Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Friend-Chemistry

Have you known that one, or that group, as you are extending your hand to greet them for the first time, you can tell. That sparkle in their eye that matches the one in your own eye, the upward smirk of knowing? The comfort that is between you with no barriers and no walls to chip away, it's the I-get-it-ness that is lit up between you two? It's like you've known them for years and carry on like you've seen the ends of the earth with them, but you're embarrassed to say exactly how long you've known each other because it's only been a measly summer or even a week. I call this friend chemistry, where there isn't much else you can attribute this bond to, but pure instinct and gut feelings. There isn't a pattern or a type of people who you have this instant bond with, it just is. You keep going in this direction of discovering more about each other because there is no shame or bashfulness to hinder you from delving into each other's lives.

Then, there is what I call friend lust, the one you want to know, but there isn't the common ground you can both put your feet upon. You by all unexplainable magnetism, are drawn to a particular person, but can't get to know them because you just desperately want them to like you. You are careful to say, you become to reserved and frozen and it's more work than you like. That tension will either be shed when that commonality is found and eventually drop all mysticism to find that you are kindred spirits after all, or on the flip side, that tension builds up to resentment of not being able to climb over the wall, then your friendship dies, this is the friend lust that never blooms. This is a little embarrassing to say, but I've had girls talk about me to other girls, say hi to me with bashful batting of the eyes, but neither of us had the courage to approach each other because of the tension that had been built. I couldn't face the possibility that she discover I'm not as great as she had imagined or pictured from a far.

Most of us find our friendships in the common ground, where there is no spark or urgency of friend lust, but an unsuspecting two, who've spend time, place and even a cause to look away to, and eventually, your eyes meet, your souls meet. Friend Chemistry is a dream, to find ones that don't need explanation or caveats, but you just know. However, there is no replacement for walking with someone through a struggle, spending long nights talking and exchanging basic information about yourselves, letting them see the good, the bad, the weird sides of you, or just letting time pass and have at least the lapsed years under your belts. I'd love to fast forward time, conversations, jokes and tears to be at a place of complete utopia of friendship with someone, but then again, the slow forming of memories and the present-ness of being with one another is the friendship isn't it?

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Perfect Struggle

"With a heavy burden of her younger sibling on the back, this young native H'mong girl of Sapa, Vietnam, braves the treacherous mountainous terrain alone everyday in freezing temperatures on a long journey to the nearby town, in hopes of finding any forms of labour for much needed money and supplies." Artist comment: ~renegade150

I had a conversation with a girl I met recently and she gave me a quote that her girlfriend had once told her "God gives each of us the perfect struggle." I couldn't think of another quote more right and more complete than this one statement about hardships. It's amazing to me that each of our struggle makes us the exact person we are to be, if we don't let it break us. There is a girl that people would call "baby whisperer" but she can't physically conceive. It seems ironic and even unfair that she, who would be a wonderful mother cannot bare a child. All this seen from a bigger eternal perspective, we can see that God has put aside this "baby whisperer" for his precious orphans, who he gives double blessings because they are fatherless and motherless. Is it possible, that he chose to keep this woman saved, not to give to her own biological children, but the love she is capable of is reserved for adoption?

I know another who lost her father early in her life and she has struggled with a mother who needed her to be the husband. She had to be practical in selecting her future so she became a teacher and supported herself and her mother throughout her adulthood. We've concluded together that she conceived a child with such ease and went through such a pleasant pregnancy because God would give her a chance to redeem her childhood through this baby. She says "he knows..."

He knows that if I were to lose my father early on in childhood, I would lose all identity and worth in myself. He understood that the men in my life have shaped the way I view myself and the value given to me. I see that my father, even though flawed in may ways, has loved me with such passion and tenderness, I've become the woman I am. I cannot judge girls who are promiscuous and insecure because I can easily see myself there without the proper reminder of how a boy is to treat a girl. He also knows that I am capable of loving ones that are not my own, that I'm not bent on having biological children. He knows that despite my protest and denial, I do fall in love easily, charmed easily and free to give of myself, so I was given to wed early to prevent much heartbreak. Many of our struggles may not have obvious reasons or we may not even see those reason for a long time to come, but we must remember...

Our perfect Father has given us our Perfect struggles.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Off to the Gym!

For the last three months, I have been enrolled in a program called Boot camp at my gym, yes it's just as it sounds. It's pretty rigorous and a little harsh on the body, but I've endured thus far. This group meets every day, five days a week for one hour, over 12 weeks or 3 months. Over the course of those months, I've incurred various and multiple injuries, such as the common bruising to my knees and legs, cuts, scrapes, and even a bum knee, and just recently I've been subjected to two very painful blisters on each of my palms. I call these my Stigmata marks. It's been brought to my attention that I should really explain myself and let the public (or just my friends) know , the reasoning behind falling into such ranks. I have to admit, I did hear the common query of "WHY are you doing this?!" I was thoroughly confused by this question and asked, "why not?" Ok, I guess I'll unpack my thoughts here.

I literally exercise for my health. I'll start with that. I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and was prescribed anti-depressants to remedy this, but the drugs made me feel dopey. I had to find a better way to live, so I did a lot of research. I found that many people had cured their ailment with diet and exercise (which is a cure all)! It worked! So why the intensity? Why not the consistent jog that is seemingly a sufficient way to keep pain at bay? Yes, I don't really need to exercise with such rigor, but I found another thing about working out. The more you exercise, the more you increase in endurance, so when I did join Boot Camp, I was at a stagnant level and needed a boost. Now, It seems, I am doomed to do more and more and more...or just regress.

I also discovered that when I'm at Boot Camp, I completely lose myself in the work out, it's hard to think of anything when the task at hand requires every thing you are! There's no energy to think about the drama in your life or ponder the deepest depths of your soul, you just DO. This is a welcome rest for my mind since my thoughts are swirling all the time, and at times, the most therapeutic " zoning out" happens, where you are staring out in the distance without noticing that fly entering into your open mouth.

Last and not not least, I really do enjoy the challenge, not only is it a physical challenge, but mental. I discovered that when I'm mentally weak and think I can't perform the task, I fall behind. I am training my mind to overcome the physical pain and remember that it's only one hour of my life. The discipline actually helps me do tasks I don't like to do outside of Boot Camp. And, I would also like to add..."I just like it ok?!"

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wendy Beckons

Peter Pan is one of my favorite movies. It speaks for more than just a childhood fairy tale, but the author, J. M. Barrie was also struck with tragedies that caused his mother to forget him and would lead him to want to remain a child forever. I never really thought much of it as a child, in my innocence, I merely saw it as an adventure with Peter Pan as the Hero and main character. As I revisit Peter Pan, I now see that Peter Pan's true focus and Heroine is Wendy Darling. Peter Pan, is really about the girl that loved him and left him so that she can grow up, to move on, to heal and forget. I think all of us girls can identify with Wendy in that she fell in love with a boy that resolved to stay true to himself, but could not be the man she needed him to be. Also in that Wendy's father became the villain only because he was the embodiment of what Peter refused to be. For a moment, Wendy also saw her father in the same light as Peter, grown up, too serious, and in that moment, couldn't see that he was this way for the sake of loving his wife and providing for his children. Even after her mother tells her that her father once had dreams of his own, that he too is brave in his own way, but he became selfless and put them away in a drawer so that he can be a true hero to his family. Once in a while though, he opens that drawer to look at his forgot dreams, but never so irresponsible as to reclaim them again. At the moment of weakened relationship between Wendy and her father, Peter Pan, the antithesis of the person challenging Wendy to grow up had appeared and in the most charming and alluring way, literally whisked her off of her feet. Peter Pan beckoned her to a place of everything pure of childhood.

Peter: Forget them, Wendy. Forget them all. Come with me where you'll never, never have to worry about grown up things again.
Wendy: Never is an awfully long time.

Isn't Peter the ultimate boy? Brave, charming, curious and truly believes 1 girl is worth more than 20 boys? One who darts up to fight his enemies powered only by her one kiss? His boyish charms and sense of excitement had completely overthrown Wendy's levelheaded sensibility and she flew out the window with him, all with the risk of being forgotten by her mother and father. It's that short period of bliss, you forget your mom and dad, or where things will go, you are enamored and enthralled by the magic and carefree abandonment, all because he has his eyes on you.

Once darkness falls, once responsibility that befalls on you from loving and caring for another dawns on your horizon, Peter Pan shows the shortcomings of childhood. The charm of leaving it all behind rears it's childish ways and Wendy starts to wake from her dreams. This time, Wendy beckons Peter Pan out of his juvenile world and tries to call him home, but she's met with a refusal and denial. Wendy realizes there's much more of adulthood than just responsibility and seriousness, but one can come to the true sense of love, life, and so much more, things a child would never understand. She continues to probe him with questions and tries to lead him in to a deeper sense of love, but he refuses to go there, because he's deficient, because he's just a boy. In Neverland Peter Pan defeats Hook, the dark side of all things grown up, but not wanting to grow up and to have fun in reality is his biggest pretend.

