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Knowing What Your Soul Needs

“How long do you plan on hiding out?” my best friend asked me a couple days ago. I told her just till I had to go back to work on Tuesday. You see the last month or so has been draining and honestly an emotion roller coaster filled with despair, hope, sadness, and then a few days ago an unexpected loss that rocked me to the core. I had originally planned on spending the long weekend in Florida with family and visiting my ninety-two year old grandma who hasn’t been feeling well, but then I got sick so didn’t want to spread my germs at her rehab center. At first I was so sad, but sitting here on day 5 of doing not much other but reading, writing, and watching TV, it is just what my little introvert heart needed after several busy weeks that also included weeping and fighting against being overwhelmed.

The situations haven’t changed, and there most likely will be some more emotional ups and downs, but my soul is better equipped to handle them in healthy ways. I can grieve the loss fully and more easily fight the temptation to numb because I have given myself the time I’ve needed to avoid the crowd. I have several friends who make fun of me every time I say I’m an introvert because they have only seen me when I’m in a group of people I’m comfortable around. I’ve even had people tell me there’s no way I’m an introvert, as if I’m putting myself down by saying that I am. I get it. There is a stereotype of introverts that has nothing to do with this quality I am so thankful God gave me. Too often it’s been used to describe people who are shy and socially awkward, and while there are introverts that struggle with that, just like there are extroverts who do, being an introvert/extrovert is about how you regain your energy. It also has a lot to do with how you’re wired to take in everything going on around you. So when I’m surrounded by mainly people I am comfortable with and known by, I often am the life of the party. When I step up in front and know all eyes are on me, I will ham it up and do my best to make people laugh so hard they have to run to the bathroom. But when I’m in a new environment with people I don’t know, I don’t say much but instead just observe and take everything in. That’s why this weekend, I didn’t go on the lake with some of my favorite people and I didn’t go to a late night movie last night because I know what my soul needs. Because there has been so much going on lately, I knew I needed to take some time to be alone. Knowing what your soul needs... It’s so important to know how you’re wired. Before I understood what it meant to be an introvert, I would wonder what was wrong with me. In new situations or meeting new people I felt so uncomfortable, but it didn’t line up with the outgoing and craziness I know I have. But over the years I’ve learned what it really means to be introverted and I have to be honest, we’re a pretty awesome bunch (introverts unite... at home... by ourselves...). For me being wired this way lends to more introspection because I am forced to take alone time on a regular basis because it’s what my soul needs. When there is something going on in my heart that needs to be dealt with, it’s easy to sit with it until God has revealed what’s going on. For me it also lends to being more studious on a consistent basis because I’m not a classroom learner. I dropped out on college junior year, and if I could go back in time, I never would have gone in the first place. I would have started with hands on learning because that’s where I thrive. But taking the time my soul needs means I often find myself with book in hand and learning new things. As an introvert, I also know I need my alone time to start each day. I don’t function well if I start the day just going right off the bat. But if I can take time and just putz around a while, I start the day feeling energized. And as a result, it has helped me establish a discipline of spending time with God in the morning. Before I knew how to do self care and take time for myself, it was harder to have a regular time with God. So yeah, as I sit here in bed enjoying the last day of my forced staycation, I am grateful that I am at a place where I know myself and what I need. And after taking this time, I’ll be ready for the rest of the week and a busy people filled weekend to come.

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