Updated: Oct 10, 2019
For my birthday yesterday, I received these socks from my college-and-current friend Kelly.
I thought it was very funny because I have almost bought these for my teenage daughter like three times. But I never would have bought them for myself.
I'm married to an introvert, and raising one. But I'm an extrovert in the extreme. On every personality test I take -- Meyers Briggs and beyond -- it's the category in which I score highest.
But I love these socks (and the key chain she sent with them, "Peace Love Quilt"), because they were like a sign from God. I need a little peace and quiet.
Many people think that introverts don't like people. That's not true. They love [the right] people, they just need to be away from people to recharge. Extroverts are energized by people; we can get lathargic and lazy if we spend too much time alone. It's hilarious to watch my husband and I when we come home from a party. He falls asleep on the couch. I'm up for hours.
But there's something I can learn from the introvert. When my daughter was about two years old, we'd be at a play date and she'd get overstimulated. She'd go find her stuffed rabbit, climb up on the corner of the couch, and suck her thumb. All the kids would keep running around in front of her; but she knew how to self-regulate, remove herself and recharge.
Even in my extreme love of people and stimulation, I can burn out. I can get addicted to contact. I almost NEVER make the decision to disconnect. I need to shut down, power off, and be alone more often.
One of my favorite stories about God is in Exodus, when he tells Moses and the Israelites to go ahead into the promised land without him, because they've been so whiny that he's tired of it, and says if he spends any more time with them, he's going to have to destroy them. Moses talks him out of it by repenting for the people.
Now, I know I'm not God. But if God can get overstimulated, I mean, come on. I definitely need to notice when it's the "time to refrain from embracing."(Ecclesiastes 3:5) Or refrain from posting or scrolling. Or not answer the phone. We ALL need to do that, especially during times of stress and high emotion.
Before I got into recovery, every time I got emotional I had to get right onto the phone. And if a really safe friend wasn't available to process those feelings with, I'd go down the contacts list until I got SOMEONE to answer the phone. It was a very bad habit. If you're an extrovert and can relate, let me give you the gentle reminder that sometimes less is more in terms of stimulation. You might get energized by people. But sometimes less energy is what you need, girl.
This last week was not the time to refrain from contact with the world. With the book launch and all my necessary social media interactions, I wanted and needed to be fully plugged in. (Plus it was my birthday, and I like all the love via text.) I've got some fun Facebook Live interviews coming up (Check out my Facebook page Heart in Training), blogs coming out, and speaking engagements coming up.
But somewhere in the midst of that, I'm going to follow my daughter's example, put on my socks, make a cup of tea, and introvert. I won't suck my thumb, I don't think, but instead let myself just breath, take it all in, and say thank you to God for all that's swirling on around me.