Two Day Visit Boundary

Boundaries, infp, Single Mom

I’m getting better at setting boundaries. One of the problems I encounter sometimes is people don’t tell me their “boundary pushing plans” until the last minute. They try to slip it in quickly while we are separating and I’m not a quick thinker, I’m a slow, deep thinker. So I often don’t say something “in the moment”, but later am bothered. I’m learning to pay more attention to the things that bother me and not ignore them. I was able to call them later and let them know my boundaries. They were a little off put at first but later I think they may have appreciated the 2-day visiting rule. After two days, people tend to get grumpy or stressed, the politeness wears off and there’s only so much entertaining and being with people that can occur before the fun wears off, especially for introverts like me.

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

INFP Weightloss Advice or Weightloss for Creative Explorer Types

infp

(Fi-Ne-Si-Te)
are the different developmental characters for the INFP. Every personality has these same 4 characters, but they come in different orders and strength levels. Also, being extroverted or introverted changes the nuances of them a little.

Our te function is very weak. Te is the goal-oriented/does things without paying attention to feelings/gets things done function. We are good at thinking (fi) and exploring (ne), but our doing-hard-things-because-we-set-a-goal function is underdeveloped. This doesn’t mean we can’t help it get better, but it does mean we have to be smart about how we use it. A good place to begin is that we can only spend about 30% max of our day focusing on te (planning/goals) before we get burnt out and need to return to fi (thinking) and ne (exploring new things). So if you’re trying to lose weight, use your te wisely, figure out how to make exercise a routine, or do it first thing in the morning while you’re still feeling ambitious. Also, I highly recommend getting rid of all tempting foods in the home, because you are a FEELINGS person. Your feelings are going to take over, so get control in your moments of te (goals), and use it to help you later when you are in feelings mode. Hopefully you won’t feel like spending 3o minutes going to the store just because you want chocolate.

So the way I see it(based upon my personal observances), some challenges the INFP specifically runs into when losing weight are:

-we make decisions with our hearts, so although we know absolutely everything there is to know about losing weight, when it comes down to decision time…putting food in our mouths and exercising…our brains check-out and we are very likely to do what we FEEL like doing. It is difficult to feel like eating healthy and exercising. I also fell into the trap of thinking that because I knew everything about losing weight, that I was good at it: this simply was not true.

Some things that are going to kill you before you begin:
-writing down everything you eat (too much te all day long, this one is not going to last)
-a strict workout schedule that you don’t like (yeah, feelings..)
-anything you can think of to reduce your reliance on te (detail oriented, stuffy, boring, and hard) and direct it towards thinking and exploring functions instead.

Some things that are going to help you exercise:
-combining your workout with fi(thinking) or ne(exploring)
-fi(going on long thoughtful walks while listening to music or listening to a audio book)
-ne (trying new fitness classes at different gyms, exploring is so fun!)
-dancing (so much happy feeling going on here, I’m going to EXPLODE!!)
-dogs (I love dogs feelings!)
-group yoga (smells, music, senses..it feels so good)
-having a workout buddy to help keep you accountable (not an infp or an enfp, get some j in there)
-also, I think strength training is incredibly boring, so some quick push-ups before bed or lifting weights while watching tv work really well for me.
-connect your exercise with the outdoors. (I know you’re a nature person)
-mall walking (exploring)
-going to different trails on the weekends and spending hours outside (exploring…don’t forget your swimsuit!)

Some easy ways to maximize te:
-Keep a workout calendar on the wall and put X’s (for exercise) on them if you worked out that day
-get it done while you are strong and not tired
-get a coach to keep you accountable and help you with your weak areas
-freezer meals, you can make them in bulk or buy them from the store. They are so wonderful when you are hungry and don’t want to depend on your feelings to choose. (I find the ones I make fill me up better than the store-bought ones)

Personally, I think it is a huge step simply to realize that this is a weakness for you, and that’s okay..you have some great strengths :)…but to treat it like a weakness and get help, align it with a strength, or do it when you are strongest.

If you are an INFP (or any kind of P), what do you use to help you eat well and exercise?

Photo by Jon Flobrant on Unsplash

Becoming A Healer

infp
beautiful glass in the light

“On the girl’s brown legs there were many small white scars. I was thinking, Do those scars cover the whole of you, like the stars and the moons on your dress? I thought that would be pretty too, and I ask you right here please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.”
― Chris Cleave, Little Bee

Over at Geek Psychology, Sherman classes INFP’s as healers.

