Who I Am

This little fingernail just seems to keep on breaking. It snags on clothes, and other things I touch, and I’m left annoyed and agitated that I can’t seem to get it under control.

Isn’t life like that sometimes? We fight and fight to smooth the rough edges, but it keeps coming back, or popping up in a slightly different place. We feel stuck and snagged on everything around us. Wondering what we can do to make it any different.

I’ve come to terms with some of these things over time, others, I’m still working on. Some will probably go away, others will stay. And it’s often difficult to tell at the time which is which.

In going through old writings and journal entries, I’ve realized that some of my goals have been woven into the fabric of my everyday life in a way I hadn’t noticed. And others, have been forgotten or changed entirely.

We don’t know who we will be in the future, we often forget who we’ve been in the past. We have this moment, this drifting and fleeting moment in between, where we know what we think we want and need. But how much of that is really real? Can we really claim to know what our future self will want?

When those rough edges are smoothed, we become a different creature, with higher wants and desires. Some things stay the same, but sometimes, for the better, parts we thought made us who we are, have faded and fallen away. Things we thought made up a huge part of our identity, gone and forgotten. And then we come to a point where we realize, that it’s okay.

We don’t have to be perfect. We don’t have to be what our past selves had envisioned, we don’t have to measure up to all the standards and pressures. From ourselves or others. And sometimes being who we are in this moment, is good enough. Even when we do hit a snag.

We’re not finished yet. We are not yet complete. We are in progress, and during that phase of in progress, throughout our entire lives here on this earth, we are always growing, always changing, always exploring. And with that, we cannot predict what we will become, because we don’t have the knowledge that makes up who our future self will be. But we’re learning. And every step, every moment, is a change toward becoming who we’re going to be, and yet, in every moment, we’re exactly who we are.

In this realization, I find peace and contentment. I don’t have to know exactly who I am, I just have to be willing to transform and to step toward becoming who I’ll be.

Cozy Thoughts

There’s nothing like sitting with a hot cup of tea and a good book. A real one, one with actual pages to turn. Maybe I’m weird, but I love having an actual, physical book to read. It changes the whole experience.

I’ve been so sad at times about how much society and culture has lost with the progression of time. I very much appreciate modern technology, but sometimes I wish we could have both, rather than having to choose one life or another.

I’m not entirely sure what my point is here. I guess, I want some small sensory comforts that have been seemingly lost, and I fear the day when these small comforts are gone forever.

Maybe it’s in part from my inferior Se. I tend to get so overwhelmed at times, and I need a way to use and validate the Se, while also not doing anything that pushes me too far to become overwhelming. And that’s probably the HSP part of me.

Sometimes I feel like I have so many moving pieces, so many different parts of myself. And I’m not sure who I am anymore. Maybe I never did. Isn’t that the stereotypical INFJ question: Who am I?

The thing is, we will never know. We will never be able to fully quantify what or who we are. Because we are many things, not just one thing, as comforting as being one thing may sometimes sound. But we, as humans, are always in flux, always in motion, always moving from one point in time to another. And with that movement, things change, we change.

We will never be a single definable thing. Names and labels might help some, but even the best of labels still can’t encompass or quantify all we truly are.

So, for now, I will enjoy just sitting back with these pages in my hands, the words to enjoy. Even if only for a moment, even if they drift from the page and into my mind, or the other way around, because words always leave an impact. They always leave a trace of where they’ve been, and what and who they’ve touched. Words themselves may be forgotten, but their substance, their life, will continue to live on in our hearts and in our minds.

Anxious Ramblings

I write when I’m depressed. I write when I’m anxious. I write when I feel like everything is pointless and I don’t know what to do. I berate myself for this because I tell myself I don’t write anything useful, just a bunch of ramblings on a page. But maybe it is still good for something.

I think I take it for granted that these different negative feelings push me toward expression. I know it doesn’t work that way for a lot of people, and in that, I’m one of the lucky ones. I think it’s just that my emotions are so overwhelming, good or bad, that I just have to have something to do with them.

Toward the middle of last year I had a point where I couldn’t do this, that I couldn’t create or express, and I just felt dead. During that time, my depression took on a different form. It was a restlessness that paralyzed me, and I couldn’t do anything at all.

I don’t know why I’m writing this right now. I’m in one of those weird states, feeling a subtle underlying anxiety. I know I need to just ride it out, that this too will pass, but I’m struggling with it. I just want it to go away and leave me alone.

