Tag Archives: Introvert

Introvert Speaks: The Complexity of Being Relational

I have a confession to make.

I don’t always value how God has uniquely made me, as a relational introvert. Can anyone relate to that? (Ha!) 

I know that I am… His daughter. Loved and chershed by my Savior!

And yet, there is that nagging quality about my personality, that sometimes I wish I could rewire myself (yet, I press on knowing God knows exactly what I need to be).

On the days, where my efforts seems misused, I wish I wasn’t so relational.

These Longings

If I were to describe this nagging feeling, I would have to say it is a longing for deep community that etches past everything else that seems to matter in comparison. The drive isn’t for money or fame. It is for community, true community.

As you think about your friends who are highly relational, consider their perspective as you read through the rest of today’s post…

It is a deep burden sitting on top of my spirit, to build real relationships with other people. With others who are trying to figure out what it means to trust and follow Jesus Christ on a daily basis. To figure out how to keep meeting together, in an Acts 2 fashion.

It is.. to discover how to appropriately welcome others to invest in my life, not just in their life.

I want the kind of relationships that God has intended humanity to have with one another and Him too.

This is why God has gifted me with these heavy longings. This right here. A deeper community with His Church. With His people.

These longings can be described as a craving for God-designed relationships, and not settling for technology driven relationships – where it is socially acceptable to ignore our friends or get so wrapped up in us that we forget about them (I am not excluded from this observation, either).

It is about His Church. His beloved. Who stand in need of what you are. They don’t need more time, social media or its followers, or anything else. They just need you. The blessing of who you are.. The blessing of what you can bring to the table with your community.

Here’s What I Want

I want an Acts 2 kind of relationships.

These fluffy, superficial, relationships. Those, I don’t want. I will settle for them, if I must. But, if you want to know my heart, this is what I am chasing after…

I want a community… that is…

  • Completely for me.
  • Take quality time together seriously.
  • Take the responsibility of being there for one another – seriously.
  • Willing to keep me accountable.
  • Will pour God’s love and Word over my life.

God designed us for a better form of community. Whether or not we are seeking it, is an entirely different question…

And, it is one I am willing to fight tooth and nail for.

I am willing to risk every fluffy relationship to gain these rich relationships I was made for.

Because, the community God has designed His people for. It’s more than worthy of fighting for.

The Fight Against Complacency

In this battle of fighting for relationships where we can connect and relate to one another, there is a lot put on the line. Because, I don’t want to settle. I don’t think we are expecting enough of each other.

And, this challenge of being relational affects our level of complacency. It challenges our way of living comfortable, where we don’t have deep relationships where our sin is called out, God’s Word is loudly announced in our relationships, and we can walk together heart-and-heart as we seek God…

God’s Design for Community

This is the kind of community God invites Christians toward. This is the kind of community of believers we can become. This is where we experience God and His people at its fullest. This is what I want. This is what I am willing to fight for. I am willing to put everything else on the line, to pursue these kind of God-honoring relationships. Let’s not forget the blessing of a deeper, richer, community of believers we find in Acts 2.

Introvert Speaks: The Hang-Over

I am an introvert.

I recently “came out of the closet” (aka I keep writing about it). It’s not that my “introversion” is some brand spankin’ new discovery. It’s just that, writing is my primary way of processing e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. Writing is how I share my experiences, and who knows, maybe it will help another soul who feels like they are drowning. There is a remedy. We need to recharge our spirits. There is hope, and a way out of our introvert’s hang-over.

Friends and the Dreaded Word

You know… It occurred to me when I was writing last night that many don’t know what introversion is. I know there are in my life. I can say the word “introvert” and their exact response is “Whaaa?!?!?” At which point, I respond with “… nevermind, because if I have to explain it…”

Yeah, if I have to explain it. I am not sure that it will be worth the hard work of extra mental processing and emotional energy to relay the information… and then, possibly have more conversational pieces to decipher and process at night than I would care for.

So you see, it isn’t exactly personal.

I am going to take a slight detour from my introversion hang-over concept to explain it to you. Right here. Right now.

