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Did you know that a self-help method can be as simple as just taking action and stepping a bit out of your comfort zone? You didn’t? Read on!
I am an introvert, who wishes she were an extrovert. I will never *be* an extrovert, because I was born wired to be an introvert and HSP (Highly Sensitive Person. Awesome book by Elaine Aron, by the way). However, there are those times in life, when you are pushed and you must do something outside of your comfort zone, and then there are other times, when you choose for yourself to go out of your comfort zone. I had one such adventure last night, and boy did I feel it afterward!
One of the main things I always hear about extroverts and introverts, is that an extrovert is energized by interactions with people. People get them charged up, they feel good, and it boosts them! Extroverts *need* to be around people to make them feel good; it is how they re-energize and de-stress. Introverts, like me, however, are charged and re-energized and de-stressed by time alone. Or by time with those who we are closest to. Interactions with groups of strangers and a lot of people drain us. I never realized just how much it drains us, until last night and this morning!
Christmas Caroling. Not a big deal, however, something I have wanted to do all my life. As a lover of music, and someone who connects to their soul via music and especially singing, I have always been drawn to the idea of going with a group of people and singing to bring positive energy and happiness to others. Since we have moved here to Celebration however, being the introvert that I am, I have spent a LOT of time alone. I don’t know anyone and it is difficult for me to meet people, as I tend to be quiet around strangers. Which is fine, I know that’s how I am.
Last night I had an opportunity to go caroling. It was with a church group, which being the self-proclaimed “Binduist” (sort of a mix of Buddhist and Hindu) that I am, I felt I wouldn’t belong. They had stated that anyone was welcome, part of the church or not. I thought, well, I either do this or I don’t go at all. Since it is something I have always wanted to do, I pushed myself and went.
Everyone there pretty much knew each other, or had come with a group they knew. I felt like a fish out of water and struggled with the urge to just sneak off and come back home. I stayed, sitting alone at first waiting to go. A few of the kids talked to me, none of the adults did. Kids and animals always seem to warm up to me better than other adults, I guess maybe they can sense the big kid/animal lover vibe I give off. Finally we started off and I stuck to it, for the sake of the singing and sharing the good energy with people who were not able to get out of their homes, and so we had gone to them, to bring holiday cheer. Several times I felt the urge to sneak away and go back to the safety of my own home, but I did not. I stayed for the entire route.
There were cookies and hot chocolate when we got back; however, I ducked out before that. Standing alone eating a cookie and watching everyone, and feeling uncomfortable wasn’t something I was up to. After all, at least walking and caroling I was busy doing something. So I did duck out early, and was very relieved when I did!
About an hour after I got home, I started to feel *exhausted*. So I fell asleep early and slept like a log, waking up quite a bit later than normal this morning, and then waking with a headache and back spasms once I did. It finally hit me. I was drained from pushing myself out of the zone last night. Being around a group of people, none whom I knew, (when I am about the worst person at being a “joiner” that I know!!) and sticking to it, I had totally drained myself without even realizing it.
Am I glad I did it? Of course. Proud of myself? Absolutely! I forced myself into something *very* outside of my comfort zone but realized a lifelong dream in the process. Am I pooped? You betcha!!! I am still recovering as of noon time. Am I beating myself up for feeling so drained from all of this? For not being able to handle it easily like most people? No way! I know this is who I am. It’s not a choice, it just is. So, I support myself today, with quiet gentle time, spirit nurturing things, so that my energy can re-balance.
I will never be an extrovert, and that’s fine. The world needs introverts too. We are usually the creative thoughtful ones, the ones who are empathic and gentle. (I am sure there are extroverts who are too, don’t get me wrong) Whoever you are is a good thing! We all have different strengths and weaknesses, and it’s all good. Don’t judge and criticize yourself for it. You have strengths that others do not! No one can be strong or skillful in *everything*. You wouldn’t be human! Part of being human is learning to accept yourself, and love yourself. Find your good points; nurture yourself through the rough spots, because we all have them! Know that it is all good! You are perfect, just as you are! It’s just the yin and yang of the universe that balances us all out together by making us different from one another! As Taylor Hicks wrote in his book Heart Full of Soul “Viva Le Difference!”