Ties That Bind
I am a gregarious introvert. I have taught myself to be sociable and love it. At the same time, I still recharge alone. In the olden days, I believed that engagement with you was exhausting. I believed that engaging with you was dangerous. In fact, I had this very icky split inside of desperately wanting attention, and being terrified of being noticed for fear of being raged on. Heh. Not very comfy, I must say.
Why do I like to engage? What makes me choose to connect? How do I feel included?
As I began to get some help, to find some good teachers, I found that I could better determine if connecting with you was a good idea for me. I found that it became easier and easier, and it was nicer and nicer. For one thing, I stopped feeling lonely.
Now, I have made a distinction for myself between lonely and lonesome. When I feel lonesome, I can fix that by going where there are people and having some interactions, like at a coffee shop. When I am lonely, I need to reconnect with me. This distinction was life-changing for me. I thought that the black-hole feeling of lonely inside was somehow your fault, that if you loved me correctly the hole would disappear. Hoo, boy. I was so wrong. I am the only one who can close that hole, and I have to do it by engaging with me, by caring about me, by loving and valuing me my own self.
As I get better at connecting with myself, caring about me, I get better at connecting with you. I worry less about you paying attention to me and enjoy paying attention to you. I enjoy collaborating with you more, I enjoy working as a team more.
As I get better at connecting with myself, my curiosity is engaged. I find myself interested in what I think, what I believe of the world, how I perceive stuff, and how I could change those things to make my life nicer. I get curious about how I feel about stuff. About how I make things harder for myself, and how I make things easier for me.
My curiosity about you grows, too. How do you see things? I am fascinated by how differently we may process stuff even when we are so close. It helps me to remember that my way isn’t the only way. By really listening to you, I learn so much. I become more compassionate. I find it easier to love! How fun is that! And by loving more easily, it is easier for me to feel it come back to me. Well. That is delightful.
As I get better at connecting, other cool things happen. I start to feel like I am involved, I feel a sense of belonging. Oh, my. That was almost overwhelming, as that feeling in me grew. Feeling disenfranchised was so sad. And when I feel involved, I feel like my contributions are worthwhile, and I feel satisfied! Holy buckets!
Here’s the really nice thing. Our natural lives are available to us all the time. Living my natural life is effortless because I go with the flow. I am peaceful because I trust that I can manage, that things go my way, that I am capable, competent and strong. I am productive because I am choosing well for myself. I feel connected and engaged naturally and with an open heart. Compassion for you and me is just there. I am satisfied even while I am finding ways to make my life more fun.
How have I changed from shunning connection to embracing engagement?
(c) Pam Guthrie 2015 all rights reserved 08272015