Sunday, August 28, 2016

Introverts - Not Shy, Simply Dialed-In

People are everywhere. We move together, around each other, through crowds and masses of people, and over time we see where our choices have brought us. If we aren't careful, we will see that our feet will have brought us to places not of our own design. Our present state is the summation of decisions that have brought us here and if we simply follow the flow of our lives, we will find the smooth edges and the paths that open below our feet.

When I walk into a room, I have the feeling to look around and survey my surroundings, to listen to the sounds, to feel the rhythm or pace, and to look at the people as they move around and interact. It takes a few moments for me to feel the underlying current before I take the full dive into the space. Some of these people feel like obstacles and others there is an immediate connection. Still, those connections are real and have an energy to them.

When we look for connection, we have to be willing to be open to all responses. We are feeling. It doesn't matter if it is pain, belonging, or anything in between. Extroverts thrive off the energy of a room itself or through creating that energy. It is the mass, size and quantity that fuels them rather than introverts, like myself, who thrive off listening, feeling out that energy, and having intimate and personal conversations. Crowds are sensory overloads for introverts - candles trying to stay lit in a storm of noise. And because I am an introvert doesn't mean that I am necessarily shy but simply dialed-in.

I feel like this is why I thrive off of personal connections - one-on-one conversations, small groups of people, and hearing what drives people's motivations, their passions, and their dreams. These are the types of things that bring meaning to life. It replaces bland routine with spice and with flavor. It is like our personal callings that fill our lives with a light that cannot be hid.

All you have to do is look and listen. There is beauty in every soul trying to express itself and escape the reality in which we cage ourselves. So what can an introvert do in a world that demands that they make a stand and speak loudly? We pick our battles. I demand brutal honesty. I ask for genuine vulnerability. I ask for personal expression. I want to know what you feel and why. In the meantime, I will be willing to say what others don't have the courage to say when they don't have a voice.

Other people can be afraid of what people might think when they will never know because they fail or forget to ask. Life is unbelievably short. It is fragile and fleeting at times. This is what makes our experiences so special and memorable. This is why it is hard to describe what our passions are or what love is. Those feelings are intimate in their very nature but that is the very reason they need to be expressed. Without realizing and knowing that you are loved or that someone has accepted you and your love, life can feel relatively meaningless.

When we think about our lives, we relive the past. We look through the lens of our memories and remember the things we saw, the people we met, but mostly how we felt. Why not live in that? Why not see our lives, see our selves and see everyone else as we might be? Why not look for that potential? Why did we stop dreaming to start living instead of the other way around? It gives a new perspective to the idea that we might all be giants.

What would happen if you started to believe in yourself and stopped measuring yourself? If you would stop holding yourself short and simply took the step, what is the worst that could happen - failure? No - failure happens when we quit. When we stop trying and believing, this is when we fail.

So how can we change the world? How can we push to make it better? It starts with belief. It grows with love. It burns brightly with passion. And it is made by individuals. Take joy in the journey because when you are willing to be authentic, the destination will take care of itself.

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