Even When I’m Alone

Even when I’m alone I have real good company — dreams and imaginations and pretendings. I like to be alone now and then, just to think over things and taste them.

 

IM Montgomery
Anne’s House of Dreams

 

Writers, musicians and all types of artists can probably relate to Montgomery’s above quote.
–Alone is when my creativity prospers.
–Alone is when I spend my most creative time.  When I write, when I’m out with my camera.
–Alone is when I edit both my photography and my written word.

 

Image from:
PixHere

 

As IM Montgomery says:
Even when I’m alone I have real good company
INFPs and introverts are imagination focused.  They have a deep imagination. They love the fantastic.  Being focused on imagination, I clearly understand Montgomery and I believe she falls on the INFP/J introvert scale, just by reading the above quote.  

 

 

Like, Montgomery, I’m also seldom lonely.  As I’ve mentioned at Wisdom and Life several times over, there is a vast difference from being alone and feeling lonely.  Being an INFP as can be seen from my blog, I need down time after spending a day with people, especially extroverts.  Having time to decompress is important for the introvert/INFP personality. It’s how we survive. Even when we are out with friends and family, we can shut down.  The last thing an introvert/INFP wants to hear is:
Why are you so quiet?

 

Being quiet in the face of noise is how we cope.  Sometimes we are quiet because as artists, we are formulating new plotlines, new topics to write about for that weekly column, a new place to go with our cameras or paint with our canvas and easel    

 

Or we may just need to decompress when we can.  So if you know your friend or family member is on the introvert scale, be mindful when you ask that question.  It may create more tension. Your friend or family may shut down further or could even lash out and say something they don’t really mean.  Not all artists are introverts and not all introverts are artists, however there is a large contingent of introverts who fall into creative careers.  It’s because art is created alone and art can be a healthy release.

 

Writing helped me release the negative energy I had.  And because I went through so much growing up, my fiction turned dark.  As I went back through my old writings however, I also saw a shard of light shining through the darkness.  Most of my dark fiction ended on a positive note. Even though what I went through as a child, I somehow instinctively knew that life would get better.  I see that more now as I delved back into the dark fiction I wrote some thirty plus years ago. I believe this blog, Wisdom and Life is a natural outgrowth of my dark fiction years.  

 

As I’ve also said here countless times, I no longer feel the need to write dark fiction, because I came through that period and I now live my life in the light.  I see life as a gift. I see there is always a way out. I’ve found another way to thrive. My spirituality and my faith are the gift that helped me. I wouldn’t be where I am today were it not for that gift.  And speaking of gifts:
We all have them.  Gifts, that is.

 

 

This blog has been a gift for me and even though I take breaks from it now and then, I can’t imagine leaving it entirely.  It is completely antithetical to the fiction I wrote when I was writing fiction. That’s because I’m in a different place as I said above.  I learned that everything happens for a reason and that my faith has helped me realize that God is always there. God is the guiding force in my life now.  My faith, my spirituality is the guiding force in my life.

 

What about you?

 

Be Happy!  Be Well! Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;
We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

Introverts Are Walking Contradictions

Wisdom and Life is going on Hiatus
for the month of August and perhaps September

I will continue writing:
CJPPhotoNews

That’s my photography blog.
if you want to follow that.
There’s a gold sign up button to the right
on the top of the blog
if you want to receive my weekly columns
in your email.

 

As a follow-up to last week’s column:
Are You Giving Yourself Enough “Me” Time
I want to say that it MAY SEEM as if I don’t like being around people. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I don’t like being in crowds, at huge functions. Introverts tend to stand off in a corner or stand alone when faced with lots of people.

 

If you see someone standing by themselves at a function, then you have to make the first move. Get an introvert to talk about what makes them tick and you won’t ever hear the end. Introverts don’t enjoy small talk.  They’d rather disappear then involve themselves in the inanity of what the weather is like, or how your day is going. Introverts crave deep meaning in their relationships. They may not have a plethora of friends. Several close relationships outside of family is all they really need.

 

Any more and they will look for a means of escape.

 

Those fortunate enough to break through the walls, can count on the introvert to be in their lives through anything.  Introverts will lay their lives on the line for those in their small circle. Break that trust, however, and you’ll find it tremendously challenging to get it back.  

