I’ve been quiet for awhile. I do that every now and then. I share and then I go silent. I have to fill the well. I have to experience solitude and quiet, not just on a daily basis, but on a regular hiatus. I find that I cycle through a great output of creativity followed by a season of retreat. The length of quiet varies, but it always comes. I let my intuition guide me, so it’s been a couple of months now since I last blogged.
I’m going through some major changes in my life. I’m in my 22nd year of homeschooling and we’re transitioning my son into school. I’ve cried a lot lately. He’s my baby. He’s the last one. Even if you haven’t homeschooled (having your kids near you 24/7 for years), when the last child gets to a certain point there’s a loss as a mom. With the role of motherhood shifting, I have found myself weepy and feeling lost. What’s next? What do I want to do with my life? Where do I want to focus? Grow? Who am I? These are not always easy questions to answer. And I’ve actually been searching them out for quite a long time.
I’ve really struggled over the years to define a path for myself. Mainly because I just cannot peg myself into a single hole. I just can’t do it. It’s like a death sentence to choose just one path and commit to it long term. It feels like creative suicide. Stifling. *gripping chest*. (If you think that sounds dramatic you’re not an Empath or Multipotentialite).
And yet I’ve been “should-ing” all over myself for a really long time because that’s how it’s done, right? You pick a path and you build it and you stick to it. I’ve tried that. Many times. But every time I narrow my focus or message and revamp my website, I end up finding a new focus before I even hit the “Publish” button and have to change everything. Seriously, this has been so frustrating for me, but only because instead of listening to my heart I was listening to people tell me that I had a block to success that I needed to push through and clear, or that I was too scattered and needed to reign in my energies, or that I was too sensitive and if I could only toughen up I’d be able to suck it up and commit. Turns out the only thing I needed to clear was the fear of sharing who I really am that arose because of comments like these.
People can’t, through their limited perspective, impose “solutions” on your attributes as if they were a disease to be cured. Yes, we all have weaknesses and blocks that we can work on, but accepting who you are, as you are, is the first step to any kind of improvement. As we do that, the power of naysayer voices begins to fade, and we see that our attributes are not deficits to be compensated for, but gifts to be nurtured and refined and shared.
When we can be vulnerable about who we really are, without fear of repercussion, it is a declaration of self-love that sets the heart free.
As an INFJ I tend to be very complex. I can feel totally comfortable sharing personal details about my life in a public speech, but when it comes to vulnerability online and sharing my sensitivities, I have found myself to be extremely protective of my heart. But that’s the thing. Those sensitivities and unique complexities of my personality are the common thread among everything I do. Whether I’m writing a blog post, publishing a book, speaking to an audience, writing or performing a song, creating art, designing digital media, sewing, working with flowers, reading, serving others, or exploring this fascinating world, I am doing it all from a sensitive, creative, complex perspective. And that’s okay. It’s what makes me, me. The world needs each of us with our unique combination of attributes.
INF’s personalities, Empaths, HSPs, Multipotentialites, and Highly Creatives tend to get told they’re too sensitive, to emotional, too scattered or too distracted. They get told a lot of negative things. And that makes it hard to want to let people know who we are. Our gifts are treated like weaknesses or faults that need correcting. As a result, we can walk through life feeling a deep and abiding sense of shame regarding our existence; a path I walked for far too many years. A path I’ve spent over 15 years healing.
I understand now that what can feel like a curse actually gives the Complex-Sensitive-Multi-Creative person the capacity to fill the world with light, meaning, compassion, originality, depth, and altruistic love– if they will accept themselves and see and develop their attributes as gifts and not curses. This self-acceptance also allows a person to live in a space of joy and fulfillment because they are not constantly at war with the true expression of themselves.
Strength is found in vulnerability and acceptance. Strength is also found in connection. And we can’t connect on common ground when we hide. So I’m no longer hiding.
This is me.
Now to find my INF, Empath, HSP, Multipotential and/or Highly Creative Friends. Where are you in the world? And which description do you identify with?