I’ve been thinking about this role as a healer and it fascinates me. Some of the conflicts I have had in different situations are clicking into place, they are beginning to form a picture.

eating healthier is more important than making people happy or entertainment purposes
having a peaceful home is more important than having a fun home
it’s okay to take on the burdens of others at the cost of myself
pain is sometimes necessary and not something to be avoided at all costs
faking happiness all the time is annoying
my super sensitivity to put-downs and sarcasm
the deep pain I feel when surrounded by conflict

All of these things have healing as a priority. They don’t define me as super uptight, but are a gift to be used.

One of the most freeing phrases someone told me about when my values conflict with someone else’s was “maybe they just can’t help it”, it’s who they are. The warriors job is to battle, the geomancer to control, the entertainer to be make happy. Whereas, my job would not be to shut them out, not to try to make them like me, but to open the door for them to learn, to invite them into my world of healing for a brief time, to set appropriate boundaries that keep it a safe, healing place. Boundaries are essential for safety which is essential for healing. They can do whatever they like in their own lives, but to enter my home means to enter my haven. A place I prepare for them with my gifts, a sanctuary….not a party. not a battlefield. accepting them and allowing them the freedom to heal. It’s a different kind of hospitality.

“The things that make me different are the things that make me.” A.A. Milne

Photo by Diego PH on Unsplash

A Tribute to Earth

Uncategorized
land

He was a man who became gentler as life passed and becoming one who laughed easily. He would dance with me in his basement with a happy grin on his face..teaching me polka steps and swinging me around. Duty was his honor and he loved the feel of the dirt between his fingers. He found peace through taking care of the earth and providing for his family. He was a killer checkers player with no mercy which gave us a certain understanding about how life would treat us. He worked and gave again and again. He read his bible before bed every night with his red-headed wife and ate all she cooked. He held on to tradition, to values, to service, and to those he loved. He went in for coffee early in the mornings to talk with the local men about life. He watched all of us make our mistakes and was there when we needed him to be, a rock….a fortress…a steady hand to catch us. He was sacrifice. He was a builder of strength for future generations.

Photo by Dave Robinson on Unsplash

INFP Super Powers

Career, Single Mom

I’ve been studying INFP’s, watching their videos on youtube. It is fascinating, like looking into a distorted mirror. I’m understanding things about myself I’ve never understood before. Beginning to see what the differences between the four different functions of my personality are and which ones I should listen to at different times.

My dominant function is introverted feeling. I know I’m an introvert, so I knew I need to allow myself alone time to recharge, but I didn’t realize how much of an essence it was to who I was overall. I was in denial of my most dominant self, insisting that I was an “efficient organizer” or a “cheerful, adaptive socializer”. But those are only sidekicks of my main personality, and instead of owning it, I would explain it away as irrational and useless…not worthy of paying attention to, but the person who I kept slipping into and not knowing why I needed to. Once I kind of “got it”. I kind of got mad at God a little, like why did you make me like this? Why can’t I have “efficient productive organizer” or “cheerful adaptive socializer” as my main personality? Why would you do this to me? Why would you create me like this?

Think Galadriel from Lord of the Rings trying to be a productive dwarf her entire life, it’s completely wrong.

My “efficient organizer” self has come out many times and is strong in my life. It is what I was taught was the acceptable way of being when I was a kid. It has shown itself when I decided to go into engineering, but then ended up dropping out after 2 years and going into music ed (my dominant) instead. I wasn’t even allowed by my parents just to go into music, it had to be music ed which was obviously a mistake. I would have made a much better performer than teacher of many.

My first career choice in middle school was to be a musical missionary, but this also got explained away as worthless and not a good goal. It feels like my life has been based on me not being allowed to be me. What if I decided that artist/writer/musician was a legitimate career choice and went for it?

This career choice of web developer feels similar to the career choice of engineering a long time ago. I can do it. It sounds peaceful, it will meet my needs, and I will be able to provide for my kids. I could even take weekends and vacations for art and music. I could feel safe, independent, and happy and eventually get creative or start my own business with it. Coding calms me down, it gives me peace, especially if I’m stressed out. Creating gives me joy though, a deep joy and energy that is worth a lot. It isn’t something I could give up. A part of me wonders if I just waited another year until my stress levels out, would I choose a braver career path?

My “efficient organizer” personality is my weakest one, and the one that I’m the worst at. It’s what I turn to in stressful situations and it repels everyone around me, turns me into a jerk. I may have spent a year there after the divorce and I wasn’t that kind to the guys I dated, refusing to rely on my feelings out of fear. I need help with this one. I really saw how weak I was in this area after dating an ENFP personality. The way he twitched the situation from a different perspective caused peace and resolution instead of conflict and walls. I don’t know how to fix this weakness of mine or if it even is fixable, but I know I need a different approach if I want to communicate my needs and not alienate those closest to me. I need help with how I resolve conflict. There is a balance I need to find, but the balance will rely more on my feelings than my judgments and I’m going to be okay with that. It’s okay to trust your feelings sometimes, instinct isn’t irrational simply because it isn’t logical.

