Love Makes Me Do It!

I’ve far too often declared that I’m tired, I’m exhausted, I’m overextended, and the like, yet it seems that these feelings have not stopped me from doing too much or adding new tasks to my plate.  I was glaringly reminded of this as I was driving home this afternoon.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been blessed to acquire several “adopted” mothers and fathers in my life.  This morning I attended a funeral (something I don’t do, I’m growing up!) to be supportive of one set of such parents.  After the service, I decided to take advantage of the remainder of my day off, and made a quick trip to my alma mater, Morgan State University.  As I was driving home, I received a phone call from another one of my acquired mothers who in such a sad voice shared with me that “she had been waiting on a plate from the funeral, but it hadn’t come and she was hungry, and Dawn, you know I’m diabetic…”.  If only I could insert how sad her voice sounded…LOL!  Without thinking twice, I offered to pick lunch up for my mother, and take it to her,  but before I could get there, someone had brought her food from the funeral.

After this 10-minute ordeal, I had to silently laugh at myself.  No matter how hard I try, it’s just in me to help people whenever and however I can.  I’ve decided that it’s my genuine love for people that makes me do it.  It’s this love that keeps me going when I’m tired, it’s this love that motivates me to give even when it seems that I don’t have anything to give, it’s this love that allows me to enjoy sacrificing for the sake of others, and it’s this love that allows me to put the needs of others before my own.  Yes I’m introverted, and yes I keep my circle small, but once a person is in my circle, I embrace them with unconditional love and will do all that I can for them.

More than one person has fussed with me about the things I do and the sacrifices that I make for others.  Folks have said I don’t know how to set boundaries, and I don’t know how to say no.  While these things may be true, we only live once and I’d much rather show people that I love them rather than only say it.  Our actions really do speak louder than our words.  I’d like to believe that what I do for others, they would do that and/or more for me in return, but that’s not what motivates to give of myself to others.  I’ve learned that it really is better to give than receive, I’ve learned that there’s joy in seeing others smile simply because I offered a helping hand, I’ve learned the importance of being selfless, and though I may not see the harvest of the seeds of sown in my near future, I know that I will be rewarded one day for making an effort to show love and compassion towards those around me.  I’ve got a mindset that drives me to be selfless and loving towards others.

Until next time…

Contently Introverted!

Over the weekend, my parents came up to visit for Father’s Day…they managed to oversleep and miss church, but being the good saint that I am, I went to worship service anyway.  I was actually already there when I discovered they weren’t going to make it!  When I got back home, my parents had already arrived and were resting their eyes while waiting for me.  As soon as I walked in, my Mom woke up and immediately began talking, almost non-stop, to me.  While I love my mother to the moon and back, she was talking a bit too much for me in that moment, and I found myself retreating.  Why…because I’m an introvert!  Over time, I’ve discovered that after being socially engaged with lots of people, I need a few moments of quiet time to regroup and recharge mentally.  I need time to quietly settle my thoughts and think through my game plan before I’m ready to go again.  I’m a classic introvert…an extreme “nearly off the charts” introvert.  It’s not that I’m antisocial, I love people, I just prefer to not be around large groups of socially engaged people all at once, it’s overwhelming and exhausting for me.  I’d take being with a small group of friends enjoying dinner and a movie over going to the club or a large party any day of the week.

Unfortunately, far too often, people don’t fully understand what it means to be introverted or extroverted.  Being an introvert is frequently confused with being shy, but that’s not the case at all.  Our state of being, as it relates to being an introvert or extrovert, is a reflection of the place from which we draw our energy.

 

Extroversion is “the act, state, or habit of being predominantly concerned with obtaining gratification from what is outside the self”.  Extroverts tend to enjoy human interactions and to be enthusiastictalkativeassertive, and gregarious. Extroverts are energized and thrive off of being around other people. They take pleasure in activities that involve large social gatherings, such as parties, community activities, public demonstrations, and business or political groups. An extroverted person is likely to enjoy time spent with people and find less reward in time spent alone. They tend to be energized when around other people, and they are more prone to boredom when they are by themselves.

