For the past year, through expressions on Instagram and Youtube I've been practicing being in the present moment while working on opening my heart by allowing myself to open up to the beauty of the physical world. By observing and redesigning my physical world and environment, I’m pushing myself to rediscover my authentic style.
Reconnecting with what it is I truly find beautiful helps me rediscover my true self and empowers and motivates me to create a world that works for me. It reminds me I'm a creator. Creating the existence I want, tweaking those visions and that experience, not worrying about what other people will think…. gives me permission to live up to my own standards. I tinker, I play, I enhance, I adjust… I find and express my own form of beauty and find a sense of fun and satisfaction. I share for the joy of letting these expressions of myself see the light of day… not seeking any form of validation.
As I explore, I’m sometimes confronted with doubt. For example, around this time last year I started playing with Instagram and have found myself worrying about my style being "too much."
Too much contrast. Too much saturation. Too unnatural, too unreal, too weird…
Just too much.
As I ever so slowly push myself over that cliff, jumping into the feeling of "too much," I see it slowly subsides, but the more I think of this notion of "Too Much" in general, the more I see how I’ve struggled with it in many facets of my experience so far.
Don’t do that, it’s too much. Don’t say all that, it’s too much. That's too much intensity, too much enthusiasm. Too sad, too happy.
Too nice, too mean.
Too intense, too enthusiastic…
Too sensitive… Too true.
Just too much.
Despite the sadness, the confusion and frustration surrounding all the different forms and opposing sides of "too much," I’ve known that within my "too much" resides a form of power.
Tides & Cycles
I haven't had the slightest clue how to harness the power of my own personal "too much" and so I have been experiencing it in forceful tides. Either I’d let the "too much" out completely and come crashing against the shore or I’d pull it all back in until I felt lost in an ocean with no reason to exist.
I’ve also been in a place where I so desperately needed to unleash and own my force of "too much" that I felt I had to shove it down other people’s throats. I have loathed the fact that I felt I had to reign it in… so I’d unleash it in ways that didn’t really serve anybody any good.
I’d force it onto them sometimes with no warning. For instance, I’ve gotten into heartbreaking conflicts about my need to express the truth as I saw it even though it was too much for people and the situation generally played out like this:
Me: "But it’s the truth. I see what’s going on and I have to say it, do something about it… Make other people see it. Don't you see this?! Don't you want to see this? How are we not doing something about this?!"Response: "Why do you have to bring it up? You’re making us incredibly uncomfortable. Just DON’T SAY IT."
I was going about it all wrong...
I’ve also experienced a sort of bitterness with the force of my "too muchness" and the lack of understand from others which I now see was due to my inability to wield it properly.
Sometimes I'd be in a place where I'd think along the lines of: "This is how I am and I'm not going to change myself to make others happy or comfortable. I’m not too much, you’re not enough. Accept me, all of me, as I am…If you’re not willing to go where I’ll take you… I’ll force you to go there anyway or you don't belong in my life."
Sometimes that way of thinking would have me bringing people into my world of "too much" by surprise. It could be a pleasant shock for some who are almost enchanted by it at first, but it mostly just scared people or caused conflict. It rarely ended well.
Up until now, I think I can summarize most of my experience with the force of "too much" as follows:
Unleashing "Too Much". Mostly bad endings, leading to bitterness and;
Feeling like it’s not my "Too Much", it’s their "Not Enough." Leading to more bitterness, isolation… eventually depression which causes me to;
Reign in all the "Too Much" completely. Cease to exist until explosion of "Too Much" bursts forth and #1 starts again...
Too Much, Forever and Always
I’ve tried to understand the many sides to my struggle with "too much." The cultural side, the Feminist side, the seasonal side, the spiritual side… I’ve recently gained new insight on the psychological front with all that I’m learning about the cognitive functions involved in my "too much".
Right now I’m feeling like a shift that can happen for me here and it starts starting with simply accepting that I can be too much.
I’ve been learning a lot about the INFJ personality type and cognitive functions and the research has been confirming so much of my experience with feeling "too much." I love that with this label I can embrace the "too much" that I’ve always felt that I am and accept it. I can accept the fact that I may always just be too much for some people and that that’s ok. The more I discover about myself the more I realize that I am, sometimes, too much for others.
This morning, I sit here trying to sort out all the wonderful things I want to do with this gorgeous day that lays ahead and I’ve already had to say to myself "Ok Amanda, that’s too much. One thing at a time…" If I’m honest with myself, I’m even too much for myself sometimes. It’s true. I’m too much for me, too much for others, I always have been and always will be and knowing that brings about a feeling of devastation in me, but also a sense of liberation.
As much as I try, some people will just never understand or be able to. While that realization (while listening to this podcast) was devastating, I also realize that I now KNOW that I am too much and that that’s why I have struggled the way I have.
On the bright side, I'm finding others who are too much and am inspired by the way they harness their own versions of it.
What it comes down to is working with the force of my "too much," recognizing that it’s there and that I can use it in a more effective way.
My "too much" is actually my gift. It is my tool…. it is my strength, my power, my secret weapon… I just didn’t know how to wield it. I either let it run wild and free or put it in its cage where I sometimes felt it belonged.
Now I see I do need to harness it. Not only for others but for myself… because I know it CAN be intense. It can be overwhelming and stressful when not controlled.
I can let the "too much" out… but not in a gushing, raging, uncontrolled waterfall… It must be concentrated, focused, enhanced and used for good, like unleashing all that "too much" force through the stream of a fountain. Focus it, refine it, fine tune it... Don't drown people in it or force it down their throats. Let them drink from it when they're thirsty!
That means finding I outlets for this force. Finding the ways and the places where I can unleash all the "too much" within me and I'm working on that.
I will wield my "too much" and let it shine.
That is how I will finally feel as though I am alive and thriving.
I'd love to know... What's your experience with feeling "too much"?