In one video I watched, he made the point that the choice of a career isn’t black and white. There isn’t a right answer, sometimes you jump and stay with something and that’s an okay choice to make. I think this is also true with dating, I need to take the pressure of perfection off and realize there isn’t a right choice, you jump when the cards seem right and see what happens.

My superpower is that I can see very deeply into people and understand their strengths and their weaknesses. Now telling them in a positive way about what I see, that needs a lot of work, but I’m excellent at understanding people. I need to trust this about myself. This is not my “efficient organizer” self that has this ability, it’s my dominant introverted self. My organizer self tries to step in, take over, and tell people all their flaws…she needs to be shut down…or I need to put a step in between her and my mouth that seriously gentles her.

Also, focus is a big weakness of mine. I see this in my blog writing, I can’t seem to stick to a topic. I also see it in my goal setting, I can set the goal but follow through is a killer for me.

This INFP guy is really helping me… I like what he said (maybe not in this video) about switching his thinking about himself from a rogue to a healer. I don’t know how to be a healer. Kind of inspiring me to make videos. I like his Lord of the Rings references on his web page.

What is your superpower?

Photo by Heng Films on Unsplash

Shadows

Divorce, Single Mom

I’ve had my eyes opened to melancholy as a personality trait of mine…it went with the artist personality type in the enneagram test. I believe I’ve been melancholic often, but I’ve always denied it..this isn’t me, how do I fix this? How do I get out of this slump, what’s wrong? I’ve lived in a world where a smile is supposed to be pasted on my face or it worries the people around me, but how freeing to just be how I am and not have to worry about the anxieties of others. It’s okay to be sad, it’s okay to be angry. This is the cycle, this is healthy.

“Every year about this time, I sink into a sort of quiet melancholy. It’s not the sort of melancholy that lands me in the bed for days on end or in the therapist’s office. In fact, it’s not a particularly unhealthy melancholy. It’s more of a realization that I’m little more than breathing dust, that I’m more shadow than gold (though I might like you to think otherwise), that I’m the incarnation of Solomon’s wisdom. It’s the sort of melancholy that might be concerning if it weren’t so damned cyclical, and though I’ve tried to push it down for most of my life, I don’t feel the need anymore. I’m honest with it. It’s part of the process of living.” ~ Seth Haines

The shadow’s the thing.
If I no longer see shadows as “dark marks,”
as do the newly sighted,
then I see them as making some sort of sense of the light.
They give the light distance;
they put it in its place.
They inform my eyes of my location here, here O Israel,
here in the world’s flawed sculpture,
here in the flickering shade of the nothingness
between me and the light.
~Annie Dillard from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Photo by Teddy Kelley on Unsplash

My Top 5 Strengths

Career, Divorce, Single Mom

I took the Clifton Strengths Finder test (it’s cheapest if you buy the book). I discovered my top 5 strengths. They both confused me and made me think.

1. Responsibility
2. Intellection
3. Adaptability
4. Restorative
5. Input

I’ll explain them a little:
Responsibility: This means that when I commit to something, I absolutely follow through. It will get done. Honestly, the word responsibility as a way of defining myself is annoying. I don’t like that word, it is pretentious and heavy burdening. I am changing it to trustworthy.

This one really rings true for me, although I’m kind of embarrassed about it. I tried to hide it from people sometimes because I think they will think I’m too uptight, but when I find someone else with this trait in their personality, it is a relief. Knowing I’m not the only one who cares so deeply about doing right is refreshing.

Intellection: This means that I love to think deeply about things….lots of things.

Sooooo true! I love thinking! I could spend all day in my head. Is this weird? Sometimes this trait makes it really hard to be a mom, I think this may be the main reason I couldn’t go back into teaching….I like quiet jobs?

Adaptability: prefer to “go with the flow.” They tend to be “now” people who take things as they come and discover the future one day at a time.

At first, I was a little ashamed of this strength, thinking I was a chameleon of sorts, but that isn’t what it is really about. It’s about adapting to different situations and being able to fit into many different places. I often feel like an outsider, so it’s a little weird to read about my adaptive abilities. I do imitate people often to try to fit in better, their dress or their mannerisms…I try not to be too excitable around serious people..although my natural tendencies are to be happy and upbeat. I can talk with many types of people and am very accepting of many people, I can usually find the good in anyone, but I tend to judge negative or proud people harshly.

Restorative: I like to solve problems

When their is not harmony in my world, I get very stressed out. I feel it deeply and work hard to fix it. I find math fun and soothing, also computer programming is fun for me….

Input: People who are especially talented in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to
collect and archive all kinds of information.

