When I was a girl, one of the last accusations I ever wanted anyone to hear from anyone was, “You’re so full of yourself.”
The statement was never meant as a compliment and was usually a way of trying to cut me down to a smaller size even if I was just being myself.
What, exactly, is so bad about being full of ourselves? If you look up “full of oneself,” on thefreedictionary.com, the definition of this idiom is “conceited, self-important.” The example given for how this expression is used: Mary is very unpopular because she’s so full of herself.
Let me ask, who else should “Mary” be full of? Will something terrible happen if Mary is fully Mary? (i.e. Could Mary become “too full” of herself that she might spill out of her body and create a “mess” on the floor?) Why shouldn’t Mary view herself as important? Why would this make her less likeable?
We need to take back this expression and restore its more empowering, self-honoring meaning. To be full of oneself actually means to be filled with one’s self/soul/spirit—and there is nothing wrong with this. Only good can come from it.
When I shy away from being full of myself, this leaves me feeling empty—and more prone to try to fill up that void with food, men, or work. When I am not fully embodying all of me, the people I love are forced to interact with someone who is not totally there for them—meaning they can never get the best of me, just the “less than” me.
Not letting myself express my fullness means I can never give anything my all. God forbid that anyone think that I’m full of myself. I might even be abandoned for daring to be filled to the rim with me.
But how can anyone ever like me, love me, or know me completely. If I never am totally me—if I am just 75% filled with myself all the time? Come to think of it, where does the other 25% of me go? (Shoved in my armpits or in the corners between my pelvis and thighs maybe?) And why do I want to please people whose prerequisite for letting me stick around is that I be less than all of who I am?
Our bodies are our personal, private domains. They are ours to fully inhabit from the last hair on the crown of the head to the corner-most tip of the pinky toe. We aren’t trespassing on anyone else’s personal space by standing in our full height and weight, exercising every single vocal cord when we speak, or expressing our full range of emotions, talents, and opinions. When people shame us to try and get us to be less than ourselves they are the ones trespassing.
When we are filled with ourselves, we have more than enough energy that it becomes effortless to give, serve, love, create, and live the kind of life that inevitably ends up being better for the people around us. When we value ourselves enough to let ourselves be fully who we are, we can’t help but celebrate when the people around us are as “self-full-filled” up too.
The planet needs people who are full of themselves. We, as beings expressing our wholeness, are the key to a thriving, vibrant Earth—because if everything around us is a reflection, then that’s the kind of world that we, as people filled up with ourselves, will inevitably create.
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Assistant Editor: Karissa Kneeland/Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: zsófi B at flickr