On Taking Up Space

Red Letter Christians | 1/14/2019 | Lily Dunn
ali11 (Posted by) Level 3
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A few weeks ago, a friend mentioned offhand that he was headed to the gym. He jokingly added that his mantra is, “Must get bigger.” I laughed and told him that I have never once in my life had that thought. We talked for a minute about the irony that (in general) men tend to go to the gym to get bigger while women go to get smaller.

This conversation played in my head over the next few weeks, and it occurred to me that my own mantra in so many parts of my life seems to be, “Must get smaller.”

Body - Course - Body - Fact - Year

I am talking about my body, of course. A body I have long struggled to love, and in fact find myself hating more and more each year. But I am also talking about the rest of me.

I’m talking about how much time I spend trying to shrink my too big, too wild feelings down to a manageable size. How I constantly fight to curb my too loud, too opinionated, too clumsy, too anxious self. How I leave most social engagements and turn to my husband to ask, “Was I OK? Was I obnoxious? Did I talk too much? Did I embarrass you? Did I make anyone else uncomfortable?”

Decisions - Desires - Dreams - Appetite - Food

I worry that my decisions are too selfish. That my desires are too frivolous. That my dreams are too big. That my appetite for food, for life, for adventure, is all too much. I am constantly aware of the amount of space I take up and of how often it feels like more than I deserve. And now that I am sharing all of this, I worry that I am being too vulnerable. Or that maybe wanting to talk about it at all is yet more evidence that I am too selfish and too...
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