Not Weird, Just Wired Differently

According to an article from early 2011, there are about 25% of the generation population that are marked by introversion. But, there are probably much more. Some of us spend our lives wondering “… okay, what’s wrong with me? Why am I different?” Anyway, there is a small percentage. So your friends may not understand why a conversation or party can drain the life.out.of.you.

Introverts are wired differently than their friends who aren’t as close on the introversion-extroversion scale.

We are wired differently.

It doesn’t mean we are weird or somehow “not measuring up”.

We are simply different from others of different personality types.

Wired Differently

Introversion is just a way of describing our personalities.

Social situation can stress out our spirits, especially if we aren’t taking time afterward for silence (of some sort) and processing. Shear silence (again, of some sort… Introverts “recharge” different ways. I am not sure if lack-of-silence means you won’t “recharge” as fast… I just know recharging is of great importance, or I am a walking-chaotic-disaster-with-absolutely-no-filter).

We (introverts) need to go into hiding for a time. And, we likely have a variety of ways coping with our external stimuli (sounds, conversations, lights, or a number of other things).

The Hang-Over

External stimuli gives me what I will just refer to as “…an introvert’s hang-over.” No, I haven’t been drinking. No, my head isn’t throbbing. But, my spirit is just… done. It is overwhelmed. It is weighed down to such an extent, that I literally cannot think straight.

There is too much going on.

Things I haven’t taken the time to process.

I just haven’t taken care of myself  like I need to.

And, I am a milli-second away from letting my guard down and utterly losing it – all over everyone and everything. I am moments away from a few scenerios:

  1. Screaming unfriendly terms (possibly expletives) at those around me.
  2. Running far far away, to be alone.
  3. Crying my eyes out.
  4. Using my hands and feet to display the drowning of my spirit.

I am sure there are a lot of well-played out examples of what happens during “an introvert’s hang-over”. But a drowning spirit is the best possible explanation that I have to offer you, dear readers.

When You Just Can’t Deal

I simply can’t deal. I am doing all I can to keep my head and heart above water – just until I can reach that pivotal point of “plugging in” introvert style.

Tonight, this means…

  • Quiet praise music (I rely on Jesus Christ to keep me going. After all, He is my Prince of Peace).
  • Slow breathing.
  • Writing out my thoughts (hello, blog readers!).
  • Completely, empty space where I am alone to be with God and my thoughts.

Just quietly sitting by myself. I just can’t be about other things right now. I have had a long day. A loud day.

The Truth

Saying these things (like calling a day longloud, or drainingdoesn’t mean the day didn’t have absolutely wonderful and beautiful aspects to it. It simply means my emotional battery needs to be recharged – if I want to be able to function tomorrow and not risk an emotion system shut-down.

If I want to experience life at its best, tomorrow, I need to take the time to effective care for my own needs tonight.

Guilt

I have to take the time my spirit needs, without feeling guilty. Being an introvert can mean guilt. You know you need to recharge, or chaos erupts, but how do we do it guilt free? At night? When one should be sleeping vs. writing at midnight.

Reality At Its Finest

Today, I simply could not handle the excessive external stimuli. At one point, it took most of my resolve to merely sit at the kitchen table. alone.

Simply put, I was just done.

I felt overwhelmed.

I needed to plug in, because my emotional center’s battery was down to about 15% remaining. Which as we know. A battery’s percentage isn’t always an accurate indicator of when the device will actually die. Cuts it a bit too close when we are talking about not a technological device. Instead, we are talking about me.

In the middle of relationships.

Situations.

People.

Serving opportunities.

Worshiping Jesus.

I want to give God my best!

When I am drowning from neglecting to process my emotions and experiences, not exactly at my best. How can I give God, others, or myself my best when…

… emotions are heavy?

… self-control is clawing to hang on?

… I neglect me?

I need to recover from today’s “introvert hang-over”. The things I do in this moment, count greatly for how I can overcome the stuff of tomorrow.

Introvert Speaks: Fatten Up Before a Race

Growing pains are hard.

Currently, I am in the process of releasing the ways I once coped with the excess stimuli. See, as an introvert, a highly sensitive introvert at that, I tend to run myself down – A LOT. I do my favorite and least favorite tasks, and yet I don’t take the necessary time to just “recharge”.

Recharging Problems

At times, I just let TV become my core program for “recharging”. Okay, here’s the problem. Depending on various factors connected with the TV habit you have, that may just overwhelm your spirit THAT.Much.More.

