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I met Brenda and took the MBTI… I had a fairly good understanding of these types before the meeting but was impressed by the depth of knowledge that Brenda shared with me. She clearly has a passion for this work and a gift in imparting the information. There have been doors opened for me because of our talks… — Alan Hintermeister
Alan Hintermeister
I think I want to print out your articles and hand them out as a sort of relationship waiver form. “You want to be my friend?….You are interesting in going out? Here read this first. Sign here to acknowledge that you have read and understand the enclosed material. Thank you.” Seriously. I think it would work. — Guerin Moorman
Guerin Moorman
That courage and dedication you so generously share with the world, has inspired me to push myself a little harder, persevere at each task a little longer, dig a little bit deeper to where the answers just “feel” right to both my humanity AND my spirit. Your insights have reinforced my direction and given me additional tools that help me clear my path. I’m wired into my creativity as never before and the new music is pouring out of me faster than I can record and produce it; this is the Un…
I have been dating an introverted man who I am very in love with for almost 2 years.  Reading your posts have helped me to be more supportive and understanding to him especially during the times when he needs space.  I just wanted to thank you for your weekly posts and let you know how helpful they are for someone who is in a relationship with an introvert. C.M. on space2live
For the first time in my life I could truly explain, through your words the way in which I experience life and myself. Brenda… It all fell into place. I had found myself and had such a moment of clarity. It felt like such a big weight was lifted off of my shoulders. Finally I felt like it was ok to be me. I was not the only one. I had found people and a little space where I fit in. … I was at work and crying on the inside. Emotions ran wild inside me. I was ecstatic, sad, confused, motivated, i…
Your words are my lifeline.  I sit down to your posts and as I read I can feel my acceptance of myself and my needs grow.  Your words validate my feelings about my life, motherhood, relationships and it is something I hold onto.  And during the times when I feel like I am not able to be a mother or a wife or a sister or a friend or whatever someone needs me to be, I go back to your words and find some peace…I send your posts to my husband when I need him to understand that I love him but I need …
THANK YOU….. you just summed up my swirling thoughts into something i can read with out everything else in my head meshing with it. I finally feel like i can explain what happens within without getting distracted. I’m an Introvert with ADD and it makes it so hard to explain quite what im feeling sometimes. — M.G. on space2live
Thank you for all the words. You’ve created the magic drug I’ve been looking for all my life. Your blog has transformed my life, and I feel like I am on the brink of a most satisfying fulfilling journey…You’ve made me see everything in a new light. I now feel calmer, able to care better for my toddler, less hateful of people around, and hopeful for my future. I am not so afraid for our marriage anymore. — Shilpa CB
Shilpa CB
BRENDA: thank you SO much! Your advice is exactly what I need to do. I am amazed how much you “get” me after only exchanging a few messages!… Again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’ve helped me more than a year of therapy sessions! – Megan on space2live
This is me. This is me from the day I was born. For so long I felt misunderstood and rejected, even by the people closest to me, because they could never understand my need for solitude, and I had no idea how to explain it to them. Even now that I know more about Introversion and have a more informed understanding of my hard-wired need for solitude, it’s still very difficult sometimes to help my loved ones understand this profound craving for time and space all to myself. This is one of the best…

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I Belong Deeply to Myself But I'll Let You In: The Ebb and Flow of Introvert Intimacy

big reach

My alone feels so good, I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude.

— Warsan Shire

The delicious experiencing of our thoughts is so nourishing it is hard to leave that space.  Lovers may entice, cajole, and whimper but still we are drawn to the space of solitude.  The space where we are content and whole.  And yet…

We desire other-worldly connection.  The kind that makes our eyes flash, our minds spark and our bodies relax.  Intimacy glorious intimacy.  The deepest kind of knowing mixed with heady inspiration and undeniable attraction.  Long, endless and effortless conversations that leave us energized despite our natural inclination to tire.

You are terrifying and strange and beautiful, someone not everyone knows how to love.
― Warsan Shire

We terrify because we can be alone.  Such independence and freedom surely mark us as wild horses.  Unpredictable, able to leave.  We don’t need another for completion.  What if we pull away? What if our walking awaysacred world is within ourselves and not reliant on your touch, breath, words?

What if this is true but we still want you? Can you bear our absences? Will you wither as we expand? Will you wait for our return?

