Prior to the past two years of my life, I never would have considered myself “too much” woman.
On the contrary, I always thought of myself as “not enough.”
I only discovered this unconscious belief through my recent journey inward after my marriage fell apart and life as I knew it fell with it.
On my soulful, intentional journey inward, I connected more fully with my true self: who I am, my deepest wants and desires and my raw, vulnerable, soft heart so much in need of love.
I have had to face parts of myself that were broken and shattered beyond recognition—knowing it was time to put the pieces back together—and other parts I tried to hide my entire life because I was not proud of them.
But on this journey inward I also had the opportunity to see and acknowledge my own beauty and magnificence. In the hardest moments of my agony, heartache and pain, I discovered what it was about myself that is unique, profound and powerful beyond measure:
My sensitive and empathic heart, my ability to make people feel “seen” and heard and the hope I constantly carried within me that made me shine bright in these darkest moments.
I think many of us carry the story that we somehow aren’t enough when our partner or lover of many years leaves us, when we are rejected by someone we had deep feelings for or when heartbreak finds us once again after an intense and fully connected relationship we thought would last forever.
When one painful experience follows another, and we can’t seem to find that one person who will love us unconditionally and never leave us, how can we help but feel that there is something wrong with us? That we are somehow not enough as a woman?
A good friend of mine was visiting recently, and when I shared with him that I was learning how to let go of my story that I’m not enough, he said, “You know that’s not true, right? You’re too much.”
I was taken aback, assuming he meant this in a negative way. It was not the first time I had heard this from a man.
I took his comment to mean I am too much to handle—too sensitive, too intense, too bold, too strong-willed, too wild.
Instead, he shared that it’s a wonderful thing to be so much woman: smart, sassy, successful and incredibly strong.
However, being so much is intimidating to a lot of men, he told me. There are men who don’t want to compete with the woman they love. Men who don’t want to feel their woman “outshines them.”
These men see a woman who is so much and feel immediately that they will never be in their league, so why even try?
They feel that being with a woman who is too much means that they can never fail, because their woman has such a strong sense of self and her place in the world that to fail in front of her will make them feel they are “not enough.”
Although it surprises and saddens me that a man would decide to give me up or never give me a chance at all because of my too-muchness, I realized in that moment that I was attracting this kind of man over and over again in my life. They are the ones that already know they don’t meet me, yet, being a woman who sees the very best in people, I allow them into my space.
And eventually they leave because I am “too much.”
By repeating this pattern, I get to stay in my comfortable old story of “never being enough” for anyone—the story I believed until very recently was true.
We all need to embrace and be proud of the women that we are.
To know that we are always good enough no matter how many failed relationships we have had or how many mistakes we have made. Our self-worth is not based on what somebody else thinks of us, but on our own ability to love and embrace our beautiful selves exactly as we are in this moment.
Rather than beating ourselves up and spending needless energy wondering what is wrong with us when a relationship doesn’t work out, we can instead choose to see how each person we meet and love in this lifetime teaches us something, advances our soul’s journey and plays an integral part in revealing hidden truths about ourselves that need to be brought out into the light.
I realize now I need to embrace the woman I am:
The one who sometimes wonders if she is too much to bear, too much to hold, too much to be with.
Instead of feeling ashamed of my depth and my vulnerability—dimming it or turning it off and running from it as I often want to do—I want to let it shine brightly.
Because the right man—a man who can hold me and meet me where I’m at—that is the man I want.
So I will continue my travels inward, holding compassion and love for myself, knowing that who I am and who you are are worthy of love—knowing now that my softness, my strength and my loving open heart are a gift for the man who chooses to meet me where I’m at and embrace them.
Author: Dina Strada
Editor: Toby Israel