This quality of being outgoing can be taken advantage of in situations such as at a workplace or social gathering. Teachers, politicians, salespersons and different types of management fields are all examples of work types that favour an individual who is considered to be an extrovert. They have the ability to act naturally with people in a way that will make them much more successful than an introvert because these are the types of the requirements of the job.

Introversion is “the state of or tendency toward being wholly or predominantly concerned with and interested in one’s own mental life”.  Some popular writers have characterized introverts as people whose energy tends to expand through reflection and dwindle during interaction.

The common modern perception is that introverts tend to be more reserved and less outspoken in groups. They often take pleasure in solitary activities such as reading, writing, using computers, hiking and fishing. The archetypal artist, writer, sculptor, engineer, composer and inventor are all highly introverted. An introvert is likely to enjoy time spent alone and find less reward in time spent with large groups of people, though he or she may enjoy interactions with close friends. Trust is usually an issue of significance.  They prefer to concentrate on a single activity at a time and like to observe situations before they participate.  They tend to analyze before speaking.  Introverts are also easily overwhelmed by too much stimulation from social gatherings and engagement, and tend to have a preference for a quiet, more minimally stimulating external environment.

I’m certain that I’ve been introverted all of my life…an INTP to be specific, but we never discussed things of this nature growing up.  As children, my brother and me went to family functions and we spoke to everybody, and we answered seemingly endless questions, and we sat up properly in our chairs, etc. because that’s what we were expected to do…and I’m pretty sure I was often the cranky one.  I just didn’t like to be around lots of people.  This remains true even to this day…once I’ve reached my limit, I need to sneak away for some alone time.  I’m pretty sure this is why I can only stand to be on vacation with large groups of people for 3-4 days max…I need that alone time that is often lacking in that setting.  It’s kind of hard to go off to dinner alone when you’re away with a group of people, but that is something that I’ve learned I absolutely need to be my best me in such an environment.

For me, the exciting part about introversion and extroversion is that neither state of being is wrong, both are essential and both contain good elements.  We need introverted people and we need extroverted people…the challenge is finding a way to mutually respect both states of being.  I think in the past years my eyes have been opened in new ways and I can better appreciate both kinds of people.

Until next time…

 

Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care

This really made me think about how I interact with people. Despite focusing on patient care, it really applies to every area of our lives. We never know what the person walking next to us or past us is going through. Sometimes folks are silently going through hell (or an incredibly joyful moment), yet we are often so caught up in our own emotions and experiences that we fail to empathize with those around us.

Intentionally Quiet!

Here lately it seems I’ve been working later than usual most nights.  I’ve realized that it’s my norm when I love what I’m doing.  I tend to work until a project is finished no matter how long it takes.  But, I must admit that despite the thrill of reaching my professional goals, all of this work is emotionally and physically draining.  As a result, I’ve found myself spending my time at home a bit more quiet and disconnected from technology.  Contrary to what one may believe, being quiet and undisturbed by the television and background noise has been amazingly wonderful.  There was a time when I never would have believed this to be true.  I used to think I always needed to be around people and always needed to have something on my schedule…I always needed to be busy, but I no longer have these thoughts.  I now relish in my quiet moments and alone time.  They are priceless in my eyes.

It’s so easy to become distracted by everything that’s going on in our world.  Somebody always needs us…if it’s not family, it’s work…if it’s not work, it’s friends…if it’s not friends, it’s a social organization…if it’s not a social organization, it’s church…if it’s not church, it’s our enemies, our neighbors, our hairdresser, and the list goes on!  Somebody or something always needs our attention!  The lesson I’ve had to learn the hard way over these past 9 months is that if I don’t say no, people will not stop asking.  On more than one occasion this year, I’ve been ready to throw in the towel and shut down to everyone…I’ve been completely worn out and mentally beat, but I had to accept that I did it to myself.  I allowed myself to become stressed and worn out.  I didn’t put the proper boundaries in place, I allowed others to dictate my schedule and my priorities, and because of this, I gave away the time that I needed just for me.

So…now I’m putting forth an honest effort to carve out some time to be one with my thoughts and emotions.  As an introvert, a key to my success is having that alone and quiet time, and I’m working real hard to incorporate it into my daily life.  Ringer turned off, TV turned off, music turned off, computer turned off…all for the sake of being intentionally quiet!

Until next time…