Protected: I Know Where I’ve Been

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While it might not be the best use of my time, I love taking online personality tests. I think I’m secretly hoping to discover the reason why I feel like a crazy person most of the time, seeing in myself what needs to be fixed and being unable to do so. Almost every time I take the online Myers-Briggs personality test, I come up with the same answer: INFJ. I’ve read most of the things I can find on the internet (which we all know contains only the most meticulously-researched and scientific articles), hopeful that I will either 1) find a reason why I am how I am or 2) find a way to fix how I am. Thus far, I have been unsuccessful in finding something that clearly spells out how to fix me, so I’ve either missed it or maybe I’m not quite as broken as I thought.

I think a lot about relationships and love. Not love in forms like, you’re-my-brother-so-I-have-to-love-you obligation, or girl-you-look-good-in-those-jeans-so-for-the-next-20-minutes-I-love-you lust or we’ve-been-dating-for-a-while-and-I’m-comfortable-with-you like, but real love. Seeing someone at their lowest, most vulnerable and disgusting and choosing to love them. And every time I think I’m getting closer to that with anyone, I pull away. I am terrified that if someone sees me, really sees me exactly as I am, they’ll run as far as their legs can carry them. I could blame this on being hurt by people when I was younger, people who were hurting so they hurt others to make themselves feel better, but that’s not what it is. For every bad example of what love is, I’ve seen two good ones. And the people I’ve chosen to surround myself with just don’t seem capable of being that ugly.

I actually began writing this particular entry back in August of last year, right after Robbie gave an illustration of his son Matthew running as fast as his little legs could carry him to the ocean. What Matthew needed was someone who knew better to rescue him from being swallowed up by the water. And I had forgotten about that illustration until a few weeks ago, when P. Glenn cautioned me to not run toward the ocean when I see it. See, I want so badly to be loved and the fear is that as soon as I get within sight of the ocean that is love, I’ll run as fast as my legs can carry me and fling myself in headfirst. But that’s dangerous as I don’t know how to swim yet and there isn’t someone running alongside me who will grab me before I get in too deep.

We spend a lot of time talking about love and where it comes from during the times I meet with Glenn. I understand logically that until I fully grasp emotionally how much God loves me and place the source of my approval in His feelings for me, I won’t be ready to be in a relationship. (I’ve already written a letter to my future husband to that effect and I ask him to be patient while waiting for me to get ready. I’m worth the wait.) Until yesterday I wasn’t sure why I can’t seem to do this. The bottom line is, I don’t trust very easily or very well. I’m convinced that at some point, I’ll show off a bit too much of who I am and I won’t be what everyone wants me to be. And even though it’s completely unfounded, I’m afraid everyone will leave and I’ll be alone. So instead, I wall myself off and refuse to speak in big crowds. I don’t dance or sing in public or even play charades because I’m afraid of looking and sounding stupid. I think it’s stated succinctly in the personality profile of an INFJ: “Consequently, most INFJs are protective of their inner selves, sharing only what they choose to share when they choose to share it. They are deep, complex individuals, who are quite private and typically difficult to understand. INFJs hold back part of themselves, and can be secretive.

However, just because something is labeled as part of my personality doesn’t mean that I’m powerless to do anything to change. And I’m trying, I honestly am, it’s just hard to change something so deeply ingrained in my makeup. Be patient with me, because it might take a while.

I’m worth the wait.