Thursday, May 26, 2016

Loving the Loner Life, Happy Hermit, Revelling Recluse and Enneagram 4 with 5 Wing.

The general population is made up of Extroverts, Guardians, and Artisans. Our culture implies it is normal to be politically, economically, socially and spiritually 'connected' to be 'healthy.' Often the definitions of Recluse, Loner or Hermit can be a mixed bag of typically negative assumptions. Thus my main motivation in writing this post. 

My favourite slang dictionary is the Urban Dictionary. It has fun little assumptions mixed in with the current understanding of lingo today. For instance, the top voted definition for Recluse (CLICK) is "Often times a person who rather than being crazy, is merely beyond tired of and fed up with the blatant narcissism, rudeness, ignorance, stupidity, cruelty, fakeness, hatred, etc. of the human race and chooses to detoxify themselves from the vices societies are swimming in to a greater extent than most. Often times recluses have been known to possess extraordinary genius, talent, and/or vision often mistaken as abnormality and eccentricity by the adherents of a culture's status quo. Standard Sheeple #1: "My brother's wanting social life is an embarrassment to our entire family when we all get together for Super Bowl Sunday and he never shows up. An antisocial recluse the man is." Standard Sheeple #2: "Dude, what's his problem? If our brainwashed, plastic, shallow, unhealthy, overly-indulgent, mindless, vacuous, and materialistic culture isn't good enough for him then maybe he should go see a shrink and get on some pills to set him back in line with the rest of us normal and adjusted people."

This quote by Mark Twain resonates,"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority - it's time to pause and reflect." Or Bertrand Russell's,"Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric."

I get a kick out of the Urban definition above. I relate to most of it. I enjoy the biting sarcasm because my harmony co pilot would never allow me to make a statement like that without thoughts of hurting people, but I do THINK stuff like that sometimes...and then I re balance myself. This fact is probably why I blast John Lennon's 'Gimme Some Truth' when I am frustrated, singing at the top of my lungs, "I'm sick to death of  hearing things from uptight, short sighted, narrow minded hypocrites... seeing things from tight lipped, condescending, mamma's little chauvinists." After I calm down, I correct my thinking to embrace all perspectives because perspectives is my driving thought process as an INFJ.

In the end, I come out with the conclusions that each of us need to live our own stories within our personalities while still challenging and growing our best selves. However, I savour being a recluse. "Don't worry about making waves simply by being yourself- the moon does it all the time."- Scott Stable

I want to make it clear that I am harsher on society as a whole than individual people. This sums it up well, " INFJ- INFJs try very hard not to be judgmental towards others. They often judge themselves much harder than they do others, and have a way of being very hard on themselves. INFJs do not want to be seen as judgmental, and have a strong distaste of causing others pain. The only time an INFJ may appear judgmental is if they see that someone is going to hurt themselves or others. Their intentions are purely to help the other person, but people often misunderstand where the INFJ are coming from. INFJs have a strong intuitive sense and often can predict when someone is going down a bad path. Their attempts to reach out to those people, are not from a place of judgment but rather caring. INFJs are more judgmental towards society as a whole than they are towards specific people. They can often see the good in people, but become angry towards the way society behaves." (found HERE.)

How do I manage to live a hermit lifestyle emerged in town life and a family system? I realize I have a unique way of living. Other than my children, husband and best friend I can go weeks without seeing any other human. I stay in my home a lot. When I go out, I generally know which places to go to avoid socialization or recognition. I don't include my children, husband and bestie in my definitions of socialization. To me they are just the fabric of my existence and the needed support in my life. In that I am not completely a hermit but I am a loner (click- love this definition too!) I don't need anyone, including my inner circle, to validate my existence. I KNOW I am worthy to exist.