I actually hate collections, I consider them clutter, but I have been known to collect words that I love, quotes that I love, and I love to learn new things. I love to read and discover new places, I love ordering foods I’ve never had before.

Overall, I thought the Clifton Strengths finder test was very helpful and I plan on using the action planning guide. I also liked that it suggested I match myself with someone who had the strength of focus and discipline to meet my goals. I also noticed that many of my strengths are not in the relational category, which is weird for a girl. Especially for one as feelings based as I am. But it does explain why I’m not as good at making friends as others might be.

I’m trying to decide whether to quit my job and go to a web development bootcamp. I like web development because it is a quiet job, I like solving problems, I like learning new things….I think it might be a good fit for me, unless they give me one job to do and have me do the same job every day. Then I don’t think I’d like it very much.

I also considered psychology, but I don’t think my people skills are high enough for this profession.

I also considered a business degree where I’d go into marketing….maybe in the future. My skills seem to point to web development as a good choice for me.

What would you suggest a career choice for me? Honestly, I’d love to read books and write all day and paint pictures, but that isn’t too practical and it’s not really an acceptable career choice in my family. I’ve also considered have a dog care business, I think that sounds fun, but not even sure where to begin.

Losing Myself

Dating after divorce, Devotional, Divorce, Single Mom

I read a book last night about personality types. It’s called Reading People by Anne Bogel. It was the first time I’d read about enneagrams. Wow! Sinking low today. Enneagrams have a way of digging deep into your psyche and shining light on your biggest flaws. Turns out I’m a peacemaker type, and my biggest flaws are that I am so adaptable, I turn into the people around me to please them. I have no idea who I actually am because all of my energy is put into being perfect for others. I completely neglect my own needs to care for others. That and I’m complacent. I had to look up complacent because it’s a word I don’t hear much. “showing smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one’s achievements”. Woah, that really gets to the heart of it. Yeah, I’m that too.

I got really scared about this while driving to work today, but was reminded God is in me, so it is impossible to lose myself. He is guiding me, showing me my next steps, and it is in my very weaknesses where He shines brightest. Even this is to His glory.

Maybe this is why I focus so much on what I like to do….I’m trying to figure out who I am without other people around.
I like dancing.
reading,
long walks
my kids
my God
writing
deep conversations
coffee at the river market
the sound of fall leaves crackling on the sidewalk
driving with the music playing loud enough that I can feel the vibrations

I like being alone

I don’t like being asked to give to charity
I don’t like cupcakes and cookies in my house
I don’t like bossy people
I don’t like stiff clothing
I don’t like really high heels

I really want to go dancing.

(edit: so after writing this post, I actually took an enneagram test and it placed me as an artist instead of a peacemaker. Artist’s main fear is losing their identity which made me laugh since I’ve written several posts on that issue and this post itself is all about identity. I’m not convinced I’m not still a peacemaker and it’s simply the life phase I’m in that is skewing it towards artist. It’s an interesting new way to look at myself though…)

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

slow building and quiet faithfulness

Divorce, Single Mom

Photo by Ludovic François on Unsplash

I’m going through a time of needing, of not being satisfied and needing to go to the Lord. Of bringing my hunger to Him, and seeing how He truly does fulfill. Slow building and quiet faithfulness, planting but not yet seeing the harvest. Sometimes my needs overwhelm me and I wonder why He doesn’t fulfill them, but it forces me to His feet….to sit and ask Him, to find Him, to hand Him my desires. It’s peaceful here, but hard. I don’t know quite how to not say no to my wants and choose Him instead. Trusting Him, that He is doing something, that He will provide, that He is creating something new. Scraping off the wounds of my past so new skin can emerge.

and my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Phillipians 4:19

Identity

Career, Divorce, Single Mom

Burning…not being consumed…engulfed in flame, surrounded by heat, like a burning bush

We look for our identity in so many things. In our jobs, our roles as wife, mother, daughter…
In our abilities, in our past, in where we’re from..this question of who we are lingers. Am I being true to who I am? Am I authentic, am I a fake, am I a wannabe, am I who I seem I am?

When Moses spoke to God and asked Him, “who should I say you are?” God told Him I am.

I AM

“As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.” Joshua 1:5.5-7

and the great I Am is with us, and He is in us.

You are a woman whom God is within.

He shapes us in every way, our emotions, our words, what we do.
He defines us.
Beyond our sense of us, we can base who we are in the sense and self of Him.
Our achievements and failures will not effect that.
Are we sufficient? Of course not, but He will be with us.
The conversation of who we are MUST always move to who Jesus is and can I trust Him.
Our journey is one of God making His people His.
making you His

Photo by mahyar tehrani on Unsplash