arrogance

i grew up fearing taking up too much space.

doing so was despicable. unacceptable. this was for many reasons given the circumstances of my growing up. least of which was that i was a white girl from the south.

i grew up shrinking.

as i grew, i was trained on all the ways in which i hold power and privilege. so much. privilege. it bounded me. i internalized the lessons: “take up less space. make room for others.”

i grew up shrinking.

now, i’m sayin’…nah. not so much.

our power is not in our privilege. it’s not in shrinking to make room for others. it’s not in hiding behind “humility” or egolessness. power is generated from living into all we are and letting our light shine. brilliantly. and as only we can.

shrinking for others is a lie. an excuse we tell ourselves to let ourselves off the hook for the real, brave work of being audaciously who we are. the business of shrinking maintains status quo and stunts us all.

by shrinking, we shrink our collective capacity for growth and life and love.

this line from Rilke’s Book of Hours keeps playing my heart strings,

"If this is arrogant, God, forgive me, but this is what I need to say. May what I do flow from me like a river, 
no forcing and no holding back,
the way it is with children."

the latin root of the word arrogant is “arrogare”, meaning “claimed for oneself without justification”. at the heart of arrogance is staking a claim on your Self for your Self. it’s not about asking permission or pleasing or accommodating. it’s pure.

and yeah, it can offend. it will offend.

yeah, it might step on toes. it will step on toes.

but i’m starting to see arrogance as the light that shines when we are being our brilliant, whole Self.

unapologetically.

and the beautiful thing is that in doing so invites others to be their unapologetic self, too.

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