Some time ago me and my husband were in an argument about something of no consequence. (Even in an idyllic marriage disagreements do happen) My husband was clearly agitated and talking to me in an elevated tone. While I did my best to keep my cool. Taking in deep breaths and knowing that I was triggering something in him and trying to hold compassionate space for us both.
He stormed off to take space and I was left standing in the kitchen taking deep breath doing mental cartwheels knowing that I had not escalated the situation further.
My youngest child came up to me and asked why daddy was so mad at me.
I crouched down close to her and gave her a big hug, and apologized that she had to witness that experience. That even adults get angry sometimes and need to take space to cool down. I then told her that mama was just a “big” person and that can be a lot to be married to.
My daughter look at me confused saying I was not a big person.
Now while I am 135 lbs wet (thin) I am 5ft 8in (the height of the average male). So not the standard definition of big, though I have been called an amazonian she bitch as an insult on a few different occasions.
I described a “big person” as this. That I am big in a lot of ways. I have a big personality and I can be loud. I have big sensory needs and sometimes need to take space. That I liked to plan lots of big outings, and host lots of gathering. That I am always looking for the next big exciting thing to be working on and doing. That I like big travel and time without my family and that left him in charge to work and tend to everyone. That I have big tastes and like my food cooked a certain way, and that I often forget to eat and so he is often chasing me around with a meal to eat. I have a big amount of love to give and need that to be warmly received. I also have big opinions and big ideas. Everything I do is big. My big is real and authentic and 100% who I am in that moment. Its big inspiration, its living a big life.
I then explained it can be hard to love a person so big. And it takes someone with a big heart and a lot of patience to love and be with such a big person. It takes someone strong to withstand the brunt of big sometimes. It takes someone who will hold the hand of someone big and stay by their side, or take space when the big is just to big to handle in the moment without shame or blame.
She said oh and walked away.
The conversations seemed anticlimactic for her. It was just another one of her mother’s crazy rants about one thing or another. But it sunk deep for me. It was not ever something I had thought of before. I started to think about all the times in my life I had been to big for those around me. Those that were uncomfortable about me being this big beautiful person. The people that are not ready to handle a love so big. The ones that say things like:
“You are just a bit much”
“Have you ever thought about toning it all down”
“She is to much for me”
If you are someone who has said those words to another person, just know it hurts. And I know those kinds of people are scared by the big. Not ready to be big in their own lives yet. And that is OK, I hope those people find their big at some point in their lives. I was born big and it has been a blessing and a curse all my life.
I have since thought about all the amazing people in my life who have genuinely accepted my big self. All of the friends, suggate mothers, soul sisters, artists, musicians, dream weavers, and way finders. Men women and everything in between. Homeless people on the side of the road, strangers on park benches that became new friends, colleagues, fellow mothers, and classmates. Those that have the substance to be big in there own ways. Those with an open mind and heart. I am so thankful for each of those people. For the ones that have comes and gone, for those that are still there, for my husband who bears the brunt of my big love.
So if you are a fellow big person I am here for you. Don’t make yourself small. Continue to take up the space you need to express yourself and be honestly authentic. It may not be the norm, but that does not mean it is wrong. And if you hold space for those of us big personality types. Thank you. The world needs more of your love and compassion. You make the world go round.