Sunday, May 20, 2012

Her Introverted Life


There's no two ways about it.  I am an introvert.  Born and bred. 

That's no surprise to those who know me well.  Even if they wonder out loud why I don't leave my cellphone on 24/7.  Or text relentlessly back and forth.  Arrive wherever and head straight for the back row or a unobtrusive seat in the corner.  Say 'no thanks' to enthusiastic mingling and small talk with unknown souls.  And abhor crowds of unruly people like the bubonic plague. 

It's why I put an end to dragging my husband off to those huge, unwieldy counseling conferences.  Filled with noise and commotion, we'd spend 12 - 14 hour days packed shoulder to shoulder with thousands of attendees.  When all was said and done, the endless sessions and speakers and concerts left me burned out and hung over, instead of inspired and rejuvenated.

I'll take a silent retreat any day of the week. 

I play house and write and take care of the business of life. I work hard at keeping in touch with my far flung family and the friends who feed my soul.  A leisurely phone call, where I'll refuse to let the computer screen distract me from my focus on what's being spoken.  A heart to heart brunch, or curling up in a cushy chair at Panera's for a long-anticipated conversation.   And always aiming for a quiet time with God that matters and living a life that's sane and healthy.

All that peace and time and space is what equips me to be fully present with the women who venture into my counseling office two days a week.  And allows me to go full steam ahead through hour after hour of the deep, soul-searching, intense conversations that are my life blood.  And then I extend the graces of solitude and silence to myself when those sessions are over.

But more than ever, I love my evenings quiet. 

As the sun heads down we two usually eat a simple, peace-filled supper together.  We might play Scrabble or watch the news or talk about the family.  Go for a walk or head to DQ.  Maybe read quietly side by side with not a sound to mar the stillness.  Or he'll putter in his wood shop and I'll curl up and watch Chopped.  And then he'll make me a cup of hot chocolate {mine stacked high with whipped cream, his with one lone marshmallow}.

We savor the quietness of conversation and companionship ... and maybe a foot rub or two.  Or no conversation at all.  It doesn't matter, either way.  Because to be fully present, without a single word, is the greatest gift one soul can offer another.  And truth be told, that's the treasure that most of us are craving to receive.

No matter if you're introverted ... or not so much.
Linda

- thanks to Introverted Church and Pleated-Jeans for the illustration -



12 comments:

  1. You and I have never met and don't know anything about each other, but I think we must be identical twins.
    This is exactly how I feel. I never go on the women's retreat with my church because the thought of spending a weekend with a large group of women seems like the most exhausting thing in the world.
    A silent retreat? YES!
    Thanks for the great post.

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  2. To share silence with a group of believers I had never met was a beautifully moving experience ... no idle chit-chat during those hours and no forced conversation.

    I recommend this to anyone who's feeling spiritually parched and thirsty, overloaded by noise and endless connection.

    Thanks, Elizabeth! Maybe we'll meet someday ... I'll be the silent one in the back corner!

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  3. Good Morning Linda,

    I am a former extrovert and finding myself enjoying being the introvert that I have become. Some equate being quiet and alone as loneliness. I find it soothing and beneficial in terms of reflection, and allowing myself the opportunity to recieve. My channels are much more in tune.
    I have thought that my lack of communications with my beloved stemmed from us growing apart. He always being the introvert. After reading your words on silence and the incredible bond that it can create, I have to rethink some of my own opions. I had no clue as to the value of "quiet" between partners. Thank you!

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  4. A gentle quiet, where no words need to be spoken but the understanding flows, just might be the ultimate in connection between two people ...

    Thanks for sharing where you're coming from, Suzanne!

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  5. I'm an introvert too! This is such a great post!

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  6. We're in good company!

    Welcome, Ashley!

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  7. I grew up as an extrovert because I liked being around people, and I liked being OUT of the house doing something else besides staying home.

    In the past 10 years or so that has changed, and I am embracing my introversion. It was a difficult transition at first, mostly because I didn't know that's what was happening.

    But anyway, I'm writing more than a comment should have. Thank you for sharing! It's nice to meet another introvert :)

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  8. Greetings! From a fellow introvert! lol... I can definitely relate to your feelings. BLessings to you!

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  9. Love this post and your heart! Introverts are uniquely and so wonderfully built. I think I am an "Omnivert": I have many of the traits you described but also get life from larger gathering and certain crowds. It just depends.

    Thanks for owning your introvert-ism and spurring me on to do the same!

    Carly @ ryandcar.blogspot.com

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  10. Understanding, embracing, and owning how God has created us ... and yet always striving to be more Christlike in the living of it all ... that's where the joy comes in!

    And yes, there are times when we need to stretch a bit out of our comfort zones ... but that's a good thing because He goes with us there, too!

    I so appreciate you dropping by and sharing a bit of your stories ... frogdiva, Crystal, and Carly!

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  11. Wow... you wrote the words from my heart. :)

    I have always been this way as well... my husband too, much more so than me actually.

    I've been feeling God pushing me out of my comfort zones a little more lately, I'm curious to see where he's leading me.

    Thank you so much for your kind words!

    www.OneSewingMommie.blogspot.com

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  12. If we truly believe that God is nudging us to emerge just a bit from our comfort zones, we can be sure that He will give us everything we need as we head into those unknown arenas.

    Thanks, Angel, for joining the conversation!

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I'm choosing to pretty much unplug for a few weeks, but yes, I'll still be popping in here and there to respond to your kind words!

I'd love to know you dropped by ...

Linda

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