Your thoughts and feelings may not always match what people say you should think or feel. Your goals and desires may not look like how others define success.
You may see things reflected in the world around you or in the church about how women should be and it makes you scratch your head because you and many of the women you know don't fit in those boxes. Constantly, you'll hear, you should, you should, you should ... but you don't have to listen to it.
That urge you have to shrink down in your seat, to cross your arms, to hunch over, to withdraw to the corner or apologize for taking up space is going to be there, but you don't have to listen to it.
That immediate response you have to apologize when someone bumps into you or when you stumble over your words will be on the tip of your tongue, but you don't have to say it.
You don't have to be anything or check off the should boxes. You never have to make yourself small. You never have to apologize for taking up space.
You were meant to live big. To live into your gifts and into your strengths. When people stay true to themselves and live into who they were created to be...that's big and that's powerful.
You carry a lot of shame and that makes you feel small.
Shame knows no boundaries. It eats at our souls and constantly makes us believe we're not enough. But we don't have to listen to it.
Shame makes us believe something is wrong with us. That we are wrong. That we can't be who we are. But that's a lie.
Shame flourishes in the dark. It whispers that no one will understand, that we can't admit to this and we're the only one.
We are meant to be who we are.We are meant to take up space. We are not meant to be silent. We are meant to speak our truth.
So who should you be?
You should be you. Your full self with all of the messiness, anxiety, joy, love, anger, sadness, craziness, humor and personality that makes you, you.
You are powerful.
You are strong.
You are enough.
You can do hard things.
You can be brave.
So be who you are and by doing that you'll help others find the freedom and confidence to do the same.