Do You Sometimes Make Yourself Small?
By: Leslie Green, Author of Love, Trust & Pixie Dust; Founder and writer for the spiritual blog Trust Life Today
Have you ever made yourself small? Maybe to make the other person feel big? Or maybe because in that moment it was easier to play it small rather than claim your own beauty, power, or truth?
I recently felt small…and in a split-second moment of solitude, I rearranged my shoulders, broadening them, held my head high, grabbed the microphone, walked out among a group of strangers, and admitted it out loud.
Sometimes ripping the band-aid off of a scary feeling can feel so empowering! First your mind is jumping, anxious, heart-rate up, you’re analyzing this, imagining that (all What ifs), then, the defining moment occurs, rrrrip, and finally…ahhh. Peace. Freedom.
Leading up to the rip can feel a bit daunting though.
Approaching the Rip
I had been asked to speak at a women’s authors event. Flattered and excited to attend, I showed up on a gorgeous Texas spring afternoon, practically skipping through the college campus to arrive at my final destination, the campus library (what better place to host authors?).
There were four women authors featured and I was slotted to be the second speaker. Filled with excitement and feeling an emotional boost, perpetuated by the sun-filled windows behind the speaker, I nestled in to enjoy the first talk. And enjoy it I did! This particular author had written a book about Oveta Culp Hobby (1905-1995); as I listened, I kept thinking, Wow! What an amazing woman! The more I heard about this woman’s life, the more I wondered why I hadn’t heard of her before.
As the author spoke of her main character, we learned that Oveta Culp Hobby had made an enormous contribution to our country. She had been:
- parliamentarian of the Texas House of Representatives at age 21
- first secretary of the US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare
- first commanding officer of the Women’s Army Corp (and was responsible for everything from the designing of the uniforms to leading troops)
- named the head of the Federal Security Agency by President Dwight D. Eisenhower and in 1960 he had encouraged her to run for President—yes, a woman encouraged to run for President in 1960—can you even imagine?!
I was stunned I didn’t know who she was, especially considering she had been born in my hometown of Killeen, Texas, where she has a library, an elementary school, and a military readiness center named after her (the readiness center is located on the Ft. Hood Army base).
I’m not sure which I was more stunned about: that I had been living under a rock or that I was up next, following that act, and about to talk to an audience about pixie dust.
From Oveta Culp Hobby to Pixie Dust
As I sat dry-mouthed in my seat, the dean walked up to me and asked if I was ready. Fortunately, right then someone suggested a bathroom break. Yes, nodding my head in agreement a little too vigorously, a bathroom break was very much needed.
No one needed the quiet and solace of a restroom more than I did at that moment.
Now behind the latched bathroom door, I allowed the quiet to enter my ears first, then permeate the rest of me. I did not want to solve this situation, not in a thinking sort of way, I just wanted quiet.
“When you become quiet, it just dawns on you.” ~ Thomas Edison
Moments later, sun streaming in behind me, microphone in one hand, book in the other, with pairs of anticipating eyes all trained on me, I began.
I began by complimenting the first author; she deserved it. Then I stated my truth, swiftly ripping off the band-aid.
I told the audience that just moments before, as I listened to the many accomplishments of the previous book’s main character, I had begun to feel small. I, as a woman felt small as I compared myself to Oveta Culp Hobby, but I also felt small when I compared the main character of my book to the one we had just heard about. I remember saying, “At first I didn’t believe my book and the previous one had much in common, with the exception that they’re both non-fiction…,” (after a few second pause) “…until it dawned on me that my main character is equally as amazing as Oveta Culp Hobby.”
Hold on! Was I really saying this out loud? But it felt so right. So I kept talking.
“Yes, it’s true. The main character of my book is just as fascinating, as amazing, and as important as Oveta Culp Hobby. That’s because my main character is you, and you, and you…” as I gestured to people sitting in the audience. “My main character is the person who is interested in learning to love themselves. And to trust themselves. To truly understand who they are and live their truth. That is who my main character is. And that person is each of us sitting in this room—man, woman, everyone—myself included.”
I felt exhilarated, yet calm and relaxed, too. I was experiencing the inner-peace that my book is based on—the whole reason I believe learning to trust is so important.
I had gone from making myself small to speaking my truth in record time. What a feeling of freedom!
Is there an area of your life that is meaningful, but where you feel small? If it’s meaningful to you, then I encourage you to go deeper. Shut out the surrounding noise. Become quiet. See what dawns on you. Then allow the peace to flow.
Speak your truth, and be small no more. Step into your power, your beauty.
Leslie Green: Author of Love, Trust & Pixie Dust; Founder and writer for the spiritual blog Trust Life Today
Link to book Love, Trust & Pixie Dust: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Trust-Pixie-Leslie-Green/dp/0989929302/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1489440098&sr=8-1&keywords=love+trust+pixie+dust
Link to blog: www.TrustLifeToday.com