 

Introverts, when emotionally wounded by someone, sometimes will not let the person who hurt them back in.  You may not even know why. For the introvert may simply ignore your calls, may block you from reaching out.  As with crowds and small talk, introverts abhor conflict. They will do just about anything to avoid it. They are uncomfortable speaking out to defend themselves when they feel they’ve been embarrassed, provoked.

 

They will shut down, avoid you, if you lash out at them in public. They will find that inner place in their soul where they can regroup.  It may take hours for them to return to the world. So consider your words and actions carefully when you have an introvert in your life. Consider your words and actions carefully with ANYONE in your life for that matter.

 

Introverts are walking contradictions.  On the one hand, they may seem aloof. They don’t interact well in crowds. Remove the crowd, get them one on one and you’ll see a COMPLETELY different person.  Avoid small talk, find the deeper conversation and watch the introvert become almost extroverted when interacting with you.  Above all, don’t attempt to remake the introvert. Do NOT expect them to become an extrovert. Accept them for who they are and you’ll have a friend for life if you so choose to.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well! Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;
We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

Are You Giving Yourself Enough “Me” Time?

Being an introvert at heart, I need more “ME” time than others may. As with writing, if I don’t get enough alone time I get irritable. I snap at people when I don’t necessarily mean to. It’s why I sometimes bail on pre planned events. Understand it has nothing to do with those people I made plans with and everything to do with me.

 

Image from:
Flickr

Being an introvert at heart, I’ve always known I needed extra time to come down from activity but it wasn’t until a little over a year ago that I understand why. I’d been seeing the Myers-Briggs tests pop up all over the Internet and finally decided to see what they were all about. After taking a few tests over the course of a week or so I discovered that I was on the INFP scale. Everything finally fell into place for me and I understood WHY I required so much downtime.

 

Being an introvert at heart, can have its detriment.

My friends and family can sometimes misinterpret my needed “ME” time for being antisocial. Seeing as several people I’m my circle are extroverted, they get especially anxious (and I use that word for lack of a stronger word) when I decline invitations.

 

After a full day at work where I HAVE to be on, the LAST thing I want to do is to go out and be on. It’s why I love living alone.  I can go home and decompress, relax and write. Writing, as anyone who truly understands who I am is how I decompress. If I don’t have time to be alone I don’t fare well with others.
I wind up snapping when I shouldn’t.
I wind up creating friction.
I wind up finding somewhere to hide if I’m out with people

 

Being an introvert at heart, I don’t know that I could EVER live with someone full time, unless there was a safe place for me to run away to when I needed to decompress.  This could be one factor why I haven’t been successful in finding a long term relationship. What I want from a relationship might not exist. MOST of the time I’m pretty happy with the way my life is proceeding.  Loneliness doesn’t enter into my lexicon all that often. When it does, it vanishes almost as quickly as it arrived. I WOULD sometimes like to have a close friendship with someone who understands that when I need to pull away it has nothing to do with them.  

Being an introvert at heart can be challenging when I’m doing my best to find a relationship.

Because I need time to myself when embarking on a new friendship whether, romantic or platonic, time needs to be devoted to building that trust, to finding common interests. It can cause ANY introvert a flaming desire to run if too much time is spent in the company of others. Typically, for myself, I can spend one on one time with someone after I’ve become comfortable.

 

A first time meeting is not a good thing to witness at least with me. I don’t know what interests the other person has and it can be quite awkward which probably explains why I don’t get many second chances. The few times I have, my relationships have succeeded beyond any expectation.

 

As long as my friends and family give me the latitude I need, my life and my current and new friendships will continue to prosper. I just need to learn to speak up when I’m becoming overloaded. Being an introvert at heart, however, it can be challenging for us  to speak up. We are much better at expressing ourselves through the written word. It’s why so many introverts thrive as writers and artists. Wwe just need to be given the proper respect we deserve and we can thrive during any circumstance that arises.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well! Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

A Helping Hand Can Help You

When you see someone living something awful, a rocket of desire for their resolution shoots out of you. And then, if you start focusing upon their resolution, you’ll start feeling better right away. And now, you’re part of the current that is part of the solution.

Abraham-Hicks
May 7, 2018

 

Have you known this to happen?  If you’re in a low place and someone you know is in a lower place, see if reaching out to them and offering an ear, offering a hug, offering advice if they ask for it, you just may find yourself feeling better.