At least, I know it does for me.

I can’t speak for every single introvert or highly sensitive person.

Just me.

So currently, I am in the process of switching up things. My typical routine includes watching TV. Especially at night. Especially if I am having an unwell day. Especially if I have had a busy day. Certain triggers increase this habit-forming behavior.

Coping Mechanisms

But,

IF I am watching TV, I am not…

→ Having peace and shear quietness.

→ Spending time writing, which helps me process excess stimuli (sound, experiences, etc).

→ Getting my “Jesus” on (spending time in the Word of God (the Bible) and prayer, arming up my spirit with my God – given Armor).

Those are three very big things. They are my coping mechanism, for dealing with a spirit that is at times…. intolerable regarding sights, sounds, conversations, and so much more that drags my spirit down.

Anti-Coping-Mechanisms

I have a lot of coping mechanisms that are actually anti-coping mechanisms. They are things I absolutely love to do, but they don’t exactly help my spirit to be at its best. They don’t help me to experience the abundant life that God has designed for me to have. Thus, this service message. At 12:26 AM.

I just finished my work for the day. Of just different stuff. I watched kids. I cleaned. I am currently staring down a dirty kitchen, because I didn’t get to wash dishes after dinner. Now, I know why folks are pro clean-the-kitchen-and-wash-dishes-after-dinner. *Ehem* Anyway, I am learning how to cope differently.

I am learning to process LIFE, really, and take time now – so I don’t have to take time later.

Normally, I would run and turn on the TV – and just zone out. But, it would be nice to wake up with a less-weighed-down spirit than I went to bed with.

Fatten Up Before a Marathon?

No one would knowingly weigh down their clothes with heavy bricks before a full on marathon (initially, I wrote “purse”… But, who wears a purse to run a marathon anyway?). Well, I wouldn’t. Why make a long difficult journey – even more difficult and long and draining? Right?!?

Another example is fattening up before a marathon. Who would want to run a marathon out-of-nowhere after gaining 100 pounds. To go from couch potato to marathon in one day. Not too thrilling, am I right?

We need the ability to run a marathon.

We need to get in shape.

We need to ditch whatever weight we can.

Whatever burdens, we can.

So…

If we wouldn’t fatten up before a big race, why would I choose a coping thing that isn’t really an effective way of coping?

My routines need to change, so they reflect this abundant life I want to pursue.

I need to pursue the peace.

The God-given peace.

God wants that for me.

I want that for me.

Jesus came to be my Prince of Peace.

Ditch Every Weight (& Burden)

Lately, I have been thinking about Hebrews 12:1-2a.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus…”

We are called to run this race. We need to let go of everything that gets in the way. This means, unlearning habits that are the antagonist to my personality type.

Quite honestly.

I don’t need a loud TV.

I don’t need to try and process a stressful scenario dealing with my favorite characters. That isn’t going to somehow help me tackle tomorrow’s challenges. It’s not going to help me process the day I just had. It’s not going to help me to process the past week or day any faster. It will just give my spirit more to process.

I have enough to process anyway, that’s why it feels like everything overwhelms my spirit.

I just need quiet.

I just need rest.

I don’t know what this life looks like, but knowing I want to reach my God-given abundant life is more than enough.

Introvert Speaks: Wired by God

This has been one-of-those-weeks, where I have spent my days making sure the wheels-keep-on-turning, the laundry isn’t piling up, cooking meals, and other tasks that seem mundane, yet overwhelming, all at the same time.

I have this problem.

It’s called – “I forget how God has wired me.”

So, I have missed self-imposed deadlines this week.

Like??

 

* This week’s “Making the Journey” post (possibly Sunday or Monday, it “should” be up and ready to be devoured by hungry spirits like yours and mine – as we seek the Lord God to be the One to fill us up entirely!)

*The month of March’s reading plan posts (found on the Facebook page) are lagging too. Finally last night around midnight (erm, I guess, that would make it this morning), I posted March 1-4. I have not been able to stay caught up on the reading plan for a long time. See, I am a writer. In order to get the most out of my quiet time (time spent in the Word of God), I need to be writing and studying deeply.