Can you handle our powerful longing, deep connection and meaningful affection once we’ve recharged? Do you enjoy the light of our transformative listening? We will love you beautifully until we can’t, then we will grow distant. Fueling our spirits once again with uninterrupted daydreaming and satiating stillness.

Are we worth it?

With you, intimacy colours my voice.
even ‘hello’ sounds like ‘come here’.
― Warsan Shireholding

I found you.  The one who feels me.  Who senses my gifts and value. Who makes my speech flow and heart glow.  With you I am open, fluid and alive.  I don’t hesitate to show my true nature.

You gave me permission to be me.

You process deeply as I do.

I bathe with you in vulnerability.

We cannot help but kiss.

Emotional depth draws me from the mountain peak of solitude to the sea of you.  Your mind excites me. Your voice parts my lips.  Your words part my…

I surrender my body to your self-awareness and soft touch.

I cannot resist you.

Will we meet in our need for space or will I taste loneliness and confusion as you withdraw and blossom?

I belong deeply to myself

― Warsan ShireTeaching My Mother How to Give Birth

I belong deeply to myself but I’ll let you in if you cherish ideas, intuition, imagination, and my inner world.  I’ll let you in if you honor intimacy. I’ll adore you if you revel in clever writing, long walks, poignant lyrics, majestic nature, humanity, wonder, curiosity, awe.

My breath will catch if you reveal your tenderness and reflect me.

Are you into rich relationships? I don’t do casual.

Are you sweeter than solitude?

I belong deeply to myself and it’s costly to let you in.  You will fill me up and deplete me.

Are you worth it?

What is intimacy to you? Who is worth a loss of solitude? How do you maintain a fluid loving relationship with your need to recharge alone?

Warsan Shire

Warsan Shire

*A special note of gratitude for reader, Chehaw, for introducing me to Somali poet Warsan Shire.  Her lyrical words of love and truth spoke to me.

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  1. […] I Belong Deeply to Myself But I’ll Let You In: The Ebb and Flow of Introvert Intimacy […]

  2. moonfire2012 September 10, 2014 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on Lokkatru and commented:
    Omg this is so true about Himself! When I get depressed when He’s gone I remember this.

  3. Hyrum Feriante June 21, 2014 at 2:34 am - Reply

    I love your thoughts and the clarity of emotion behind them. Thank you.

    • Brenda Knowles June 21, 2014 at 7:17 am - Reply

      My writing coach told me yesterday that I can trust my intuition and feelings. Most of the time I have questioned them. I think my writing has allowed me to express my emotions and gain some clarity in the process. So, thanks for noticing.:)

  4. […] I Belong Deeply to Myself But I’ll Let You In: The Ebb and Flow of Introvert Intimacy […]

  5. […] recently read a beautifully poetic blog post on Space2Live entitled, “I Belong Deeply to Myself But I’ll Let You In: The Ebb and Flow of Introvert Intimacy&#8221…. It got me thinking about how being introverted can affect our approach to […]

  6. […] I Belong Deeply to Myself But I’ll Let You In: The Ebb and Flow of Introvert Intimacy […]

  7. Sherrie March 5, 2014 at 9:39 pm - Reply

    your depth of understanding, and talent at sharing it amaze me. Speechless… and for your sharing of it.. Thank you… deeply.
    *sigh, its like coming back into my body through acceptance…..

    • Brenda Knowles March 6, 2014 at 9:10 am - Reply

      I love Warsan Shire. Her writing eases my spirit. Happy I could convey a similar feeling to you. May I use your comment as a reader testimonial on another website of mine? It’s so beautifully said and I appreciate it greatly.

  8. […] I Belong Deeply to Myself But I’ll Let You In: The Ebb and Flow of Introvert Intimacy (space2live) […]

  9. […] I Belong Deeply to Myself But I’ll Let You In: The Ebb and Flow of Introvert Intimacy ( […]

  10. Hewin August 18, 2013 at 7:28 am - Reply

    I found this blog after googling something about needing time to let someone in this morning, because last night, things went really wrong with someone I just started dating. I felt really drained after a couple hours with him. I wanted to leave but couldn’t figure out a way of explaining what was happening. To me it felt like it had been mostly ‘him’-time, but he reacted very hurt and made me feel very guilty, asking why I was sending out such mixed signals. I think he even felt used. I tried to explain, but everything I said was dismissed as not a good enough explanation. Meanwhile I felt like I rarely ever try this hard to explain myself to someone and I didn’t really owed him that kind of effort yet. I’m pretty sure I will always end up feeling this drained, should we see each other again. At the same time, he seems like an interesting and genuinly nice (and apparently, pretty sensitive) person, and seeing him hurt really did touch me. Ironically, he was the first person I’ve dated in years, because I was slowly figuring myself out as someone simultaneously very sensitive and very independent. Thank you for reminding me that it is okay. This was spot-on, I’m very grateful. I really don’t know what I’d do without the internet in moments like this, it does give me exactly the kind of thoughtful, reflective and accepting emotional support I need!

