I’ve been told over and over again by others — and sometimes by myself — that I’m too sensitive. That I’m too emotional. That I love and feel and exist too deeply and too intensely. I’ve been told that I cry too much and too easily. That I love people too quickly. That I am too soft and too gentle. It’s hard not to believe these thoughts when they are repeatedly said to you.
But what exactly is “too much” in the first place? And who is it that gets to decide the definition that we abide by?
I like who I am.
I like that I let the tears spill out of my eyes when I feel the need to.
Even in airports and supermarkets and coffee shops.
I like that I still allow myself to love deeply and fully despite being hurt.
I like that I never once decided to close myself off and numb myself to life when love hurt.
I like that I can smile and laugh and cry all on the same day.
I like my softness.
I like that my eyes crinkle up when I’m happy and get wider when I’m sad.
I love that the people I love know for sure that I love them back.
I love that the people I love know my arms will always instinctively open for them when I see them.
I love that my eyes grow bigger and overflow with love and empathy when I watch someone I love be unapologetically and authentically themselves.
I love that when I am unapologetically me, others feel safe enough to be unapologetically themselves, too.
Most of all, I love that my love knows no limits. My love has never once thought of another as “too much” of anything. My love has never bought into the narrative society sells us, the narrative that women are inherently “too ambitious,” “too outspoken,” or “too everything. The truth is, I don’t even think there is such this as “too much” or “not enough.”
I don’t think I’ve ever met a single woman who really was “too much” of anything at all. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever gotten enough of their “too much-ness” either. I truly believe that we’re all just right as our truest and most authentic selves. We are just right simply as we are. With our god-given personalities and dispositions. We complement and serve one another with our differences, after all. The universe continuously maintains a chaotic and complete balance – a balance our “too much-ness” plays into.
My sensitivity — my “too much-ness” — is the reason I’m so observant. It’s why I write. My emotions are the reason I’m so empathetic and passionate about mental health. My softness is the reason people trust me with their hearts. My softness writes the handwritten birthday letters that my loved ones look forward to each year. My teary eyes remind my people that I am paying attention to them, that I am listening to them and feeling with them.
My softness holds space and gives love. It reminds others that we don’t have to perform all the time, that we don’t have to conform to an arbitrarily dictated norm. It reminds others they are loved – they are more than enough – simply as they are. It reminds me that I am, too.