I know what I am about. That said, I do need support. I have a sage like presence in my life that I see once a month for balance. I keep the general appointments that are needed to run a basic family. My children see the Dentist, Doctor, Ophthalmologist, Therapist, friends and extended family. (I unschool my children.) However, I make sure that I schedule these in such a way that they are often all in the same week so that for months on end I can be alone. Or I delegate someone else to deal with it. I make myself scarce. For friendships in my children, I often have the friends to our house, so that I can still be in my own world but arrange social interactions for the kids when they need them. Baruch Spinoza wrote,"The more clearly you understand yourself and your emotions, the more you become a lover of what is." I find this true. I LOVE what IS, because I understood what I need to be me.
"I love the person I have become because I fought to become her"- Kaci Diane.
I LOVE this (click) definition of Hermit: "I don't know how a Hermit is synonymous with loser or lazy but whatever. Anyway, Hermits are people who tend to not want to socialize with other humans all the time. Most spend their entire lives wandering the planet. Like they do tend to make friends, and associates, and can pretty much network with anyone, but they choose not to go any further than a hollow friendship. Though they do run in to the best Platonic relationships. Hermits, and loners are not socially inept, but hermits tend to not like to stay in the same place for very long....Thus not permitting the time it actually takes to be in some kind of crappy group or something like that. Hermits are alone. Though they are alone they have no problem with socializing with people, but they chose a life that leaves them alone."
I can network with anyone if I wish to. I realize in order to BE, I have to have some basic interactions. I also see the privileges this day and age brings, wherein my monastery is technically online. My fellow monks that I see from time to time are on my social media. I don't need to walk miles to see another person. I don't have to wait for dedicated silence days to be over to interact if I wish. I simply don't wish to socialize with many people. I like to stay in the same place because of sensory issues but I travel in my mind. I value rootedness. I choose a life that requires many to jump through hoops to get to me. This sways most of the population, which makes me very happy. 
Many assume that loners or the like have given up on humanity. Which could be true in some cases, but generally it's the opposite. Most like minded individuals I know carry deep burdens for society. We are generally Humanitarians. We use our writings to try to make change, garner self acceptance, or validate messy existence. Not all of us are this way of course, but it would be just as ridiculous to assume we are all lazy, self absorbed and unbalanced. 
"A Hermit is someone who enjoys doing things on their own away from groups. Hermits are always busy with so many things they want to do on their own that they rarely make time for social gatherings. Many have high IQ's and are bored and unchallenged in social settings. They want to do what they want to do. Uninterrupted and unbothered. Often driven and very successful in knowledge and achievements in science & arts & philosophy (think Einstein)~ For instance hermits prefer reading a book on the beach then chugging beer at a beach party. ~ They would prefer Riding a horse in the mountains to going to a camp sing-a-long. ~ Internet classes instead of a campus. ~ Cooking a gourmet dinner for a romantic date instead of Going to a Restaurant. ~ Internet surfing instead of myspace/twitter. Albert Einstein Quote: "Solitude is painful when one is young, but delightful when one is more mature." " (taken from HERE.)
That list is a huge reflection of my preferences. It can also be a list for most introverts too, who may not be at a level of loner that I may be, but can still relate. There is Introverted and then there is being a Recluse. I choose voluntary seclusion for many reasons. I am not a complete Misanthrope but I agree with some of the philosophies. For instance "Martin Heidegger had also been said to show misanthropy in his concern of the "they"—the tendency of people to conform to one view, which no one has really thought through, but is just followed because, "they say so". This might be thought of as more of a criticism of conformity rather than people in general. Unlike Schopenhauer, Heidegger was opposed to any systematic ethics; however, in some of his later thought he does see the possibility of harmony between people, as part of the four-fold, mortals, gods, earth and sky." 

I don't buy into one philosopher completely, Heideggar has some aspects I disagree with but his criticisms of conformity are valid if separated from his misguided political ideals. For myself, there are parts of society I completely reject, many I accept for others but not myself, and moments I participate in. I have mystical thoughts spiritually but I am not completely a mystic. 
I also have psychological reasons why I do not participate. Autism affects the sensory social and obviously plays a part but I can honestly say it's a lesser reason than those cited above. Awhile back I was out in a group setting that wasn't my immediate circle or of my making. By the hour mark I was dizzy and exhausted. By the hour and half I was thinking of escape routes because I thought I would throw up. I had to leave. As soon as I came home I felt fifty percent better. After two hours at home I almost became myself again but it took a full night to recover. But sometimes for others- this is WORTH it. Sometimes it is not. I choose it so I have to choose the consequences. I am honoured to be invited and if I accept- it means I am willing to suffer some uncomfortable moments. Sometimes even if someone enters MY house it takes me a couple hours to not feel sick after or calm down. It depends on the day. Some of this is being physically ill of course, but this is the sensory aspect of socialization I despise. Yet if this factor was taken out I would still choose to be alone most of the time.
Personality also contributes to my loner state. Being an INFJ, I have less of an inclination to be part of the masses but a huge inclination to heal when I am able to. I take on people's energies. It sounds frou frou to anyone who is not an INFJ but read up on the type and you will understand why this is. My Enneagram 4 with a 5 wing also explains this well. I have the odds stacked against me to be individual and alone...autism, INFJ, numerology, scorpio, 4/5 wing (with the exception that I am not lonely because I have a built in family system in my home and online) everything I score the individualist and loner. It seems to be my lot and of course I am happy with that.
I can give you a hint to my inner world (because all of this really just skims the surface) by telling you my favourite philosophers. Aspects of self and certain priorities often are shown by people's favourite writers, philosophers ect. A brief skimming list of my top favourites include Alan Watts, Epictetus, Friedrich Nietzsche, Baruch Spinoza, Hipparcharia, Albert Einstein,  Bertrand Russell, Simone De Beauvior, Auguste Comte, Jean- Paul Sarte, Michel De Montaigne, J.K Rowling (yup BRILLIANT fellow INFJ), Anais Nin, Shakespeare, Rainer Marie Rilke, Joss Whedon (yup I think so!), Walt Whitman...ok I added a few Humanists but they can cross over into philosophy. Even those who think they are against philosophers, engage in philosophy from time to time. Philosophy literally means the love of wisdom and covers topics from ethics, thought, existence, values ect. and how we engage with philosophical material can uncover layers of self. My ultimate preferences run along the psychological and sociological but philosophy is obviously part of that. I mentioned it because it helps to give a fuller picture of values.
To some, my existence is assumed as "nothing" simply because I am unencumbered by events. While it is true I have immense freedom on any day to do essentially anything I want besides basic need requirements (like schooling my children, essential chores, nutrition ect.) I AM still DOING stuff. I feel my time is full, but in a way that can be changed and is not dictated by any time or person. Minus the times I have to attend essential appointments. I am sometimes baffled how people run around without personal autonomy to "essential" things. They say they have a choice. That they can stop if they wish. They tell me they are exhausted or stressed or way too busy. That they wish things could just slow down. I look deeply, and for some they THRIVE off of this. For others, they truly believe they can't step off the treadmill. Others do not know how. Others believe it is adding something essential to them or their children. They believe they enjoy it and do not believe they can find alternatives to enjoy. I understand because years ago I was there. It took so many little decisions, strong boundaries, using the word NO a lot, contempt from others and distance to get to where I am today. Not many want or or need to be here. But I did and do. 
Kids don't need the 'socialization' we assume to be 'fun' and 'essential' to be whole. The study of other cultures show us many different ways of being to contradict these assumptions. Soccer can be enjoyed with a small group if wished. Swimming can be taught at a local swimming hole or pool with the guidance of a parent and does not have to be streamlined, categorized lessons. Organized anything can be substituted with creative solutions. Experiences can still be enriched and enlivened without. But that is a whole slew of posts and is covered by intelligent authors more suited for the job than I.
The only aspect of social gatherings that challenges me is the sensory overload. My challenges of person hood and spirit stem from writings, readings, one on one conversations with those in my path, and the uninterrupted passage of time. Time teaches.
I admit I have a stubborn streak too and want to do what I want to do. I come by this well. I see generations of wanna be hermits in my past. My paternal grandmother has some deep friendships and lovely gatherings but she LIVES for her alone time. She gardens, reads, goes to movies by herself and generally leaves her day up to her needs and whims. She is intellectual and Sage. She engages in aspects of science, philosophy and the arts. Those are also some of my favourite genres to teach my children and read up on.
Obviously those who are not Hermits can engage in similar pursuits. It simply is tougher to find the time within society's constraints. Also, there is only so far one can go while meeting other obligations. Perhaps a personality who is amazing at getting things done could meet societal obligations while also doing their own thing, but then we are not really talking about being Hermit or Loner anymore but instead achieving. Achievements are not high on my list. There is a difference between doing art, science and philosophy simply for the fact of engagement, and doing them for the IQ, social status, business swapping or the recognition. I couldn't care less about those factors which involve others defining. I also realize I come from a place of privilege to be a hermit financially. 
Only those who know me will get that this is not a judgment on others. My choosing is highly individual. Being an INFJ, I can separate myself from my own inclinations to understand the perspectives of others. It's funny though how many people feel judged simply by my existence. Maybe because I made the tough choices and it seems easy? Maybe because I make them squirm with a few observations? Or piss them off because I am so contrary to the majority or their own choices? In general, a person like myself is not well liked. Good thing being liked by those not directly in my love path isn't high on my priority list eh? I realize it can sound pompous and while I do think self importance is healthy I have the contradictory questioning side too. "You'd lose your mind trying to understand mine."- Anonymous. Pretty much. I ALMOST can't figure out myself with my contradictions and paradoxes. Almost. I usually can eventually unravel it. In the end, I write my truths for me. I am not out to PROVE anyone wrong or right. That is the difference. I know many who force their lifestyles and beliefs on others. I may write strongly about mine but I dare not subject people to my versions. The world needs a certain level of conformity, institution, tradition and community minded people to give it what it is. They, in truth, also enable me to be like I am, to a certain degree. And in my own way, I (along with other deviants or minorities) also give them the driving need to dictate what needs to be done. Plus, I simply value choice. 
My point is that this is MY story. While I do see aspects of this that could benefit change in society, like less priority on organized functions, I also realize this would never work for everyone. Our children need less pressure, less running around, less of the mommy and daddy achievements forced upon their little bodies and more time in nature, more time imagining, more free time to be bored, and more time to BE. However, the picture should be individualized based on needs, personality ect. I know I don't have all the answers, but I have a few for myself and my family. I don't care to be right. I care to understand. That is the core of my BEING. My husband laughed at all of this and said, "No wonder people are intimidated by you. It takes a brave soul to approach you. You send out those vibes of Scorpio, INFJ, and all that entails- Back off..." I don't mean to be that way or send out any sort of boundary vibes...the natural way I am tends to have this side effect.
If you are an extrovert who enjoys your social interactions- celebrate that! If you are a person who loves organized sports because of team aspect or whatever- go team go. It's important that we look into what matters to us and WHY so that we are not mindless drones of society, but it's equally important to find joy, meaning and a sense of BEING in what we do. This mostly comes out of knowing thyself. I know I am a lover of the loner life, a happy hermit and I revel in the recluse existence. I am also deeper and more intricate than those generalizations but it's a start to my healthy days.

*My life has immense freedom in my days but I also have committed to a few key aspects of living that are crucial to me. Those commitments are also my freedom ironically. My family, the way we are in educating, eating, wisdom pursuits and husband, children and those directly in my path. Everything else is up for debate. My point is commitment is also freeing and gives a path worthy...but the rest of the societal commitments? It's individual and could go either way:)

Post EDIT to those that know me: I don't want friends or relatives I have not engaged with in awhile to read this and think they are not welcome in my home. Generally I prefer my home to be the place to engage in, but that said, it is nice to be able to end something when I need to, when I go out. I have had to become more comfortable with not asking people to stay longer out of politeness and allowing them to leave when they suggest it. My natural inclination is to offer them to stay longer. My husband is teaching me otherwise. Health wise I pay for anything later than 10:00/10:30 at night. There are exceptions to this like my cousins and close personal people who are asked to stay over. I DO enjoy people in my home, offering comfort ect. It depends on the person and my mood and health. I love watching movies and episodes because it passes time with someone without the obligation to talk for long periods or have undivided attention. Certain people are easier to have in my home because they allow me to be comfortable enough to change plans, be honest or leave me to my own bits of time when I need that. Anyway, if I invited you- it's authentic. If you receive regular emails or updates, every one of my videos, or instagrams of me- or emailed blog posts:) you are obviously considered one of my tribe. You don't need to worry about my loner ness affecting how I regard you. I will be honest, genuine and true to you. If I have initiated- it means something- to either my husband or children (whom I sacrifice some of my ideals for of course) or myself. My son was concerned I would isolate all my friends by writing this to which I told him I have a post edit plus those that know me should not feel isolated by me:) My theory anyway.

American Idiot- Green Day

Monday, May 9, 2016

How To Support and Love the Autistics in Your Life, Mother's Day, and The Colour Psych of Brown.

Ha. My blog titles are long winded and kind of hilarious. I think my titles are the biggest indicator that I don't blog for money. Weirdly enough all the themes in my title are woven together for a fairly cohesive post. I think. It's all connected in my mind anyway.

I call Sam my aspie virtual twin. She writes what I wish I could or what I have written before, or thoughts that have been literally in my head in the same way they have been in hers. It's weird and awesome. Even though she is highly individual and I do not negate her own personal experiences, I see much of myself also in her writing. I know other aspies/autistics and of course we share commonalities but we are as diverse as 'normal' people. We are snowflakes. With Sam, however, I feel as though we have more common beliefs on life than most people I meet (dear Sam- I have never asked- are you an INFJ? Maybe that is it?) Regardless, Sam just wrote a post called 10 ways to assist your Autistic Loved One here: and I highly suggest, if you want to understand someone in your life who is Autistic, or you are yourself, it's worth a perusal. I am not going to repeat her information because she wrote it clearly and concisely and did justice to the ten points. I am, however, going to add a few thoughts I have had of late. 

(My other Aspie girl)

There are few places Autistics can truly be themselves in our current culture. See my previous posts on Ableism found in the Aspergers/ Autism label on the side. The importance of ONE place to belong is crucial. I am lucky in the fact that my home, my husband and my children are the place I can BELONG. Despite some challenges I would never 'get rid' of my autism. It's part of me. I am who I am with autism. Just like I am who I am with grey/ green/blue eyes. I have learned beauty and brutal from disabilities and abilities alike. I am a unique parcel of individuality. Those who love me for this are my team. I don't expect understanding elsewhere because I realize the world comes with cultural context. Our culture has not been coached on ableism nor have our civil rights come far on disability- even from the kindest of people. I don't even expect others with similar neurological wiring to feel the same because I remember the beginning of my journey. I remember some of my own ableist mindsets and even grief upon learning that I would never be 'normal' but now I embrace this with all of my being. But it took wonderful mentors, other aspie blogs and beginning to know myself to get to where I am today. 

Still, the world is not the safest place for someone with the levels of sensory overload and differing perpsectives I have. Since I was little I despised the movie and the book 'Alice in Wonderland'. It creeped me out. But as I mentioned before HERE  Lewis Carrol had wit, imagination and a penchant for crafting profound words. In the newer Tim Burton films I related to Alice. I realized it is because I often feel like Alice in our world. To me normalcy looks like Wonderland. I don't fit. I often feel a tad mad. Which is why, when one walks into our home- they come across this quote, "'Have I gone mad?' 'I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the Best people are.'"

I firmly believe in holding on to what makes you unique. I don't  want to lose my muchness. I also want to honour that in others. Let's pull out our collective and individual imaginations...the lovers, the bonkers, dreamers, bohemians, eccentrics, and all those with childlike wonder. 

Lately, I have realized  that I tend to pick chocolate browns for many themes in my home. I see connections and layers in everything. I realized that I needed to peel back the layers to discover why brown is a prominent factor in my life right now. I googled and found THIS article. Brown is the colour of security, protection and material physical wealth within balance. I am all about my home decor, my materials, and material beauty. However, I would not call myself materialistic. Yes, I see the dichotomy and I can honestly say it's my truth. I am the most self aware person I know- and I know many self aware people so that is saying a lot. I trust my process. I realized years ago that my 'stuff' is part of my security. As an autistic, 'stuff' represents something akin to music. Obviously, it will be different for each person with autism, but for myself, my stuff that I enjoy are part of the world I create for myself with sensory appeal. When I go out into the world I have to deal with everyone else's stuff. Their rules, their sensory preferences which often include painful traditions or acceptance of 'normality' that are like torture to me. Think bright fluorescent lights, abrasive birthday songs ect. (see THIS  and THIS post for more.) Thus it would make sense that brown is one of my new favourite colours. I am also equally drawn to tones of green, indigo, red and oranges, but brown is the main background I choose. The article on the colour brown basically mentioned everything I value, qualities I possess or choose to expand upon, and what I look for in my optimal home environment. Being Autistic in the world is only part of my story- but it's an important part.

This last year I have chosen to focus on other pursuits besides forms of advocacy. It is what has been needed, but every now and then, I think it's an important reminder - to put out there- that autism makes individual people who deserve to be loved for WHOM they are and treated with respect. As I wrote HERE "Let's get this myth out of the way first...we actually do not wanted to be treated "normally". There is a difference between being treated with understanding and dignity and being treated like every other normally wired person. We are NOT wired normally so there are exceptions to our treatment. This is true in the medical world so it is going to also be true in the social world. We DO want to be treated with the SAME respect regarding our gifts and weaknesses that normal people do but this does not translate into being treated "normally." In my experience "normally" means  being forced into experiencing some sensory torture or having others be inconsiderate about the fact that eye contact feels painful."

Yesterday, on Mother's day, my husband experienced his first mother's day without his mom, which is why I felt guilt at first, when I realized it was the best mother's day I had ever experienced. When I searched my own guilt, I realized why my day was the best one. Because he lost his own mom, my husband really went all out this year for me as a mother. I received queen level treatment. Not only did he buy me the gifts pictured above including a vessel sink for upstairs I had my eye on but he kept telling my kids they only have one mother and "she's a very fantastic one. In fact kids I'd say the best in the world because she tries to understand you and helps you understand yourself, she gives you opportunities which many children do not get, perspectives and life at home. You get a mother which most only imagine and she deserves to be celebrated." This greatly touched me. He put aside his grief because of his gratitude and love for the mother of his own kids. To me, that moment, made me realize how much I am loved and accepted for who I am. Because I am my most real with my husband and children. I was sad about mom being gone but the pure love infused in my life made for some mixed emotions. I think she would want me to enjoy my children on mother's day. I know she always enjoyed hers and her grandchildren. She loved my husband despite that she held very different life perspectives from him. Her love of the gifts I gave her each Mother's day was always infused with excitement. In that, I felt additional joy in my gifts because I would always text her after with pictures of what I received and she would be genuinely in awe of my gifts. I know she would have loved this years giftings and in that I loved my alive beauty even more. If that makes sense?

A friend commentated on my Instagram that my husband's love for me is really remarkable and precious how he cares for me in so many ways. This is true. It is remarkable. I often feel like a princess with him. And some of it is because I am Autistic. At first, when we found out I had Asperger's syndrome he didn't know if he could live with someone who would have a lifelong condition. For him, he always thought some of my quirks would be grown out of. We had to find our way through that hurt and story. But now, some of his favourite aspects of me are aspie traits. It is very precious. I adore him. I always say I'm not worthy of it all and he makes sure I know I am. He thinks the world of me which can sometimes be so odd to me. Honestly, I have given it a lot of introspection in the past. My youngest showers love just like him and is also an ENFP- thus some is personality. My husband  has always been willing for me to teach him how to understand myself and himself which is a huge boon to a relationship and we both have grown together in everything with constant communication and humour. It's really weird to me because I don't have many people to whom I inspire such love and devotion. I tend to do the opposite- especially when I am real and true to all my paradoxes and myself. Yet, I show this to him and it inspires fierce protection and devotion  Especially the messy bits. It's like he was meant to be the only person in the world who adores my messy and thinks my crazy is beautiful. I feel very undeserving of it sometimes and other times I believe it's what everyone deserves. It's not perfect for sure but I think its a combination of working hard on our marriage daily and little considerations but also simply personality maybe? 

My kids also view me in a really rare lens. I am the weirdest mother. I don't make them meals and I show them all my flaws- they are my friends. I am very Lorelie ish (Gilmore Girls) and have been since they were young so I think it just makes them accept me. While I also make sure my gifts benefit them and someone else makes up for my lack IS remarkable and I love that my friend noticed. My favourite part of Mother's Day are the home made cards. This year I received these:

I love the witchy theme. These kids crack me up. I know my youngest has sincerely thought I was a Witch since babyhood. He's called me a 'good witch' since he could speak. The bottom pics are his and there is a girl riding on a broom. The middle left is my eldest son's... He says it's not me but a random witch and her cauldron. Ok😂. And my daughter's card is the top two pics "Mom you're fun, funny, loving, helpful, kind, adorkable, sweet, witch like, a great movie lover, great writer, a great infj, good with people, smart, cute, caring and so much more. Happy Mother's Day mom- you're the best mom a girl could ask for."

I have mixed emotions on most mother's days. I have had loss as a mother with miscarriage years ago and now the loss of my husband's mom which have shown the other side of the day. Yet, I have learned one fact of inner peace that a person like myself with deep empathy and sensory understanding needed to learn. I will have (and have HAD) horrid moments and my share of darkness. In those moments I embrace the pain and move through it. I have before and will again. But that doesn't mean that just because other's are in pain, when my beauty moments arrive, that I should ignore them. It means that when I have light I will also embrace the joy. I can still be empathetic and give my thoughts briefly to those who are without. I will be without one day again in differing ways. But part of life is also celebrating the beauty. I am a person who can literally feel other's pain and understand varied perspectives. I have had to learn how to celebrate joy. My son is also autistic but his INTJ persona is different than my INFJ and he has had to learn the opposite lesson. To be more empathetic and give more thought to other's processes. My writing reflects myself learning boundaries and implementing my aha moments and do not necessarily reflect the constant understanding of perspectives I actually have.

I found the above pin on Pinterest and it was like a shinning beacon. I felt in my mid twenties that I was outgrowing so much. My beliefs, the ones of faith, God, money, empathy, boundaries, self... so many began to be questioned. And in my thirties while there are deep struggles too, on most days I know deep down I am enough. That carries me through. I think survivors of tough situations go one of two ways (and all it takes is perusing my labels of depression to know I have had some tougher situations) and the ones who are able to be self reflective and grow and change to look inward with questions are enriched even in the dark. Perhaps we are even comfortable with our own darkness? We OWN our stories. But first comes self care and love and boundaries. I don't hide the magic but neither the darker parts. Maybe that is the key? To embrace the happy because the darkness will come and need to be embraced too. Simply moment by moment. Each phase is worth acknowledging- each manifestation deserves support, and verbal affirmation. I suppose I am more Yin Yang in my approach to life... But whatever stage you are in, darkness struggle or light joy, your BEING matters because you exist- your story is YOUR story. It will be unique and also similar but it matters in your own thread of legitimacy. You matter. Each emotion you have is important to acknowledge and accept to move onward in health. The dark and light. And this, is how I believe, the support to love yourself comes in to play and the support for other's in your life. Even if Autistics do have differing needs, the foundation of support comes down to acceptance and it starts in accepting self. Then you are ready to read the articles written from Autistics on how to approach our unique brain needs and wiring...the madness, the magic, the differences, the struggles and the beauty.

Two posts that I also specifically mention Wonderland are:
Also see the Wonderland label for more posts along the quirky lines of self.
Song choice: Just like Fire- Pink

Friday, May 6, 2016

We Found Love Right Where We Are- For my ENFP Husband and Evergreen Soul- A Marriage Post from His INFJ.

* I am experiencing technical difficulties with my fonts and colours- please bear with me**The Numbers in this piece co -ordinate with various songs I will leave as a list at the bottom of the post.*

To My Husband and My Ever Green Soul:

We are going on fifteen years. We made it passed the point the stats said we would. In fact we travelled thrice over.  The teenage marriage facts whispered behind our backs or said to our faces no longer hold validation. Not to say that we have been without our struggles. But baby- I am glad it's you I struggled with. I am sooo "lucky to be in love with my best friend. Lucky to have been where I have been. Lucky to be coming home again... Lucky, we're in love in every way." (1)

Even though you told me that the Boston song 'I'm Livin' for you' is word for word how you feel about me- I also live for you. (2) I love the way you kiss me good morning despite my zombie state. I love the way you take me the way I am. I love that, despite the fact that you are married to a woman who drowns oceans (click) and an INFJ (click), you savour the paradox and mystery. I love that you call my impulsive passions entertaining. I love that you often find me the most appealing without make up, wearing sweatpants and flaunting my post babies body. I feel that only you can love me that way. (3) I have never met anyone who has just understood. There is no one that comes close to you, who could ever take your place. As long as your mine I will make every last moment last. You have said phrases similar to what Fiyero crooned to Elphaba, "Maybe I'm brainless, maybe I'm wise but you've got me seeing through different eyes. Somehow I've fallen under your spell and somehow I'm feeling it's up that I fell. Every moment- as long as you're mine. I'll wake up my body and make up for lost time. They say there's no future for us as pair. I may know. I don't care. I will follow the moonlight until it is through and know I'll be here holding you... as long as your mine."  And I am your Elphaba begging, "Kiss me too fiercely, Hold me too tight, I need help believing you're with me tonight. My wildest dreamings could not foresee, lying beside you with you wanting me. Just for this moment. As long as your mine. I've lost all resistance and crossed some borderline. And if it turns out - it's over too fast. I'll make every last moment long as you're mine."(4)

You are my Thor. You even speak like him in your larger than life booming voice and your old skool vocabulary. You are the hot man of my dreams with the bulging biceps. Not only is your body the strong protecting type but your soul also protects all that we are. You took the dreams of my heart and made them a reality. Yet, you have never, not once, turned those muscles towards me in anger...nor even in teasing. You treat me with delicate tenderness. You are always careful of the way I easily bruise. Your physical strength is a quality I admire because I will never own it. You can have my emotional steel and I will borrow your arms to carve out our home. 

"I don't leave any room for doubt when it comes to you and me, you know all about, the way I feel inside. You know how hard I try but that don't mean that I can't love a little stronger, dig a little deeper. You tell me that your the lucky one, but I see things differently- I have just begun to show you that you mean everything to me. But I still feel the need to love a little stronger, dig a little deeper...anything to please you."(5)

 I love the way your voice deepens when you laugh. Or how you are able to make strangers feel welcome. You allow people to be seen as worthy. Your gift is your humour and ENFP (click) personality. You are my inspiration. The meaning in my life. (6) The lyric to every Chicago song. The tune to every epic romance. We may not have had much money, oh but honey we have had fun! (7) The world would be colourless without you. Every night I pray for one more day. (8) I know every curve and bend from your heart down to your soul and I want more time to love you better. I want to grow old with you. (Although I would rather grow old SLOWLY:) "Just you and me. You are my love and my life. Simple and free. Baby you're everything I've ever dreamed of. Give me your own special smile, promise you'll never leave me. Life is so easy when you're beside me."(9)

Inspired by the subtle steady heart of the one who loves is one of life's ultimate gifts. Under the spell of drizzled sentiments, humanity can take a deep breath and just be. From juicy young love to the fruitful old, there are many expressions of partnership. The dusk of love brings creativity. Sweet words, salty encouragement, smoky sentiments are the seasonings for the main course. With the meaty depth of love, or the steamy passion of first kisses also comes the invigorating fact that someone has decided to single the loved one out. It is in that positive couple hood that I am honouring, with you, my turtle duck, today. 

Brilliant lyricist Mark Heard once wrote about love in poetic terms; "Head full of this kaleidoscope brain freight- heart full of something simple and slow. Love is not the only thing, but it's the best thing. Love is never everything. It's the best thing. Too young to bear the burdens of the ages.Too old to keep an innocent pace...You see me like a prism sees a candle, I'm scattered into differing hues, Reality is happening at random. You're warming up the yellows and blues." (10) You warm up the yellows and blues.

Our love is a roller coaster. From the easygoing rhythm of our lover's laughter to the serious tones of just getting each other through life. The ride with it's twists and turns, shady groves, mirrored rooms, comedic screens, dancing cars, big beds, quiet waterfalls, self-improvement counselling, sun dappled moments and rainy storms, makes life interesting and worth it. 

Babe, you are just incredible. All easygoing charm and tender hearted adorableness. You think deeply, drinking in the knowledge of life with an open hand. Thank you for introducing me to Personality Hacker podcasts (click), Krista Tippet On Being podcasts (click) and Heritage Podcasts (click). I love gathering our children in the library and spending lazy afternoons colouring and dozing off as we listen to a complete liberal arts education together. I love that you laugh with gusto when you bring out the Eske anger in me. For some reason, it makes you laugh, and the sound of your soul bubbling up is the only plug for my seething rage. Suddenly, I melt. You bewitch this witch and my spells become love. The smile crinkles around your eyes make me think of this song,  "You got that healing that I want...woah there's loving in your eyes that pulls me closer. It's so subtle. I'm in trouble. But I love to be in trouble with you. Let's Marvin Gaye and get it on. Oh baby, you got that healing that I want. Just like they say it in the song. Until the dawn...You got to give it all to me. I'm saying mercy mercy please...I just want you for my own. I got to have you babe." (11) 

I love that your wrinkles will get craggier with time and that I get to witness the changing of life within you. While on one hand some of my freedom was taken away when I chose to marry, in another way a new door of freedom opened up for me to find love that take all my flaws and sees them as beauty. 

With your ADD I feel like I am waiting on you all. the. time. Which is why your ringtone for my phone is "At Last." (12) The song makes me smile and dissolves my irritation instantly. My heart is wrapped up in clover whenever I look at you. "I found a dream that I could speak to. A dream that I could can call my own. I found a thrill to press my cheek to- a thrill that I had never known. You smile, you smile, oh and then the spell was cast. And here we are in heaven. For you are mine at last."

The best in life I have in front of me. I don't need perfection. I don't need a stunningly asymmetric body or a outgoing, break through personality. I don't even need to shut the door to go the bathroom or excuse myself after a lusty burp. It's all there to share...with YOU and our three children...and it is strangely wonderful. The best things in life are not outside of myself. There is pleasure in the moment when I walk in the door and all three children yell, "mommy" and bulldoze me over. Or when you look at me sans make up, with a muffin top, a few zits, but a dazzling smile and you say, "Wow you are incredible!" And I know. I am the luckiest girl in the world. "...I've seen the Rolling Stones, Got real high on Rock N Roll, Seen a lot of dreams come true but ain't no moment like when I'm holding on to you. Baby, over the years, I've been moved to tears, by the wonders of this world. One of God's mysteries that never fails to get to me is the moment when I'm holding on to you. Ain't no moment like when I'm holding on to you. I've seen a new born child put stars in her mamma's eyes...but ain't no moment like when I'm holding on to you." (13)

I don't want fame or fortune, or even to be known for what I have done or whom I have changed. What I want most...I already have. It does not mean I will not be depressed or restless at times but it does mean that for 85% of my life I am extremely grateful. I am awed by what I have been asked to keep as my own- the husband, children, family, friends, bloggers- I have these people. This LIFE! This incredible responsibility to not squander.

When I fight with you, my husband, I feel the most at risk. I hide under my clothes in the closet, something I only do during desperate moments, and sob. You find me after the time you take to cool down, and you sigh, crawl into the tight space between clothes and pull me to your chest. And even though we may still exchange words you hold on. We have had a few years that were fraught with turmoil in our relationship and will have more. My philosophy during these tough times was to love you like I am going to lose you (14). And you adapted Brad Paisley's anthem, "Love her like she's leaving." (15) There are moments when I look at you or I look at myself and I KNOW without a doubt that we belong in this flawed moment, where beauty and desolation collide. I will have both and I want to write about both. I want heaven to be what I already have 85% of the time. I want it to be what it IS. The moments when we are sweetly connected in all our un-striving. When children adore us and exhaust us at the same time. Cherished moments when we plant our trees together and re pot the soil in our home gardens. BEING matters...just me and you and those we a moment of plain normal interaction. Like Anne says to Gilbert in Green Gables, "I don't want diamond sunbursts, or marble halls...I just want you." 

"When your legs don't work like they used to before. And I can't sweep you off of your feet. Will your mouth still remember the taste of my love? Will your eyes still smile from your cheeks? Darling I will be loving you, till we're seventy. And baby, my heart could still fall as hard at 23 (and did!) And I'm thinking about how people fall in love in mysterious ways, maybe just the touch of a hand. Well, me, I fall in love with you every single day. And I just want to tell you I am. So honey now, take me into your loving arms. Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars. Oh darling, place your head on my beating heart. I'm thinking out loud- baby we found love right where we are....cuz honey your soul could never grow old, it's evergreen. Baby, your smile's forever in my mind and memory...Baby we found love right where we are." (16)

Baby, we found love right where we are.  Love always and Yours;

 The Song list mentioned in this post is below with Youtube links and I would highly recommend enjoying them all at some point- lovely works of art!: