What the INFJ?
It’s a hard world for a second guess girl
With one hand and another
I try to take it in but it leaves me spinning
Trying to love my sister & brother…
- Second Guess Girl; Sara Groves
As a second guess girl comfort is a foreign language. The war rages, whispers mount in deep recesses – everything becomes challenging. As if navigating a ship without sails or rudder, I become an untethered play thing to be tossed at the wave’s folly. The ache of insecurity seeps deep, rotting the hull, creating holes that cannot be patched with pitch. Abandoning ship, I sink deep into the inky blackness, salt preserving alabaster – a shell of what I always thought I would be.
The outcome is the point. Trust in safety. Adventure needs to be measured with security. “You cannot live to keep yourself safe,” my counselor said. I don’t want a “safe life”. The fear of being found out. I know I’m too much. It is just a matter of time before everyone sees my skirts. They see the inner workings - the darkness that keeps me warm at night murmuring, “hush baby; sleep tight.”
As I turned the corner there she sat like a princess in robes of fire. Her delicate frame shivered on the breeze. She sat amidst the ordinary & blazed. A shock of red so brilliant a scream befell my lips. I was overtaken by opulence. This lone tree, small in stature, displayed her plumage long before it was expected of her. Others clung to their summer green with iron fist. Drops of red dotted a leaf here and there. They fought the change, death, & risked the greatest joy in the process. I want be that beautiful tree! I want to blaze!
“He says I can give you his number.”
Deep pools of pain well in my eyes, it was too much. I felt smothered. I was being smothered.
“That is too fast,” I mumbled. “I don’t want to do that.”
She sat a bit wide eyed, this beautiful friend of mine.
“It’s okay. But, that wasn’t a normal reaction. It’s okay, though. I love you. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.”
I cannot begin to express the gratitude I feel that this wonderful friend was with me during my complete freak out. I don’t know anyone else who could have talked me off the ledge, given me a dose of honesty, & equally encouraged me. She didn’t freak or run, but we talked…about what happened, about other things. There is a stunted disconnect with reality & my point of view. The scope narrows - a pinprick of light instead of the vast expanse.
My personality is INFJ: introversion, intuition, feeling, judging. This means I keep things close to the cuff. I have a hard time expressing myself through spoken word & excel in the written word. I seek perfection not only in myself, but others, and situations. I want deep meaningful relationships, and don’t do much surface. I struggle with trust, but I am loyal & determined to show people how wonderfully great they are. I have always felt different, sometimes wrong from everyone else. I don’t quite fit. While this may be my illusion, it feels painfully real.
There’s so much I want to share with the world. I want to find my “glorious purpose.” Yet, I struggle with the ideal outcome and balk at conflict. It literally makes me feel sick when I fail. Even when I succeed and it is a good day, sometimes putting the perception I think people want to see leaves me exhausted. I do need to be alone, but loneliness can creep in like a sweet tongued liar. She sighs with all of my insecurities, dripping her inky blackness over my skin.
My counselor wanted me to take a personality test. Irony was not lost; I was readily apt to believe all of the negatives of my personality & quickly dismiss that I am someone that draws people in - a passionate spiritual & tenacious person who will stop at nothing to achieve those things that are like fire in my bones.
I loathe roller coasters. The break neck speeds, twists, turns - the uncertainty of those buggers. My stomach drops. I get apprehensive just thinking about them. I don’t adventure that way: sky diving, mountain climbing, swimming with sharks. I still have anxiety about the time I zip lined; true story.
Oh, but how I am an adventurer. I love going on adventures. My adventures. My heart drinks them down with heady satisfaction. The Renaissance Festival, exploring a part of the world I’ve never been before, going to the movies by myself, hiking, not knowing what might be unearthed around the next bend. I don’t fear these adventures, I revel in them.
Much of my life has been lived planning for a safe outcome. I don’t want to let anyone down, mostly myself (how egocentric can I be?). I don’t play the fool well. Yet, most of my life I have felt foolish. Relationships are hard for me to navigate. I am not a spur of the moment gal. Interactions with men, especially, can be painfully awkward. In real talk, I have a hard time making eye contact with them for fear of rejection. I have never been in a relationship. It’s strange at 37 years of age. Do I feel like a freak? Sometimes.
I seek to live as authentically as I can. I want this second season of life to be abundantly rich. While, I don’t need the end result to be an intimate, spiritual, physical relationship with a man, I don’t want to be afraid to interact with them.
I expect more from this life than just a 9 to 5 job and a good 401k. The first step is to stop being so damn perfect. We are all a mess. My friend’s reaction to my mess that night was refreshing. She will never know what it meant to have her confidence and love in such an uncontrollable moment.
So I choose to sit with my uncomfortableness as a friend instead of foe:
“Be comfortable with your uncomfortableness…
Shift your paradigm of uncomfortableness. View it as an ally, not an enemy. Quit kidding yourself that doubt & fear do not sit in the back row; they are there, but they sit behind strength, courage, & love. Release those tears from lost loves and let them fall, one by one. Trace those scars of the past, slowly, with your finger – and feel the healing as you do. Do not feel ashamed or embarrassed. Quite the opposite, dear one…quite the opposite, indeed.”
- “The Uncomfortable Manifesto”, Carol Dunton, Bella Grace Magazine