle me. I know for a fact that I turn people off to being around me because I don’t tend to filter my words too much. Something that can make things awkward. But mostly, I feel me being real is what the world needs.
I want to share with you the hard times we go through, the crazy arguments that turn out to be us fighting for the same thing but unable to understand each other, the times we’ve been too frugal meaning we became cheapskates, when we’ve been too free and bought a $1200 smoker only to turn around and sell it 6 months later (true story y’all). I want to be intentional in every part of my life, living with purpose and exactly as God made me. I want to take joy when my hubs, who literally cringes at the thought of being like me, embraces who he is: an introvert, opposite of me in most every way.
I live in the real. In the too much. And I want to share it with you and hopefully help you see that the real you, whether it’s as loud as me or as quietly observant as my hubs, is the most awesome thing you can bring to the discussion.
Do you feel that who you are is too much? And how do you handle the situation when it comes up?