Wendy: Peter, I'm sorry I must grow up...
[Hook grabs her]
Wendy: [to Hook] It is just a thimble.
Captain Hook: By all means my beauty, give Peter Pan your precious thimble.
Wendy: This belongs to you and always will.
[Kisses Peter]

Friday, August 14, 2009

I'm an INFP

Recently a lot of people have been taking the Myers-Briggs personality test on facebook and it's strangely accurate. Then you do more research and find that it's gets more and more strange because it's as though they have some micro spy in you that told them exactly the person you are. The Romance of a counselor, a healer, teacher it's wildly specific and even down to what kind of jobs really fulfill each personality type. For example, the childhood description of of my personality category says that INFP's often dream themselves as prince and princesses, but that is often frowned upon. While having lunch with a few of the co-irkers here we went around and stated our dream jobs. One said, mercenary (can you guess who?), one said rock star and I said that I wanted to be a princess! And immediately they made faces of distaste and judgment, but I had to explain that it wasn't just to be an embodiment of a stereotypical princess per se, but I wanted to be free to be an ambassador and have missions without the financial or social burdens of a civilian. Princess are expected to be ambassadors and humanitarians!

One of my girlfriends tested out to be an Extrovert NFJ as well as Introvert NFJ in various situations, but when reading both descriptions of jobs she would gravitate toward, it is congruent and does not contradict itself. She posed a good question, "How can this be? How can people be the same?" I really don't have an answer to this, but maybe because when everything is boiled down, we are human beings, species that react in predictable ways to certain situations. We even label certain people as "inappropriate" if they laugh at a starving child or "weird" if they slap someone across the face for opening a door for them.

So why are we so interested in categorizing, analyzing, and knowing our own personalities? Simple! It's part base narcissism, taking selfish interest in ourselves, part introspection and part wanting to understand each other so that we can maybe treat people with a caveat to why they react in certain ways. To give them the benefit of doubt so that we can dwell and roam the earth like an evolved group of species rather than like our primate cousins. We were given the ability to think and evolve even from drinking from our mother's teet to eating a civilized meal with a fork and knife, I think we have the responsibility to learn of our talents and heal, teach, counsel and lead the world.


Idealist Portrait of the Healer (INFP)

Healers present a calm and serene face to the world, and can seem shy, even distant around others. But inside they're anything but serene, having a capacity for personal caring rarely found in the other types. Healers care deeply about the inner life of a few special persons, or about a favorite cause in the world at large. And their great passion is to heal the conflicts that trouble individuals, or that divide groups, and thus to bring wholeness, or health, to themselves, their loved ones, and their community.

Healers have a profound sense of idealism that comes from a strong personal sense of right and wrong. They conceive of the world as an ethical, honorable place, full of wondrous possibilities and potential goods. In fact, to understand Healers, we must understand that their deep commitment to the positive and the good is almost boundless and selfless, inspiring them to make extraordinary sacrifices for someone or something they believe in. Set off from the rest of humanity by their privacy and scarcity (around one percent of the population), Healers can feel even more isolated in the purity of their idealism.

Also, Healers might well feel a sense of separation because of their often misunderstood childhood. Healers live a fantasy-filled childhood-they are the prince or princess of fairy tales-an attitude which, sadly, is frowned upon, or even punished, by many parents. With parents who want them to get their head out of the clouds, Healers begin to believe they are bad to be so fanciful, so dreamy, and can come to see themselves as ugly ducklings. In truth, they are quite OK just as they are, only different from most others-swans reared in a family of ducks.

At work, Healers are adaptable, welcome new ideas and new information, are patient with complicated situations, but impatient with routine details. Healers are keenly aware of people and their feelings, and relate well with most others. Because of their deep-seated reserve, however, they can work quite happily alone. When making decisions, Healers follow their heart not their head, which means they can make errors of fact, but seldom of feeling. They have a natural interest in scholarly activities and demonstrate, like the other Idealists, a remarkable facility with language. They have a gift for interpreting stories, as well as for creating them, and thus often write in lyric, poetic fashion. Frequently they hear a call to go forth into the world and help others, a call they seem ready to answer, even if they must sacrifice their own comfort.

