Take up Space: Let Yourself Be Cared For.
Take up space.
As the cycle of the seasons moves through mystery and the glow of a new calendar year fills the horizon, know this: you are allowed to take up space.
You will have days where you feel broken.
Pour tenderness over your missteps and inadequacies. Love them sweetly. Notice the stories you tell yourself about your heart, your worth, your value. Be curious about where those stories came from, and whether or not they actually protect you.
Wrap kindness around the part of you that is still learning how to navigate what you never before felt you deserved, and meet the part of you that judges the learning parts with similar curiosity and gentleness. They both come from the same story, the same wound.
We are not meant to be at war with our own vulnerability.
Be compassionate with others who would wage war against your vulnerability, without taking on their comfort as your work. Continue feeling into your truth. Have empathy for those for whom your softness is a challenge to their walls, your attempts at embodied presence a challenge to the distance they believe to be safety. Their relationship with softness is theirs to navigate, not yours to carry.
Not everyone will be able to meet you in your softness. Share it with those who hold it as sacred treasure with tender trust. Receive theirs in kind. Intimacy is a ritual, trust is its sanctuary.
You do not have to abandon your softness because others are at war with their own. Those who have not yet learned how to hold their own wounds are not equipped to hold yours with you.
We cannot support each other without the risk of vulnerability.
Ask. Their answer is not yours to manage.
Continue learning how to say No and what things deserve your Yes. You are not the only person who can do the job. Even if you are, you are still allowed to have limits.
Surround yourself with people who welcome your No and aren’t afraid of their own.
If you usually are big, notice how you feel in relationships with people who hold their own boundaries and take up their own space. If you sometimes feel safer small, notice how you feel around people who leave silence, space, and room for your voice and needs. That space is for you, expand into as much of it as you want in ways that feel good and safe.
Give yourself permission to be big, to be seen when you want. Also give yourself permission to be small and still when you want. Expansion and contraction are both generative parts of a larger creative cycle. Neither you, your thinking, nor your healing have to be linear. You may not always make sense to others, you don’t owe them sense at the expense of your authenticity.
Authenticity can be found in your edges as well as your center.
Feel into your boundaries, continue teasing out the difference between a boundary and control. Sometimes you will get it wrong, and getting things wrong is uncomfortable but okay.
Also practice loving yourself through missteps, real or perceived. Love yourself back into your center when others project themselves into your actions. You cannot control how others perceive your intentions, it is not healthy or ideal to be liked by all people at all times.
Reject pedestals and all other forms of othering. Your heroes are flawed, they are no less brilliant and transformative for it. Pedestals are precarious. Anyone who would place you on one would just as quickly kick it out from under you.
Pedestals become lonely.
Build sacred sweetness with those who love you in your imperfection and your brilliance, in your uncertainty and your confidence, who can care for you in the gentle ways you care for them.
Let yourself be cared for. You do not have to be the container for every space you inhabit.
Grieve. Grieve the things you never had and the things you lost too soon. Grieve the needs that were never met. Grieve this big, beautiful world in all its complexity, and all the individual and collective ways in which harm breaks us down.
Love. Love your way through the trauma and into healing, because love is how it gets better.
Give yourself the same grace you so generously give others.
Show up imperfectly, exactly as you are, heart and being expanding into the shape and size of your grief and brilliance, worry and awkward joy.
Take up space.
Christy Croft (she/her or they/them) lives in North Carolina, surrounded by the sweetest chosen family who bring warmth and delight. Since first volunteering at a suicide hotline over 25 years ago, Christy’s life has been enriched by opportunities to walk with people through darkness and transition, offering quiet companionship or a hand as needed as a doula, rape crisis companion, support group facilitator, teacher, priestess, mentor, mother, and friend. Their writing typically explores spirituality, compassion, trauma, gender, sexuality, and intimacy. Christy works full-time in violence prevention, dances, sings, walks labyrinths, spins fire, and finds long hugs and people who freely say ‘I love you’ endearing. They love mountains and rivers, like lists, and sometimes blog at Christy Croft.