7/08/2018 - 1 Peter 1:22 'Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.'
The simplest truths are the most powerful. One such has impressed itself on me recently in several of the situations I am working in. If you have been reading these Insights for a while now, you will be familiar with it. We all have at least two very distinct people living within us. How those two people interact greatly influences how we live our lives.
If we value our relationships it is not an option as to whether we go fully into our introvert, explore it and set up our HQ there. Failure to do so leads to frustration and possible eventual break up of relationships. I have seen wives rightly pleading with their husbands to be allowed into their hearts; children looking to their parents for an open heart and parents to their children. The quality of everything that matters depends on it.
Our emotional health depends on it. Panic attacks, depression, chronic anxiety and negative flashbacks all have their roots in the failure to live in the depths of our hearts.
We have a choice to make. Do we start to understand, explore and experience our introvert or do we stay where we are? We can push further outwards in our extrovert – try more travelling, buy more things, meet more people – nothing wrong with any of that – or we do the difficult thing and begin to explore who we really are. It isn’t about navel-gazing but about having the courage to go into the part of us that we may well have closed down years ago. Some people can pinpoint the exact time and place when they decided that living in their introvert was too painful, so they opted out. Over the years, I have sat with people as it has dawned on them that there is another wonderful side to who they are that has been neglected for many years. For many, those conversations have come about as a result of breakdowns or life-changing struggles. Isn’t it better to choose to go there before the storm hits and the lack of foundation is exposed?
It isn’t always as stark and obvious as that. I know a lady who was asked to pick up a friend early one morning and take her to the station. Being a meticulous lady, she set her alarm carefully to ensure she had plenty of time. She had a dream that night that she had slept through the alarm, woke up in a panic, dashed off to pick up her friend, only to miss the train and ruin the lady’s day. Now none of that happened – it was all a dream. She was up in good time, got her friend comfortably to the station and all was well – but the awful emotions she experienced in the dream stayed with her all day – as powerfully as if they were true! Click to read the article 'Do your feelings tell the truth?'
Our introverts have their own narrative, drawn from that combination of nature, nurture and choices and unless we interrupt and challenge that narrative we live according to those emotions and not according to the truth. The narrative can be in the form of low self-worth, fear of getting it wrong, anxiety and so on. This lady’s fears of missing that train overshadowed her day until she dealt with them quite specifically. That is what I mean by going into the introvert and facing, processing and even challenging what is going on in there. Then we can be free to truly live, to have an accurate perspective and to ‘love one another deeply, from the heart.’