Princess Diana, Richard Gere, Audrey Hephurn, Albert Schweiter, George Orwell, Karen Armstrong, Aldous Huxley, Mia Farrow, and Isabel Meyers are examples of a Healer Idealists.


http://www.keirsey.com/handler.aspx?s=keirsey&f=fourtemps&tab=3&c=healer

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Getting to know you



Do you know? I wait in anticipation for your word to affirm me? It's as though in a picture, I stand completely still while the world moves on, I can't join the movement until I've heard.

Do you know I'm just waiting for more glimpses? To see you at your best, your worst, at your most comfortable? I want you to know you can be that before my eyes and not be ashamed.

Do you know? I'm not myself, I'm inside my head, counting and recounting, tracing and retracing my steps, to see if I've done just the right thing to be lovable in your eyes. I can't see myself the way I did before I knew you...I doubt my words, I doubt my actions and not because you would judge me, but because I want you to love me.

Do you know? When I'm with my close friends I wonder, why can't I be like this when I'm around you?

I want this time to pass quickly, for us to have known each other to be at a place where both of us feel as though we can be exactly who we are in front of one another. Not remembering the past burns, rubbing away the debris of hurt from each other's faces. To know, you and me, we can be an oasis for one another. I want to fast forward all the chit chat of laying a foundation of knowing someone, the awkward pauses, treading on ice not knowing whether its the thick part of the pond or the thin; trying not to fall through it and plunge into the cold.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Keep it to yourself, if you want to be polite.

I'm not quite sure why I'm beginning to remember these critical moments from the past that is defining how I interact with people today, but I am. After the devastating interaction with the scary girls of the tribunal, I had to cling on to at least one person that would defend me and understand me. I thought I found that one, but he had just as many questions and accusatory judgments on me as the girls of the tribunal. He was suppose to be the one that knew enough to say, "she doesn't have those intentions" "Her love is pure and not hidden with arsenal," he didn't do this for me, but nevertheless, he was all I had. Just like today, I had swirls of thoughts filling my head with no place to find release, the noise in my head makes me frazzled and I can't hear, can't focus. During a soccer game at school, I had sat next to a girl that was sweet in disposition and felt like I could land my feet on her soul that seemed like an Oasis. I had started to tell her how difficult it's been in school, learning that people can't be trusted with your words or your feelings and how nice it was to be talking to her, to have this release.

Later that day, I had learned that this oasis had been a sinking ship, she told my boyfriend how rude it was to have someone that she just met spill her guts to her like she was a paid therapist. He reprimanded me, reinforcing what she said, "keep those things to yourself, don't burden others with your feelings." I'd learned a lesson that day. Keep it to yourself, if you want to be polite. I know this is wrong and I am honored any time someone shares their deepest of thoughts with me, because I know how difficult it is to be vulnerable with people. I know this mentality is wrong, but I still hold it up like it's the pillar of truth, but because of this lesson, I am increasingly ingrown and reclusive not allowing anyone to really know what I feel. I've been pushing those I actually love away so that I can be protected from rebuke and to be polite.

Burden of Knowing

In College, I had been completely inundated with things I have not known as a sprite teen. I'd been blind to hate, jealousy, and judgment, and padded by love, acceptance and the freedom to be who I am. There were very little I knew about the interactions of people and the games they played so that they could feel just a little bit better than others, to have the upper hand. I had first known jealousy of girls who were not my friends and who didn't know anything about me when I was a 2 week old freshman. They had "kidnapped" me to their upper-classman apartment off campus, cajoling me to come over under the false pretenses that they wanted to get to know me. When I had gotten there they had sat me down in front of their tribunal and asked me series of questions I was not prepared to answer. "who do you think you are?" "Are you going to continue to seal attention all the time?" "where did you even come from?" I hadn't known that I was doing anything to cause such contention for I'd only been on campus for less than 2 weeks! After being dropped off, I locked myself in my dorm room afraid they'd stand me before the tribunal again, giving me laws to abide by benefiting the social lives of the girls that felt threatened by an 18 year old girl.

To say the least, I had lost confidence in friendship and human kind, naive and sensitive to criticism, that one hour of interrogation had been a scar too deep to rub away. Since then, I had not found a place to rest my wings, a dry place to land. Flying here and there, scanning the land to see if there were one patch of oasis I could call sanctuary. Once you know, you've seen the ugliness of jealousy and judgment, you see it in people always, even if they are kind and don't have any intention of hurting you. You've been jaded into thinking that all human being ultimately are ill fitting for any loving relationship that is pure. You begin to think that they have alternative agendas, hidden motives and secret judgments against you even as they smile and say kind words.