 

Image from:
Pixabay

 

One of my friends has told me repeatedly that she’d love to help me when she can clearly see that I’m in distress. She knows me so well that even when I THINK I’m hiding it well, she sees through the shade.  

 

One of my INFP personality traits is that I have a difficult time with sharing my challenges, EVEN with my closest friends and family. I’d rather help others deal with their own issues. I’m doing my best to overcome that, but after years of living that trait, it doesn’t come easy to stop doing so.  

 

I understand that by sharing our own challenges we show our vulnerability and that can deepen a relationship.  If we stay closed off, if we don’t share what is troubling us, our friends may look elsewhere for people who will.  If we long for an intimate relationship with another person, then:
–We have to learn to trust them.  
–We have to remove our own walls.

 

–Once we begin to show our vulnerabilities,
–Once we open our emotional wounds to those we trust or are trying to build trust with, we will find that relationship we have been searching for.

 

It won’t happen overnight.  However if you want to build commitment, if you want others to feel good about themselves when they are in distress, then it is important to let your own walls down.  Let others inside. Let them help you, because as Abraham-Hicks states above:
By helping someone else, you are also helping yourself.

 

The concentration is off your own challenges and onto someone else.  Thus you’re not dwelling on your own situation. Here’s a writing example for those who write:
Have you ever faced a situation where you’re blocked?  By moving to another project, whether it’s another writing project or some other creative endeavor you do on the side, your thought gets refocused on the new project, freeing you up.  Quite often by removing yourself from the block, you get unblocked because you’re no longer focused on that.

 

So my advice to those of you in the INFP personality who have a challenging time letting your guard down with your closest friends and family, think about how this affects THEM.  They may need to focus on something else while dealing with their own issues. Help them by letting them help you.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well! Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;
We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

Silence is Golden

Because I’m on the introvert scale, I’d rather stay quiet than speak about inane topics.  The most uncomfortable tactics one can make to an introvert is:
Ask Why are you so quiet?
Draw an introvert into an unwanted conversation.
Influence them to join a group whether friends or family. 

 

Those approaches can cause an introvert to shut down even further.  

 

Image from:
Flickr

An introvert needs time to decompress when being inundated with the noise of the world.  If someone with introvert tendencies is asked to join in with a group, whether family or friends and they politely decline, then it is important to take them at their word.

 

Don’t influence them to do something that goes against their paradigm. Again, you will see them pull away further. Let the introvert come to you. Give them the space they require and you’ll build a stronger relationship with them. If you feel like they have pulled away, don’t take it personally, they may just need some “ME” time.

 

The INFP personality and the introvert are almost one in the same. These two personalities share many of the same traits which is why they are joined together.
INFPs need lot’s of “ME” time.
INFPs tend to be creative.
INFPs don’t engage in small talk

 

These are all traits that introverts share. If an INFP/introvert has befriended you, you should feel fortunate, for that personality type doesn’t let many people in. They are much more comfortable with themselves. They don’t get lonely often. That word doesn’t register in their lexicon.

 

Treat an INFP/introvert with the lessons above and you will have a friend for life. This personality tends to remain loyal sometimes to their detriment. Once an INFP/introvert lets you in they will fight to keep you in their lives.

 

If you break their trust, generally they will shut you out. They will hurt and take time to process that emotional distress and it will be generally more difficult for them to open up again. INFPS and introverts are trusting when they allow you into their small circle. Don’t break that trust.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well! Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;
We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

Reveling in Solitude

Alone vs Loneliness.
Being an introvert has its positives and many people see those positives as negatives.

–Some see introverts as rude, because they don’t do small talk.
–Some see the tendency of the introvert’s need for alone time as out of sync with humanity, that people need people.

 

Image from:
Flickr

While that is ostensibly true, some of us who are introverts get burned out when we are “in the public eye” for long periods of time.  We need to decompress. And if we are influenced or forced to spend more time out, we will become more quiet, less likely to communicate.  We will find a solitary place in a crowd to decompress. We will hide.

 

When we are influenced to spend time with friends and family and we don’t want to, this action will conceivably bring more animus, with the introvert doubling down and finding a deeper hole to hide in.  So how do we merge these two dichotomous attributes and learn to live as an introvert and as someone who knows one?

 

I think the best approach one can take who knows an introvert is to learn to read the signs of your particular friend or family member.  If (s)he says I’d rather not do anything today then
–Don’t be insulted or hurt that they turned you down.  
–Don’t attempt to change their mind by creating guilt.
–Accept the choice and realize it has nothing to do with not wanting to see you it has more to do with taking care of themselves.