But, for now, I’m stuck with it. And so I will write, because when I look this anxiety in the face, I have to tell it, “not today.”

Waves Of Depression

Depression comes in waves. I’m getting better at riding them out, having the conscious awareness that it isn’t real, and it will not last forever. It’s just about hanging on and enduring it until the calm moments come.

“I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship.– Louisa May Alcott

I’m less afraid now than I used to be. It isn’t pleasant, and at this point it feels like it’s more about patience than it is an active battle for my life. Maybe that helps. When we step back, all we see is the enemy swinging at nothing but air, and the blows can’t hurt us anymore.

But through this, I’ve become stronger. I’ve gained understanding for others who struggle, and I’m better able to manage and be aware of my own emotions. That doesn’t always come so easily.

Maybe these waves, these ups and downs, aren’t really as life threatening as they sometimes feel. Maybe these waves are what ultimately help stabilize us, as we find our sea legs, and get accustomed to the bobbing up and down so it no longer makes us sick.

I’m a very impatient person, but maybe there’s something beautiful in waiting.

Maybe, just maybe, learning to sail this ship, the vessel of ourselves, we become a better and stronger version of exactly who God intended us to be.

Identity Language

Who am I, when the world is spinning and I’m blinded so I cannot see? Patterns repeat themselves, over and over again, and I’m left hoping that at least it’s in an upward motion, the spiral the leads us inevitably to heaven.

I never feel like I’m speaking my native language. I always feel a bit odd, off, behind. If only my thoughts could be turned to words, to movement, going somewhere, anywhere. If only there was a way to understand, and to be understood. But how can I communicate when the language I’m speaking can never capture the world underneath?

INFJ’s seem to struggle the most with this concept, this ever present question asking who we are, and why are we here. I think everyone comes to this point sooner or later in their journey of life, and for some of us, there’s a ready made answer, or a canned response, for others, it’s just a muddled mess that we somehow can’t define. What captures the essence of who we are?

I realize I sound a bit pretentious. I don’t want that. I just want someone to understand me, because I can’t understand myself. It’s so much easier to be in tune with those around me, to focus on them, their issues, their joys, their feelings, because I don’t fully understand mine.

This is where therapy can help. And it has helped. I feel a lot more stable now than I was and I’m finally reaching a point where that ever present question doesn’t plague me like it used to. I’m feeling more at peace with the not knowing, I’m getting better at accepting that maybe who I am in this moment, is not who I will always be, and so can’t and doesn’t need to be defined as a single constant, and that’s probably a good thing. Always upward.

I’m learning who I am by letting go of who I wanted to be. The past is behind us, now it’s up to us to take a step forward.

Make Me Feel Real

Sometimes I seek out approval, always feeling like I’m not measuring up, never good enough, and I just need the external validation to make me feel real, to make me feel like I’m worth something.

Our worth and value can only come from God. I’m searching for outside approval, when the validation I need doesn’t lie with other humans, but it depends solely and completely on the God of all creation.

Sometimes I feel as though I’m a waste of space. Like I have nothing to offer and no value to give. So I look for proof.

If it was anyone else, I’d see the value. I find myself encouraging others to chase their ideas, and cultivate a vision, then when it comes to me I don’t even give weight to the things that others affirm in me. The problem goes much deeper.

It isn’t about needing more likes, or comments, or affirmation. It isn’t that I’m lacking approval and validation from others, it’s that I’m lacking approval and validation from myself, and so I’m unable to receive it, from those around me, but also, more detrimentally, from God.

Why can I see the value in others and I can’t see the value in myself?

I’m not even in a bad place right now, these are just thoughts. And I’m not sure if I’m even going to post this… But sometimes I feel lost, in desperate need of direction, and I don’t trust myself to find the answers. So I look at other people, what they’re doing, how they are, and I end up feeling worse about myself. Striving for approval because I need a way to measure what I’m worth. Why do I feel I need external proof? And why do I struggle to believe it when I do?

The answer is in God, in trusting Him. Trusting that I still have worth and value because I’m His. And the answer is in me, because I have to be willing to take an honest look at myself. Good as well as bad. The bad is easy, and I beat myself up with it quite frequently. The good… That’s a bit more difficult.

It’s probably pride to some degree. This false humility that’s really just another form of pride. Self-deprication for the sake of saying I’m self-aware. Those are two different things.