    • Brenda Knowles August 18, 2013 at 7:27 pm - Reply

      You are very self-aware. I believe you are probably right in thinking that you will feel drained again if you choose to spend time with this man. Kudos to you for being compassionate and trying to explain your feelings. He seemed to have difficulty understanding. He didn’t get you.
      I am like you, simultaneously sensitive and independent. I do love a deep connection though.
      Keep your eyes,ears and heart open. Your self-knowledge will make it easier to meet others who do understand you and may even energize you.:)

  11. miles August 4, 2013 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the post and website. It was referred to me by a fellow introvert. So far, and reading some of the other websites on introversion, it has helped me become more aware of my traits as gifts and not feel shame about them. I have to admit, I’ve had a fantasy of a “typical family” and have longed for that, but I don’t seem to be moving in that direction or can’t, b/c the pull to be true to myself has been too strong.

    • brennagee August 5, 2013 at 7:20 am - Reply

      Your self-awareness will lead you in the right direction. Our culture makes having the “typical family” look so heartwarming and right. I had the “ideal” setup — typical family — I felt trapped and depressed. I went against my nature for years. I finally spoke up and created boundaries that felt right for me. It wasn’t easy. I’m still working on it.
      You can have a family and be very content. There must be respect for your temperament. Follow your intuition.
      Thank you for sharing so candidly.

  12. chehaw August 4, 2013 at 7:44 am - Reply

    This sounds like a road map to how we introverts want to love and be loved–this is so achingly beautiful and inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

    • brennagee August 5, 2013 at 7:08 am - Reply

      Thank you for the intro to Warsan Shire. I couldn’t get her poetry out of my head. Her words were the perfect backdrop for expressing the way introverts feel about solitude and love.
      I thoroughly enjoyed reading your writing as well. Beautifully thought provoking.

  13. rootstoblossom August 3, 2013 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    Love this post! This so beautifully illustrates my feelings as an introvert. “I don’t do casual.” I do intense, like you said – “until I can’t. then we will grow distant. Fueling our spirits once again with uninterrupted daydreaming and satiating stillness.” Hubby is not an introvert, and is only beginning to understand, after 19 years together. He has no inner world like I do.

    • brennagee August 3, 2013 at 8:59 pm - Reply

      I’ve been there. I love intimacy but a break is eventually necessary. I hope your husband continues to grow his understanding of you and your nourishing inner world. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. Hopefully, you have learned some about his temperament as well. Awareness can go a long way. Best of luck to you. Revel in your introversion and help your hubby see the gifts in it.

  14. Sandy Sue August 3, 2013 at 6:04 am - Reply

    I often think I’d do best with a partner who is an FBI agent or superhero, someone who is gone long periods of time on the job, who has their own life, but chooses to share theirs with me. Well, it’s a fantasy…

    • brennagee August 3, 2013 at 7:35 am - Reply

      You made me laugh out loud.:) In all truth, I used to wish my ex-husband traveled more. Then I would have time to miss him AND time to myself. I definitely prefer independent partners.

  15. Doug Toft (@dougtoft) August 2, 2013 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    Another beautiful post. You capture the polarity of togetherness and solitude, both needing the other.

    • brennagee August 3, 2013 at 7:24 am - Reply

      I feel that polarity within myself every day. Pulled in two different directions. Love both pulls.:)

  16. OneHotMess August 2, 2013 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    No, I cannot risk the loss again. I have seven gorgeous children and two times at bat. No. Four years later, no,I can never risk that again. Also, I am totally good with that.

    • brennagee August 3, 2013 at 7:22 am - Reply

      You are an introvert, yes? Were your previous partners introverts? I completely understand your aversion to taking a risk again and building a relationship. I have similar reservations – mostly questioning myself though. Wondering if I am meant to be in a committed relationship. Thank you for your honest response. I always appreciate your input.:)

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