I let the inability to pursue perfection, to keep me from something designed – to help me meet more with my Perfector!

*Lagging on editing one manuscript, and beginning the process of formatting a new study that I wanted to embark on (possibly for March…).

*Behind in my personal Bible study. It is the final week of the Armor of God study. It’s been such a good study, too. But, I am hoping to get back into it slowly on a not-overwhelming-my-human-spirit level.

*And seriously, you don’t even want to get.me.started. on being behind in reading and reviewing books I have selected or agreed to review. Whichever, on some level, I have committed to this and other things that I somehow just haven’t gotten to yet.

Back to the Wiring Thing…

When God was making me, He made me a highly sensitive, need for serious down time, introvert. God knew exactly what He was doing, when He knitted me together in my mother’s womb. He made me a highly sensitive introvert.

“For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s
womb. 
I praise you because I am fearfully
and wonderfully made; 
your works are
wonderful, 
I know that full well. My frame
was not hidden from you 
when I was made in the
secret place, 
when I was woven together in the depths
of the earth. 
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be. How precious to me are
your thoughts, God! 
How vast is the sum of them!”
(Psalm 139:13-17)

The Blessing

It is truly a blessing to be a highly sensitive introvert. I just don’t have the ability to keep chuggin’ along. But, here’s my downfall: I try being like everyone else. And, the way I am wired reminds me that I have a Creator who made me perfectly and formed me in a specific way. I was not meant to be like everyone else. I may try to put on this “energizer bunny” performance act, but then I remember….

Oh.

Right.

Introvert.

Highly Sensitive, at that.

This Means…

I need to take the time to unwind and mentally process everything I have been exposed to. It isn’t enough to survive the day, but I must process the day. I must allow myself the time and space to take those precious extra steps to take care of me.

I have been neglecting the “process” aspect of my life. I expect to continue with loud noise and stimulation, and keep on truckin’. Yeah, okay. My spirit does not work that way. God created me this way for a very reason!

God knew I would be an introvert. A highly-sensitive introvert. God knows I need to take a few several extra steps, to really care for the precious spirit He has given me. And, I need to be more devoted to doing that than feeling overwhelmed – because my method of living (“keep on truckin’”) just isn’t working anymore.

 

“Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened.”

“Find a quiet space, to meet with God.”

“Be still…”

These are the things my sensitive spirit is mindful of today.

Friends, are you an introvert? Highly sensitive?
How do you recharge your spirit?

Five Minute Friday – Yes

Five-Minute-Friday-4-300x300Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Minute Friday! This week’s theme is “yes”. To learn more about Five Minute Friday, please visit Kate’s blog for more details… Each week, a community of bloggers come together with the common goal is to spend five unedited minutes to write on a topic.

Sometimes, we have to say “no” to some things. We have to say “no,” so that we can say “yes.”

In my life, it requires rearranging to reach what we’ll call a “mellow place.”

I am an introvert.

A highly sensitive introvert, at that.

Then add to the proverbial pot of ingredients called “things in my life.” Things like facebook, ordinary things, good things…

To say “yes” to us, we have to say “no” to other things.

In order to give God and others our best, we must first give ourselves our best. It may mean letting go of things everyone else’s spirit can tolerate, but for some odd reason – yours just can’t!

I am a blessed one.

… who is far too easily “overstimulated”…

… where everything causes me to be sicker than I once was…

… where I am in “information overloaded…”

Borderline psychotic, or in a health flare.

All, because I get too overstimulated without realizing the need to switch answers. To turn from a “yes” to “no”.

The blessing is in learning what to give a “yes” answer to, and learn to decline to those things that aren’t going to build me up.

1 Thessalonians 5:8-11 teaches us:

“[S]ince we belong to the day, we should stay sober and in control, covered with a breastplate of faith and love and a helmet of the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us,His chosen, to face His wrath but to be the heirs of salvation through our Lord Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King, who died for us. So regardless of whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. So support one another. Keep building each other up as you have been doing (The Voice, emphasis mine).”

Reflection

What are you giving a “yes” to, and how is that “yes” affecting you – body, mind, and spirit? God wants our all. Just because everyone we know from A to Z can answer “yes” to a specific opportunity, it doesn’t mean it is the right “yes” for us.