During my life I have been given the following labels: Introvert, Sensitive, Loner, Quiet, Shy, Disconnected. These are the core labels and I am sure there are many others. At this point in my life, I feel like those labels are actually symptoms which don't align with the suggested life path we are asked to follow. My judgement is, I live in a world that expects me to fit a prescribed mould. It's no wonder that I spent so much time feeling anxious and overwhelmed.
I guess this is the source of all the "shoulding". My Inner Critic loved this territory. You should be more extroverted. You should be more outgoing. You should be more vocal. You should have more friends. Like a broken record that played on and on and on. It's really no surprise that there are so many with a belief called "I am not good enough".
The most heartbreaking violence, is the violence that we do to ourselves, when we are too afraid to be who we really are." ~ Unknown
Fast forward to now. I am continuously exploring a new awareness. "I get to be ME" This awareness puts a big old smile on my face from ear to ear. I have shed all the heavy expectations of who I thought I should be. Ahhh freedome. I now know that my true nature is to be present to what I need. My inner child is so happy about this awareness. All of my unique ways of being are welcome. These unique ways of being were present when I was a young boy. My true nature was and is to be present, curious, connected and joyful.
My labels redefined:
Introvert ~ means that I am really connected to my inner world. This connection allows me to authentically connect to my outer world.
Sensitive ~ means that I intensely feel; myself, others and the world around me. It means I have insight, knowing and compassion.
Loner ~ means I know when to step away and re-charge. I know when I need connection from others and when I need to take a step back and re-connect to myself because I have given much to those around me.
Quiet ~ means that I am observing the world around me. Processing and feeling my surroundings.
Shy ~ means that I have a tender heart and a tremendous amount of love to share. Sometimes trust will come a little slower.
Disconnected ~ means that I am very aware of my shadow. I know that even though I crave meaningful connection in my life, I create a story of disconnection. In order to be safe my inner child needed to disconnect. There is a tension between connection and disconnection.
The beautiful truth is that we are all different. It is our differences that make the world such an interesting place. We need to have opposite ways of being in order to experience our own ways of being. When we honour our individual ways of being we can also honour others ways of being.
~Most people are afraid of suffering. But suffering is a kind of mud to help the lotus flower of happiness grow. There can be no lotus flower without the mud.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh