Paradox

I have never felt like I belonged in this world. It has always been a bit difficult to keep my feet tethered to the ground. Sometimes I am so in my head that I forget where I am and what I am doing and I can lose long spaces of time. I go somewhere that is deeper than myself. Maybe it’s a meditative state or some other brain wave than what we normally survive in. For me it feels a little like being high.

I have always felt that there was something not quite “right” about me. I don’t make connections with people often, I don’t feel things like other people do. I am a pool of paradox. I don’t connect often but it is all I long for and when I do connect I want to be completely engrossed. I feel nothing from most people but I feel too much to be comfortable in the world. I am addicted to love and finding love but my heart does not easily open. I am broken but whole. I am confident and uncertain. I am the deepest depths of love and the darkest of fears. I am sad and joyful. Dark and light. I am all things. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Everyone seeks belonging. For me I have never felt like I belonged anywhere. I was never “home,” instead a perpetual wanderer with a hole the size of Texas in my heart. I would go down these rabbit holes to see what fit. I found a little part of me in the Myers-Briggs test, I found pieces of me in a group of forward thinkers, I found lots of parts of me in the people who were going through struggles and hardships.

I recently took a peek at the enneagram (at the very basic it is a method for personality typing, but it’s much deeper than that) after listening to a podcast (Unlocking Us) with Brene Brown and Chris Heuertz. A good friend of mine LOVES the enneagram. It has given her a much clearer understanding of herself and a tremendous amount of comfort. For me it was much the opposite initially. The first time I took the test I came up a 4. I read a little bit about it and yeah, it fit well enough but I had little tolerance for being stuffed into yet another box, it’s never that simple with me. Along comes this podcast and they were talking about each of the personality types and the struggles that each has and why they suffer like they do. As I was listening there was a paradoxical awakening and joy at finding more bits of me and a deep sinking as I realized I suffered like ALL of the numbers. Every single hardship that was talked about, all of the ways to feel inadequate…. I felt all of them. Viscerally. They say there is often a number that you resonate most with and yes, a four was a punch in the gut, but the rest…. all of them sliced my heart. So I took the test again and while I scored highest as a four…… I tied for almost all of the rest of the types.

I have always felt like I have lived a lot of lives. Lots of people tell me I am an old soul. I have been through wars and famine and all kinds of things. I don’t know how I know this, I just do. So as these types were being explained and I was checking all of the boxes I felt at first, that maybe I was just plain crazy and actually mentally ill. Maybe I actually had a BUNCH of different personalities! And then I laughed and remembered this is a human construct to try to understand people… and we all have a little bit of all of these personalities in us. And me being balanced across them all meant not only that I have the capacity for all of the gifts that these types have to offer, but it also means that I can connect and empathize with most people.

As I move further and further from the life I am currently living, and start to align my inner world with my outer one, I am starting to see these things about me that I have always shunned as actually really powerful.

I DON’T fit in boxes. I am not able to be “figured out” by many because I haven’t even figured myself out. I will never be exactly what anyone thinks I should be.

And I am okay with that. I am better than okay. I don’t fit, and that…. that “brokenness,” that estrangement…. it makes me really valuable. As I am not like anyone, I am also like everyone. I fit with no one and everyone at the same time.

As I look back on patterns in my life and the relationships that I have had I realize that anyone who I have let close to me has been able to use me as a catalyst for some really life altering changes in their life. I mean, really big. Sometimes I come in like a wrecking ball. I see what people aren’t saying and I excavate it and gently brush the dirt off and sometimes violently encourage people in moving. I haven’t known this was what was happening and now that I am recognizing these situations I am better able to adjust a little more patiently and lovingly. Sometimes I am successful and sometimes I wreck shop, but we always survive. There is always growth and movement.

As I sit with my own broken heart I am tempted to fall back into the darkness, to latch onto my suffering but I realize that in this moment I can choose a different road. I can see that what I have been through and what I am going through is all in preparation for whatever is next, whatever is better and more elevated. I am growing. In the depths of despair I am growing stronger and more resilient. I am finding my voice and using it. I am finding love in myself and showering me with it. From little niceties to kicking my ass into doing what NEEDS to be done for my future self, I am doing things different. That is really all anyone can do. Be better. Choose different.

As Chris Heuertz says, “[about fours] are misunderstood and they get bullied in the literature because they are sort of hard to wrap our minds around in terms of character structure but this is the person who has this ache within them that they don’t know where they fit in. They don’t know where they belong…. There can be a deep sadness and ache and longing and yearning that brings meaning to the fours…. When the fours are seeing beauty in everything what they are simply trying to do is see an echo back inward. If I can find what’s fabulous about this person, this meal, this environment, this song, maybe I will pull that thread all the way inward and see, maybe there is something like that here… There is a lot of shame that drives the ego structure of the four.”

As Brene continued they talked of terminal uniqueness. Bullseye.

As for the strengths, “The fours bring equanimity, emotional balance of being able to live on the spectrum of highs and lows, joys and sorrows without over identifying with any of it, and finding the beauty in all of it, and fours will see that for us and in us.”

I don’t really think there is anything more beautiful than that.

Embrace who you are. See the things that you don’t love about yourself as assets and contributions to your own uniqueness. These are the things that make up your song, your dance. These are the things that, when accepted and integrated, will change the world. ❤ ❤

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

3 thoughts on “Paradox

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