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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
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…
Niko
Your site has saved my sanity and my life. Maybe even my marriage. I work part time and have two young boys at home, my husband is supportive of me but until recently I thought I was going crazy. … Reading your writing not only inspires me to pick up the pen again, but gives me nourishment in the deepest places. I will fight for balance. Everything you write is spot on… And wellness is so incredibly multifaceted.  I was ready to give up hope, but understanding myself through your words is bring…
J.K.
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
C.M.
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….. Sherrie on space2live
Sherrie
Because of your blog, I know that it is possible for me to have the love that I want one day and that I don’t have to be alone.  — Indepthwoman  on space2live
Indepthwoman

“I was struggling with my daughter (16 at the time) and our constant fighting. You said something to me that changed my life! You were speaking about your own situation and you said to me “my child could not handle my emotions”. This was a HUGE “lightbulb moment” for me and it forever changed the way I dealt with my emotions when I was around my daughter!

I am happy to say that things have never been better between my soon to be 18 year old daughter and myself! I honestly never thought we would…

Mom M
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
Megan
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 …
D.R.
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…
Gary

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Sensitive Introverts Need Space AND Responsiveness

woman lying down alone

I’ve been thinking about space lately. Now that my man is gone, there is more space in my life. Sometimes that feels energizing and free. Other times it feels empty and heavy.

It so happens that this week my children are spending extra time with their dad. I miss them. My home has too much space and quiet. I bet you never thought you’d hear an introvert say that.

The woman who created space2live is uncomfortable in her space.

Is there anybody out there? 

Since the breakup with my man, I’ve missed my mom more. She’s shown up in my dreams. In the past when I needed to talk, she was there to listen. She was a safe space I could turn to. Now that she’s gone, my short list of first responders, is even shorter.

I’ve found myself reaching across space to my friends and family. I have a deep desire to feel connected. I don’t like free-floating in space. It feels vulnerable and yes, even lonely.

At one point last week, I contacted four friends via email and for two days no one responded, radio silence. I also contacted four different repair service people (plumber, painter, handyman, landscaper) and only one responded. Even the people I intended to pay to talk to me, didn’t respond. It felt like I was talking into a vast void. The only explanation I could take solace in, is that everyone is very busy.

Busy feels empty and disconnected.

Space invaded

I mentioned in a previous post how I’d found a safe haven in a progressive church in my community. The attendees there feel like my people. I went to church this past Sunday. After being warmly greeted by those handing out bulletins and welcoming congregants, I walked to the side of the church I’d subconsciously decided would be my usual side for sitting. In the last pew with her head down looking at her phone was my ex-husband’s new wife. The sight of her took my breath away for a second. I instantly felt a sense of loss. My new warm space, didn’t feel so safe and warm.

I know part of it is I feel observed and judged by someone who is by default, a part of my inner circle. There is also the fact that she is an extrovert. My introverted spirit, that I’ve worked diligently to empower, still feels a tad inferior to someone with a vivacious and outspoken nature. Around such people, I regress to that quiet girl who fades into the background. I didn’t want to fade in this place. I actually thought it would be a place where I could glow brightly. I know I still can.

She and I talked after the service. This was her first time attending this church. She was looking for a spiritual community in the area and wanted to bring her kids there. We have a lot of the same interests and intentions. It’s easy to like her. But even she brought up how it might be a little weird both attending the same church.

I’m trying to process this situation and why the Universe would put us together in the same spiritual community. I want to come from a place of abundance and not selfishly wish my lovely safe haven was not invaded but for now my openness and generosity is a work in progress.

Wanting to see planets up close

Jupiter Saturn NASAMy middle son’s fascination with astronomy recently resurfaced. We’ve been staring at planets and the moon through his telescope. We desperately want to see stripes on Jupiter and rings around Saturn. We want details. We want clarity. His telescope does not have the capability to see those things clearly. I reached out to a friend who is an expert on space. He researched alternative telescopes for us so we could see more. I appreciated his help.

My son reminded me how there are more stars in the sky than grains of sand on Earth. He also said a grain of sand covers 10,000 galaxies in the night’s sky. Wow. Vastness opens us to contemplation. We are so small. We want such clarity.

I’m seeking clarity from this alone space.

Putting yourself out there

One thing that’s come into sharper focus is how much I value responsiveness, particularly emotional responsiveness. When I reach out, I’m easily hurt if no one reaches back.

In exploring that discovery, I’ve turned the lens around and tried to be more responsive to others. I’m accepting spontaneous invitations, supporting friends in their endeavors, lending a hand when needed and helping others get through their dark times.

I’m using the extra time in my schedule to further my writing work. I’m reading Lauren Sapala’s writing book for INFJ writerINFJs, The INFJ Writer: Cracking the Creative Genius of the World’s Rarest Type I highly recommend it for any sensitive intuitive interested in developing their creative process. Not surprisingly, Lauren’s book resonates with me. Lauren even suggests wallowing in self-indulgent and emotional music.

I’m writing posts for other websites (The Minds Journal and The Thought Catalog) and continuing with the editing process for my book.

I’m researching and gaining insight from workshops about relationship dynamics and personal growth. Gaining insight is an excellent way for me to heal. It gives me hope and inspiration. It engages my future oriented mind and gets me moving forward.

The space where my relationship used to be is putting me in touch with loneliness and showing me what I really want: connection, responsiveness, creativity, learning and insight.

What has emptiness taught you? How sensitive are you to responsiveness? 

 

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18 Comments

  1. Rickki June 22, 2016 at 5:57 am - Reply

    Hi Brenda!
    Great site and post. I ran across your site by accident. Thats what happens when you (unexpectedly) wake up at 3:30am for no reason- you mindlessly scour the Information Super Highway. Sometimes we get lucky and find great sites like yours. Bookmarked!

    I can relate to all things in your post. First of all, I’ve know since I was a kid that I was an introvert, which looking back, really explains a lot of things. Up until a few years ago, I did not know that there were so many different types of introverts. I have not taken the test to see what category I fall into yet, but will in the near future.

    My present situation is married, one child and one large house. The girls are away for my daughters lessons this summer. Time alone for me, what could be better? Well, I am enjoying my time alone, but I find that I still need communication and when I don’t get it, I start pegging friends, relatives, co-workers to see if anyone is still alive on planet earth. I have two cell phones. I turn the ring volume up as high as it will go and put the phones in a common area when I can hear the familiar “ping” when someone texts me. Yep- when. Silence. When I pass from the kitchen to the living room, I press the button to see if ‘just maybe’ I might have missed that familiar ping. Nothing. Lol. “How pathetic” to keep checking my phones, when for months, I’ve done nothing but crave time alone and solitude. Kind of funny when the girls are here, Im ‘Johnny on the spot’ and doing things and seek a corner of the house to hide from the monsters (ok, they’re not monsters!). But when I have time alone, sometimes, not much gets done.

    Im ok with being alone of course. And like many others, I get lonely and feel disconnected from the world. For me, I try not to just sit around and do nothing. I get up and do something around the house. When you have a house, there is always something to do. When I am inside, I crank up the radio and listen to Classic Rock, my favorite- NPR.

    Everyone needs their space. “Innies” need it more. Honestly- Being married has really thrown my personal planet, a tab bit out of orbit. I still miss my ME time and solitude. Whats even harder is being a supervisor and providing guidance to a diverse group of people, whose work ethics, attitudes and personalities are FAR different than mine. I am literally drained at the end of the day. But Ill save that story for another time. 🙂

    Rickki

    • Brenda Knowles June 22, 2016 at 8:14 pm - Reply

      Glad you found space2live Rickki! Welcome to your introvert home.:) I think when we get time alone we often just want to breathe and let our mind wander. Every other minute of the day is usually filled with people and activity. I understand that intense listening for the ‘ping’ of connection. After a day to myself, I’m ready to touch base with someone, if only to tell them about what new thoughts or ideas surfaced while I was introverting.;) I believe there are people we can be with who don’t drain our battery as much. I have friends like that but never a romantic partner. I’m still searching. Perhaps it’s the constant companionship versus the sporadic that makes all the difference. I don’t know. Thanks for sharing your story and joining our little community here. Enjoy your summer of freedom. May you receive a satisfying number of pings. 🙂

  2. PeggySu May 27, 2016 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    Your last few posts have felt as though you wrote them for me and I am very appreciative. A month ago by amazing luck I had a 90 min. meeting with 2 members of my tribe, the first such in what seems like forever. I’d not met either of these people before although had exchanged email with one of them. I was so energized it was incredible. You wrote about a similar experience a few weeks ago. It’s such a good reminder that I do have a tribe and I do need them.

    A year or so ago I read a book I think it was you who had recommended — the author’s last name is something like Helgo. (I got it from the library so don’t have it here to check.) But I remember she explained that even when you are looking forward to solitude — IIRC the example had to do with going to a retreat — you can be depressed at first and she had a good explanation as to why. I know I wrote it down somewhere 🙂 Maybe you can find it.

    I definitely believe that kindness and responsiveness and feeling understood are important for us introverts. Unkindness is obviously hurtful but even neutrality or a lack of kindness can be very hard to deal with.

    • Michael Buley May 27, 2016 at 9:15 pm - Reply

      PeggySu, I wanted to say I agree with you: neutrality can be hard to deal with. An indifference on the part of whomever we are with. We look for some kind of warmth and excitement to see us and be with us and talk with us. It is what we usually offer, and so we look for that in return. When it is absent, yes, it is hard to deal with. thank you for noting that.

    • Brenda Knowles May 28, 2016 at 1:29 pm - Reply

      I bet the book was Introvert Power by Laurie Helgoe. It’s a great book. I’ll have to see if I can find the passage you’re referring to. Yes, our tribes are so important. They breathe life into us. As a sensitive introvert I can sense even unexpressed impatience or anger. I realize people are going to get mad from time to time but I now know I need more calm than turbulence, more positivity and kindness than negativity and cynicism. I hope you get more time with your tribe. Make it happen. 🙂

  3. Morena May 27, 2016 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    Brenda,

    As I’m reading your words, it is hitting me so much on an emotional, spiritual and mental level. I sometimes really don’t know how you do it with your words 🙂 but this is exactly how I feel. I was talking to a friend of mine and for those few hours, I wished that I could be near him, to see his face. To have that direct emotional feedback. When I write people and they take forever even months. It bothers me. I feel like, ok, even if you can’t talk, just acknowledge you received it. I respond back to people either right away or soon because I know how it feels. I do want love but I also want solitude.

    My friend and I, we were both talking about where we wanted to live, and we have so much in common. It seemed so dreamy I just wanted to book my flight and leave, LOL. I’m the same way I need that deep emotional connection. I’m a very peaceful person, I’m not saying there will not be arguments, but arguments over what?? I just want a love that make me feel safe. I haven’t had that safe space in my life since my mom passed over 22 years ago and I’ve been missing that. I had to let go of a lot of toxic people in my life and I’m starting over with everything, in every way.

    The only reason why I have not left to CA yet is because I’m still fixing somethings with my finances and making sure I’m health is well before I leave. I just don’t want to make a hasty move and I can’t take care of myself. Even if my friend said to me, “hey come stay with me” and I took him up on his kind gesture. I would feel some type of way about that, because I never had to depend on a man before in any way.

    I just think it wouldn’t be smart to go somewhere and not have the money, that I need to start over in any way. I like knowing that if I need something. I can pull out some cash or my card and buy it, even if it is only $10. Money is security and freedom. I’ve always had my own and I just can’t see myself asking for money from a man, that I’m not married to. I also want to contribute too. Not just be there to be there. I haven’t found a church that I feel safe at, the churches I’ve been to., as soon as you step in, you can feel the negative energy.

    I’m like you, I’m not religious and I take pieces from different sources too as I am more spiritual. Wow, how awkward that must have been to run into her. I’ve ran into my ex with and without his wife or the women he was cheating on me with. but anyway. Extremely awkward after everything I did for him.

    I used to have a spot that I ate at, when I worked at this law firm and word must have leaked, because the quiet space I wanted to eat at and just read a book or listen to music, other people were there. Whenever I would be eating alone, someone would just walk over to me and sit in front of me or next to me, meanwhile there was all this empty space. Even when I was reading, the same thing.

    I just can not understand that if you see someone is eating, listening to music or reading, why would you just walk over there and start talking?? I had to start eating in one of the phone booths just to have some privacy. It was my only hour to myself and people tried to take that away from me. If I work with you for 9 hours, why can’t I have an hour to myself for some peace and quiet. Then I’m the weird anti social one.

    One time I tried to take a quick nap and someone just came over and started talking. This would happen a lot in my last relationship. He was just “ON” all the time, moving around, watching tv, texting, on the phone, on the computer. One time I fell asleep in my walk in closet, lol. I was looking for something and I sat down and fell asleep. I was desperate for some peace and quiet to hear my own thoughts. The next time I live somewhere I just want a space of my own, I want my own prayer/meditation room. A place where there are no phones or noise.

    I just want to be in a safe place that’s quiet, clean, where I can write, read, listen to music, cook, meditate, reflect. and I just want someone who understands that I need to have an affair with solitude. I just don’t want to be with a needy person and if I’m to myself they are offended. I’m just quiet. The things that I find comfort in, others may find boring, because I’m not extroverted and loud. I’m a peaceful person and I want the same thing in a lover.

    https://indepthwoman.wordpress.com/2016/05/16/taking-a-leap-of-faith/

    • Brenda Knowles May 28, 2016 at 1:18 pm - Reply

      Moreno you sound like me you love and need your solitude but you have a heart that wants real love too. I’ve come to realize some of my independence and self-reliance sent out vibes that I don’t need anyone. If you are too self-reliant others will only give you the bare minimum because they think that’s all you need and it makes their lives easier. I’ve also come to realize, I do need someone. I want a healthy relationship. I want to work at something good and real with someone. I did some of that with my man but there were too many red flags and unalterable differences. I didn’t feel emotionally safe. I think you and I are both in a gathering space. We are getting ourselves together and learning in the process. Sooner or later we’ll have to leap and take risks but for now we’ll gather and build. Take care sweet lady. Stay open to possibilities.

      • Morena May 29, 2016 at 1:35 pm - Reply

        Brenda……”I’ve come to realize some of my independence and self-reliance sent out vibes that I don’t need anyone. If you are too self-reliant others will only give you the bare minimum because they think that’s all you need and it makes their lives easier.” You know what?, You’re right….you are so right!

        I never knew I was doing that. I’m such a simple person and it has backfired on me. Yeah men that I’ve never even dated, start thinking about how easy their life can be. My last relationship, he cared more about what I had then me. I had to shut the convenience store down. He just thought I would always be there and that he had time to do what he wanted. It took several losses to see what was going on around me.

        Losing everything was a blessing in disguise, because I was suffocating. I’ve never looked at anyones life and thought about how easy my life can be, if I attached myself to them. I’d rather struggle, than be unhappy with someone I don’t love or make a hasty decision out of desperation. I also want a healthy relationship. When you’ve been on your for so long, you’re own cheerleader and supporter, its hard giving that up. I want someone who makes me feel emotionally safe and not someone who just sees me as a convenience for them.

  4. Gold Rhino May 27, 2016 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    HI Brenda,

    Sorry you feel so down. Have you tried turning empty hours into productive ones? I find if I am creating something, I do not have time to be lonely, and every golden moment of solitude can be spent publishing more work.

    Whenever a girlfriend leaves, I take on a big publishing project and every moment of solitude is a chance to get reinforcement from perfecting my craft.

    Since my craft does not involve writing about my feelings (I write about reform movements in U.S. history) the effort takes me to another world.

    And because writing is labor intensive–consuming many hours–it drives out all loneliness. Every hour of writing requires five or six of research.

    I am happiest when I do not have to depend on anyone else for anything. I hire people to fix broken things in my house, etc.

    I’ll bet you would feel better if you would take an upper-level humanities or sociology course at a four-year university. Such courses all require a great deal of research and writing.

    You might even meet somebody special, although I wouldn’t sign up for a class just looking for that.

    Good luck! Loneliness can be outgrown. You can never lose when you invest in yourself. The things you learn will never walk out the door on you.

    Best-seller Stephen King has a snappy little book on writing. I’d start by reading it.

    • Brenda Knowles May 28, 2016 at 1:10 pm - Reply

      Thank you Gold Rhino! I am investing in research and my work. It does help me move forward and feel fulfilled to a degree. In the last year, I’ve come to realize I get exhausted maintaining a stringent level of self-reliance. I really liked being in a relationship where I could lean on a partner from time to time and he could do the same. I liked working through things together. I have often written about being whole on your own and I still believe we have to be authentic but I now think we can do that within a relationship as well if both parties are willing to grow and learn and honor the relationship. I’ve also figured out that relationships needs a high degree of emotional safety for me. I’ve learned how to be independent without being needy but I’ve also learned it’s nice to be in an interdependent relationship with compassionate support. I think you’re right I would love an upper level class in the humanities or sociology. I took several of them in undergrad. I never tire of learning. I realize I need a high level of solitude to learn, create and feel balanced. That can make relationships difficult but I keep getting closer to a healthy relationship. I still believe healthy couples are better together than on their own. I’m aiming for that but in the meantime I’m expanding my mind and heart on my own. I’ve read Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’. I loved it.:) I’m now reading four different books ranging from Tolstoy to Liz Gilbert, fiction to self-help. They keep my mind buzzing and happy. I’m working out and writing too. All good. Thanks for your always insightful comments GR. Thanks for being in my corner.:)

      • Gold Rhino May 29, 2016 at 12:24 pm - Reply

        Brenda,

        A Masters in Sociology would be fewer than 40 hours. Indeed, the Masters is perhaps the easiest of the three degrees, because the required hours are so short. In such a program you would not only gain intellectual fulfillment. You would also be highly likely to meet some very interesting minds and personalities, especially if you organize a study group for exams.

        Sociology is not my field, though I minored in it as an undergrad. I always wished that my reading-intensive, highly competitive field allowed me the time to take graduate Soc courses.

        With your sensitivity and intellect, you will need to be around some very sharp people to find that companion you say you need. I don’t think you will find him through a dating service.

        Graduate school is a wonderful place to find worlds we hardly knew existed. It is also a lot of work, but no finance company can ever repossess your degree, knowledge, or reading lists.

        And I personally would not want any of the girls or women who put me down before I finished my graduate education. I mean to cast no aspersions on them; I am a very different person than the one they knew.

  5. Michael Buley May 27, 2016 at 4:01 pm - Reply

    Thank you for being so open with us, Brenda.

    I like a lot of alone time. That is a struggle with my wife, who doesn’t need or want it nearly as much as I do, and who doesn’t understand my desire for solitude, for what could be long stretches of time. That time and space is where I create. And immersing myself into that inner world takes time. And once I’m there, I need more time to go more deeply into it all.

    I’m older than you. At 60, I’ve been married, divorced after 25 years of my first marriage. Raised 3 kids together. At times during my first marriage, I had the conflict of craving to be alone, yet fearing to be alone — and you said it well, I think: it’s to feel connected, emotionally. Unfortunately, my first and wife and I, though there was a lot of love between us, could not seem to connect emotionally. And so I was quite lonely for much of it.

    At this point in my life, solitude is a beautiful thing, and still hard to come by, as there are different people who need me at this point.

    I, too, recently began attending church again. I was raised Catholic, and going to Catholic church again feels very much like being home. I take a comfort there, and enjoy going by myself.

    At this point in my life, I crave solitude more than ever. Twenty years ago, I think it wasn’t as intense, though some of my times I look back on with the most fondness, were times when I was alone, reading, writing, drinking coffee, having a few smokes.

    Your openness with us gives us the space to be open with you, and with ourselves. You spoke of your Mom no longer being with you, and that was the loss of a safe space.

    My parents have always been a safe space for me, too — I could go visit them, and I often did, and there was no judgment. However I was, it was just fine. Which is why I love my pups so much: their love truly is unconditional, too.

    My Dad passed a few weeks ago. I lost half my safe space. I’m not sure how long Mom will be with us. I wonder what it will be like when she is gone, and there is no safe place like that to go to. Home, in a very literal and figurative sense.

    Again, my thanks to you for sharing so openly with us.

    Michael

    • Brenda Knowles May 28, 2016 at 12:56 pm - Reply

      Hi Michael. Your first marriage sounds much like my marriage. I rarely had alone time in the marriage and there was no deep emotional connection. I understand your craving for solitude now. I am like you in that I need a good amount of quiet and unimpeded time to create. Putting my thoughts together and creating as well as taking time to research and learn to supply those thoughts takes a lot of uninterrupted time. I have met people who inspire me and actually fuel my creativity with their company but they have never been romantic partners of mine.
      My condolences regarding your father passing away. It kind of feels like someone removed a leg from your favorite stool, doesn’t it? Those safe and warm relationships are so cherished. We introverts tend to form strong and deep relationships with those we let in our circle. Since my mom’s illness and death my sister and I have become closer. That helps fill the void. My dad is another safe harbor I treasure.
      I’m glad you’ve returned to your spiritual practices. I always find houses of worship and spiritual ritual/discussions very peace inducing.
      I hope I didn’t make it sound like I am in dire straights. I do feel an emptiness and I miss companionship but I’m learning how to reframe that and move on with healthy endeavors and quality connections. Like I said, the empty space is making it clearer what I want in relationships and in my solitude. I truly appreciate your thoughtful comments. You always remind me that we expect in return what we put out. That’s true. I think that’s why I am so sensitive to a lack of emotional responsiveness. It feels imbalanced. Take care Michael.

      • Michael Buley May 29, 2016 at 2:52 pm - Reply

        Brenda, you didn’t sound at all like you’re in dire straits. You sound at peace with yourself. Even in chaos, and lesser forms of turbulence, we can be at peace with who we are, and where we are. And my sense is that: at peace is where you are.

        It is a beautiful life through all things that happen.

        I’ve seen many times the sentiment expressed that gratitude opens the door for more. I think differently about that. Gratitude isn’t a technique or a key to get more. Instead, I think gratitude slowly removes the veil from our eyes, our hearts, that prevent us from seeing the infinite beauty and blessings that are always there. The more we see with our hearts, the more we see how astounding it all really is, all the time.

        Thank you for giving all that you give to us. You allow us to connect with you, with others, and most importantly, with ourselves. There is a lot of joy and beauty in what you have created.

        Michael

        • Brenda Knowles June 1, 2016 at 3:59 pm - Reply

          Michael I love the way you think and express your thoughts. I agree. Gratitude does allow us to see and appreciate the beauty that is always there. I’m trying to practice it even more. When I was taking the flow state workshop, they mentioned gratitude as one way of connecting with now, positive neurochemicals and flow. It truly is powerful. I see many people with negative confirmation biases and I don’t understand why they would want to wallow in what the world lacks or fails at, when they could have a positive confirmation bias and start seeing the good. I really believe seeing with the heart is healthier and leads to greater life satisfaction. Thanks for your kind and insightful comments Michael.

          • Michael Buley June 1, 2016 at 4:30 pm

            You’re very welcome, Brenda. It’s odd. I’m not even sure how I came across your page. And I am very glad that I did. It is very comforting to read others’ words, and yours, and feel some kind of ‘yes you’re okay just the way you are.’ I’m not sure I feel that so much from others in my life, in general, though I am seeing, and accepting, and enjoying myself for who I am, more and more.

            Perhaps we bring others into our lives at different times, who are quite a contrast with ourselves, and through those relationships, if we are strong enough (not always easy), we can slowly learn who WE are.

            I have been criticized in a lot of ways for who I am. By some, I’m seen as not responsible, not caring, other things that have caused me to look at myself and go, ‘Am I those ways?’ I tend to take seriously what others say, and often, depending on our personalities, we concede certain things so as to avoid conflict. The problem is, we can compromise and concede ourselves into a virtual death.

            So it is very nice, and very helpful, to feel with you, and others who share their thoughts, that yes, we are these super sensitive folks, and we need enthusiasm and passion and excitement in our relationships — perhaps most importantly (at least for me) an excitement for who I am. I offer encouragement and support and belief, and excitement about who others are. And I need that very much, too.

            We continue to learn and grow — and practice gratitude!

            I again thank you, Brenda, for being who you are, and giving us this safe place to be.

            Michael

  6. Nancy Smith May 27, 2016 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    I appreciate your willingness to be so open in this blog. Thank you.

    • Brenda Knowles May 28, 2016 at 12:38 pm - Reply

      You’re welcome Nancy. It’s therapeutic for me and helps me feel connected to something bigger than myself. Plus, it’s what I know how to do. It’s how I write.;)

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