 

If the introvert IS out with you and they suddenly vanish again:
–Don’t be hurt.
–Don’t get angry at them.
–Don’t question the behavior.

It is the introvert’s method of ramping up again.

 

If you want to understand the introvert in your life better than you do now, I highly recommend reading what I believe is the introvert handbook:
Quiet:
The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

 

If you are in the presence of an introvert and the introvert is noticeably quiet, the worst thing you can do is ask is something wrong?  Why are you so quiet? Nothing is wrong! It’s likely as stated above they are merely decompressing.

 

So what’s with the Two words at the top of this column:
Alone and Loneliness

 

I believe I’ve covered this at Wisdom and Life previously.  Being alone and feeling lonely are completely different. I’ve been fortunate to hardly ever feeling lonely.  I can’t say for sure because I’m the only test subject I’m aware of. However, realizing that I’m an introvert, I sometimes wonder whether loneliness is an attribute that introverts in general are not afflicted with.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well! Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;
We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

Asking for Help

I’ve been without my car for a week now. It’s in hospital being repaired. Thankfully I live within walking distance of just about anywhere downtown.  Sometimes I need to go beyond downtown.  Take Friday for example:
I wound up having to see a doctor outside of walking distance.  I was fortunate to have a friend right downtown and he offered to bring me to my doctor just five miles down the road and even return to bring me back.

 

Image from:
Pixabay
In that case I didn’t find it difficult to ask, because I didn’t have to ask.  I know you may think that’s splitting hairs.  I have a more difficult time being the one to ask for help. I’d rather do everything on my own. I don’t like feeling like a burden to anyone. After having lived alone for much of the past twenty years I’ve become adept at doing everything on my own.

 

If this car challenge had happened in the middle of spring or summer I would have been perfectly capable of surviving. Alas with darkness falling a little after 4pm  it makes it quite challenging to walk home after work. I like walking home in the dark even less than I like asking for a ride.  That’s where my difficulty lies. The fact that I have to ask for a ride home after having my car for so long is not easy for me.  Even before I drove I found it uncomfortable to rely on others.

 

Just out of curiosity, I Googled:
INFP asking for help

After realizing that I AM an INFP. And I found a whole host of information.  Seems that that type certainly has a hard time asking for help when they need it. A couple of sites I stumbled across suggested that when an INFP tells a friend they were in trouble previously their friend gets upset that they didn’t ask for help.

 

This sounds JUST LIKE ME!  I’ve had that exact thing happen time and again. I’d rather offer help than ask for it.  It’s something I have to constantly work on.  All my friends tell me so.  Is that an INFP trait?

 

I know other people have this same issue.  I just find it fascinating that so many INFPs have this in their realm.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

Ferdinand the Bull

My newest category at Wisdom and Life:
INFP is another topic I’ve started to discuss  INFP is on the Myers Briggs testing spectrum.  If you haven’t taken the test, it will reveal your personality as long as you are honest about the responses.  You can take the test here:
16 Personalities

 

I’ve mentioned Ferdinand The Bull at Wisdom and Life previously.

I’ve always loved the book and didn’t realize it until I recently understood my personality type connects on a completely different level with Ferdinand.  Ferdinand is definitely an INFP on the Myers Briggs spectrum. I now read Ferdinand in a completely different way.  I discovered that Ferdinand is an INFP after reading the book again in the last week.  Apparently, others feel the same way as can be seen from this Google search:
Ferdinand The Bull and INFP

 

After taking the Myers Briggs test and getting my results, I clearly see that I am an INFP.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

INFPs in Social Stiuations

 

Once in awhile at Wisdom and Life, I’ll be writing about the Myers Briggs Personality test and the category that I fall into

 

 

The INFP personality from Myers Briggs has benefits and challenges for themselves.  Let’s look at one trait that everyone has to deal with regardless of your personality type:
Social Situations and Relationships:

 

 

Image from:
Wikimedia:

Social:

–Do you find it a challenge in large groups?  Are you more comfortable within a small circle of friends?  You might be an INFP?

–Do you open your heart to a select few and even then crave alone time?

–Do you find it easier to help others then ask for help yourself?  You might be an INFP.

