Honoring My Inner Child

One night I walked into the living room of the house I grew up in and announced to my mother that I knew what I wanted to do with my life. She turned off the TV, turned her body towards me.. I had her full-attention. I explained my business plan for the restaurant I was going to open where all the food would be free so no one would ever be hungry.

I was 10 years old, I was an idealist, and without knowing it I was taking my very first unconscious step in the direction of my future: social work.

When I think back about the girl I was (and still am in many ways) I know I have made her proud.

I know because I never got too old to pick flowers, and never too cynical to see my flowers as weeds. I know because I never gave up my dream of healing the world and never stopped believing I was capable of spreading love on that level. Proud because I took deliberate action towards creating that healing space in the world through my direction with social work. Proud because I went back and picked up all of my pieces and started my healing and vision of love with me, as it should be. I know because I feel the warmth of that little girls sunshine still beaming from my body.

I made that little girl proud. I did that.

May I walk through the rest of my days as certain in this truth as I am now. That little girl had a plan to heal the world, and I know I am making her proud.

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I will Paint my House Gray and I will Live in it

I have been sick for a few days and unfortunately I was not feeling any better today. I am hoping the clouds will part and tomorrow will be the day I no longer feel like a germ, I have internship and do not want to miss out on hours. My Dad decided to pay me a visit today, he heard I had been under the weather. It was nice to have company surprisingly, being sick alone is no fun, being sick with someone you like to talk is a little better.

He actually just called to check in on me as I was writing this. Dad’s are pretty great.

While we were visiting Dad was asking me about internship and we were sharing insights to this and that. My internship, in a round about way, is relevant to my dad’s own work experience. Something he said really struck me, I am almost laughed because I have been writing so much about it lately. I had been talking about person-in-environment approach indirectly and how important it is to have context for what you are seeing and hearing when working with a client. I was also talking about not falling into extreme perspectives, specifically as it pertains to the population I am working with. For example, some people I have encountered view this population as dangerous while others see them as pitiable objects. Those are two vast extremes and neither are going to help you work with the client effectively.

While we were talking about this and he was relating similar experiences in his own career he mentioned there was a reason he and I do not fall into these extremes, because we are realists.

I just looked him, a smirk on my face. My dad knows better than almost anyone how much of an idealist I am so it struck me as funny that he would call me a realist, even though I am in my own way when it is appropriate. I am all things mixed up together, most of us are, especially those of us who embrace the AND, that scary gray area. I am an idealist, and a realist, and a cynic.. etc.

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So I listened with curious intrigue as he elaborated his point. Now I am not well as I mentioned so my recall skills are fuzzy. I do not remember exactly what he said but the overarching point he made is that we, he and I, understand that people are made up of a lot of things and that they are capable of making choices, and that we know we should never be working harder for our clients than our clients are willing to work for themselves. It was all about being sensible and having good boundaries and judgment. Yes, if this is what my Dad calls realism than I absolutely fit that definition.

 

It is interesting because in recent months my Dad, knowingly or not, has really been challenging the way I see myself. First his remark about me being brave that threw me for a loop and now calling me a realist.. It is interesting to see yourself through someone else’s eyes for a moment.

There is a lot I am thankful for as I lay in bed finishing up this post. I am grateful to not only have Dad that will make impromptu house calls when I am sick, but to have a Dad at all, some people don’t. I am grateful for the relationships I have with both of my parents. I am grateful that even at 30+ years old they worry I am sick. I am grateful for time to rest and heal when my body needs it. I am grateful for my access to medicine and healthy food to nourish and heal me. I am grateful for a sweet dog who will not leave my side when she knows something is off. I am grateful for recognizing that all the best, truest parts of life and who we are exist in the gray area.

I am grateful for all that I have and hope the universe will smile upon me and let all this rest I have given myself be enough to get through the rest of the week.

Inspiration from fellow INFPs

Todd and I were having a hypothetical conversation this morning and big surprise, it got my wheels turning. I like hypotheticals, I like to think about possibilities. It stemmed from a conversation we had about what I read the night before in one of my texts. I had to take an online exam today so last night I was finishing up the last chapter for the test, it was on relationships. He asked me how I would handle a certain situation that was illustrated in the text, specifically whether I would take offense and find the person in the situation being too critical? My answer was No.

In this particular case with what was being said, if it were me, I would see the situation as an opportunity for growth. I can at times be sensitive to criticism, such is the case with INFP personality types as I understand it, but that is not always true. I am incredibly introspective and take time to process things to see if there is merit in what is being said. This gives me the opportunity to try to look at the criticism objectively to determine whether there is an opportunity for growth.

Todd and I then got into a conversation about our different personality types and how he would perceive the situation. He is much more practical, a problem solver where, as Todd put it, I am much more introspective and philosophical.

Well later in the afternoon I was online.. I have been trying to find an excerpt from literature that can be used as a reading at our wedding. It is hard to choose, there are so many authors and titles to choose from. In my search today I stumbled across this,

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost. 

I knew immediately that it was Tolkien from the first Lord of the Rings novel. I grew up on Tolkien. It is quite lovely when you read out of its intended context and rather just on its own. I proceeded to do a search for other possible options by Tolkien, as we both are fans. What I found in the process of my search is that Tolkien, this amazingly talented writer whom I respect so highly is an INFP.

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It felt like a point for the INFP team! haha. Then suddenly I was curios, Who else?? I was baffled by what I discovered. I have always felt a sense of camaraderie with my fellow INFPs and after reading the findings, feeling connected to people whom I hold in such high regard made me feel so inspired.

So here are some of my favorites from the list..

First, the writers:

George Orwell: What I have most wanted to do … is to make political writing into an art. My starting point is always a feeling of partisanship, a sense of injustice.

J.R.R. Tolkien: I [am] a mere individual … with intense feelings more than ideas.

C.S. Lewis: [I have] a boorish in-aptitude for formality.

Virginia Woolf: My own brain is to me the most unaccountable of machinery – always buzzing, humming, soaring roaring diving, and then buried in mud. And why? What’s this passion for?

A.A. Milne: Even now when I see my name in the paper, I feel that the world is intruding unduly on my privacy. I ought to be anonymous.

Edgard Allen Poe (squeal!): (James Oppenheim speaking about Poe): Everything about him suggests introversion, self-immersion, mood, mystery. Everything suggests a man seeking his own soul.

Hans Christian Andersen: The whole world is a series of miracles, but we’re so used to them we call them ordinary things.

William Shakespeare: To thine own self be true.

 

The Musicians,

John FREAKING Lennon: If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.

Kurt Cobain: I just can’t believe anyone would start a band just to make the scene and be cool and have chicks. I just can’t believe it.

Florence Welch: [I] always want things to be perfect, magical or exciting. Things can’t be that way all the time so I’m constantly disappointed as well.

Morrissey: It’s so easy to laugh, it’s so easy to hate, it takes guts to be gentle and kind.

 

Finally my three favorites that I am so proud to be in any kind of category with,

Thom Yorke: Generally speaking, if people are prepared to stick their heads above the power pit, like Zinn says, and absorb what’s going on around them, it makes them think.

Andy Warhol: I’ve never met a person I couldn’t call a beauty.

Vincent Van Gogh: If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.

 

It was surreal in a way to see these people whom I have such strong admiration for and then read their words and think, Yeah, I get it. I identify with some more than others, but across the board to feel like I understand one of my idols on a deeper level than just their art or words or music that I have always been so inspired by, is a beautiful thing.