I’m well aware of my flaws (though I’m sure I also have blind spots), but I always seem to find a way to discredit any accomplishments, or appreciation, or validation. Why? Why is it so hard to accept a compliment at face value? And why am I willing to cut others down by telling them their opinion and perception of me is wrong, that they’re wrong, all because I’m insecure and can’t see the value in myself.

These are things I wrestle with. And I’m not sure I have an answer. It’s largely feelings based, and I don’t entirely know how to get around it. I suppose it’s something I need to continue to mull over, to think about, write about, and to take to God in prayer.

Self loathing comes easy. Does focusing on my flaws and allowing myself the pain make me feel real? Maybe. But why?

Grateful Heart

It’s another peaceful day. I’m so thankful for these times that God has blessed me with. I don’t always take time to be grateful, but I need to practice that more. My daily gratitude habit has turned more into a list tracking the good or noteworthy things of the day, this isn’t a bad thing, per se, but I’m really feeling the need to have a heart of gratitude and thankfulness.

We pray when there’s trouble, but how often do we pray when things are good? Do we regularly take time to just express our thankfulness to God for all the good things He’s done, for all He is, for all He’s created us to be? I know I don’t do this nearly enough, but I want to start.

There’s still an up and down that comes with life. But currently, it feels more like a gentle bobbing up and down rather than being thrashed around. I’m thankful for that. And it’s allowing me the clarity to really see the good things I have, and I have a lot to be thankful for!

I feel like I’m rambling now… But this is something I’ve been thinking about over the past couple days.

I also want to start showing my appreciation for the people in my life more than I currently do. I’m not entirely sure what form this will take. Maybe it will be kind words affirming the beauty I see, or maybe small tokens/gifts of appreciation. I want the people in my life to know how truly blessed I am by them. How much their presence means. I want them to know that they matter, and have a voice and influence.

How would the world be different if we appreciated the things we already have, rather than focusing on all the things we wish we had?

How do you incorporate gratitude and thankfulness into your everyday life?

Rainy Hope For The Future

I stare out the window and into the rain, it peacefully lulls me and I’m back in a different time, a different place. A place where I felt so much peace, and awe and wonder at God.

The rain holds many memories for me. I feel a deep connection to it. And It’s something I can’t fully explain. Then again, I feel like most things are things I can’t explain, and it leaves me feeling disconnected… From myself, from others, from God. Rain helps me feel a connection. It makes me feel safe. It makes me feel hope for the future, and contentment in the moment.

I’m inspired in a new way today. Or rather, in a way I thought I had lost. That in itself gives me hope and a quiet motivation. There’s great comfort in that.

This life isn’t set in stone. We can’t predict one moment or the next, but we do have hope. A hope that is solidly grounded and secure, because no matter what our future holds, we can know for certain the One who holds our future.

Times Not Trusting

I have ups and downs, I think we all do. But some of those downs are harder than others. There have been things recently that have reminded me of how far I’ve come. I’m not in the same situation I was even a year ago, and certainly not what I’d been in a few years ago. So why is it so hard to trust?

I think our egos get the better of us. We want to control things in order to feel safe, so we can feel like our world isn’t spinning out of control as we grasp tightly to anything and everything we think might free and save us. But if I’m being honest, the things I cling to aren’t always right, or good.

God has ultimate power and authority, so why is it that we struggle to trust, despite seeing all the worse things He’s already brought us through? I think it’s just an aspect of human nature. Sometimes we see the worst, and expect it. Past or future. I don’t want to live my life like that anymore.

I’m tired of feeling like I’m drowning and God’s blind to me. But maybe during these times it’s me who’s blind to Him. Always reaching out, always offering the encouragement of truth. Always longing, for a loving embrace.

Sometimes I stay stuck in myself, in my head, and I don’t let others in. Sometimes it’s for me, sometimes for them. I don’t want to be the dark cloud raining on everyone else’s parade, and so I hide. I retreat as if locking me away is the answer. And I realize on some level that’s still buying into the lie. The lie that says I am the poison. And I don’t want to destroy. So I destroy myself instead.

And really, I’m not fully trusting God with me. I know I’ve grown, and will continue to, but sometimes it feels like it’s not enough. I want more. I want that love to be made real in my life. I’m so tired of waiting.

Keeping my eyes on my sin, on my failure, on my darkness, only keeps my eyes from Christ. So, ironically, by trying to not be selfish, and not take up space, I become more self-centered than I can handle.

I’m so thankful for God’s grace, and His patience with me, even when I have none with myself. He is faithful. And He cannot deny Himself.