 

One of my best friends says that about me.  That I’m more concerned about others then I am about myself.  That I can’t open up about my own issues.  I understand that I do this.  But it’s only because I care more about my friends wellbeing.  With help, I’m getting better at expressing my own challenges.  After seeing these traits are indicative of the INFP personality, I’m more convinced than ever that I fall into that category.

 

–When you go out to a party, do you find yourself hanging back by yourself and not interested in making contact with people?

–Do you feel awkward in a crowd?

–Given a choice between staying home or going out with a bunch of people, do you prefer to stay home?

 

Relationships:

–INFPs can be seen as people who are cold, reserved who would rather be alone then out with a party.  That can be challenging for friends of INFPs.

–As a benefit, if you can crack an INFP’s wall, you’ll find someone who will stand by you sometimes as a detriment to themselves.

–INFPs want to get along with everyone, so much so, that they will avoid conflict also sometimes to their detriment.

–INFPs can sometimes find it difficult to leave a challenging relationship.  I THINK that’s because they feel so loyal to those who are in their inner circle.  Loyalty cuts both ways however.  It can hinder as well as help.

–As in the above, where I wrote that INFPs have difficulty asking for help, because of that, they can be seen as reserved, unwilling to open up even to their closest friends.  I THINK that’s because they are more concerned about their closest friends needs than they are for themselves.

–INFPs don’t stay angry as in the above where I wrote that they avoid conflict.  They do however, remember slights done to them for years.

 

Being an INFP myself, I can relate to EVERY one of these traits.  I imagine anyone in the INFJ/INFP pairing can also relate.  What personality are you?

 

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

 

 

Myers and Briggs Test

Myers Briggs is a personality testing program that places people into sixteen personality categories. What type you fall into depends on the answers you give on the test. If you answer honestly, you’ll see which type you fall into.  You can take one examnple of the test here:
16 Personalities

Image from:
Wikimedia:

 

I’ve taken the test at various points in my life and have always fallen into two types. Either:

INFJ
INFP

 

 

 

As I look back now and after taking the test again within the last month, I now clearly see that I definitely fall into the INFP type.

 

I can relate to so many of both types but many morein the INFP are where I stand.  in the INFP characteristic fit me much better:

–INFPs tend to be introverted, quiet and reserved.

Being in social situations tends to drain their energy and they prefer interacting with a select group of close friends. While they like to be alone, this should not necessarily be confused with shyness. Instead, it simply means that INFPs gain energy from spending time alone. On the other hand, they have to expend energy in social situations.

–INFPs place an emphasis on personal feelings and their decisions are more influenced by these concerns rather than by objective information.
They also dislike conflict and try to avoid it. When conflicts or arguments do arise, they usually focus more on how the conflict makes them feel rather than the actual details of the argument. During arguments, they might seem overly emotional or even irrational. However, they can also be good mediators by helping the people involved in a conflict identify and express their feelings.

–INFPs tend to be very creative, artistic and spiritual. They are often skilled with language, but may prefer to express their thoughts and feelings through writing.
INFPs typically do well in careers where they can express their creativity and vision. While they work well with others, they generally prefer to work alone. Some possible careers that might be a good match for an INFP include:
Artist
Counselor
Graphic Designer
Librarian
Psychologist
Physical Therapist
Social Worker
Writer

The above info is from:
Verywell.com

 

I work in three of the above careers. And EVERYTHING above the careers I can certainly relate too.  

 

There is so much that I relate to with this personality type. The biggest is how I deal with confrontation. The following explanation especially rings true:
They also dislike conflict and try to avoid it. When conflicts or arguments do arise, they usually focus more on how the conflict makes them feel rather than the actual details of the argument. During arguments, they might seem overly emotional or even irrational.

 

I see this happen constantly in my life. Which is why I at all costs do my best to avoid any conflict.
I don’t like how I react.
I don’t have enough self confidence to stand up for myself.
I feel like I’m back to being a child with no experience about how to deal with the challenge that has arisen.

 

Seeing this is a trait that the INFP person exhibits makes me feel a BIT better. Knowing you are not alone and others experience the same traits always creates a safety zone around us.

 

A Myers Briggs personality test is something everyone should take, for their own experience but also to understand where they fit in the world. And answer the questions honestly, not the way you think others see you and not the way you WANT others to see you.  But how you REALLY feel. You may be surprised at the results you get.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris
Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.