As a true introvert, to stay as sane as possible after a lot of social time, it is not enough for me to simply keep company with myself (what others might call “alone but not lonely.”)
I also need to specifically focus on refilling and refueling my inner self.
There are so many different ways to do this, but my preferred method is through meditation and sleep.
Through meditation, I can really feel my “self” – my individual presence – once again.
With breath, focus, easeful posture, and a deliberate calming of the mind, I can more quickly and easily decompress, process, analyze, conclude, forgive, let go, do whatever I need to do to “come back to center” again.
Through sleep, I retreat into the deepest inner spaces of “me,” and while often even I am not sure where those places actually are, I know I have been there when I wake up feeling relieved and refreshed.
In other words, just going home to be alone and watching television or reading won’t cut it.
Doing this may delay the inevitable – what I call the “introvert’s temper tantrum” – but it won’t prevent it.
I can feel the temper tantrum start when I begin losing patience with the smallest, simplest things….often these are incredibly minor events like dropping birdseed on the floor or spilling my coffee.
From there, slowly but surely, the irritation level within me rises, sort of like an emotional flood that has just passed its safety mark.
If I don’t stop to tend to myself through meditation or sleep at this time, the flood waters will just continue to rise.
Eventually, I risk saying or doing something both out of character and potentially quite damaging, and likely with those I am closest to because, a) they are around the most, and b) they are most likely to say or do something to set me on a course towards something I can’t take back.
I am also sure extroverts have to go through their own process to “come back to center” from being too long alone.
However, not being even remotely extroverted myself, I don’t have any idea what that process might be.
I just know that, for whatever reason (spiritual immaturity or whatever it may be), there is a being within me that cannot seem to stay in a continual state of easeful connection to life itself and the lives going on all around me without retreating to engage in periodic and very specific regrouping practices.
Here, my personal motto has become “with meditation and sleep, nearly anything is possible…endurable….doable….even enjoyable.”
Without….well, I just try to make sure I never have to find out.
Today’s Takeaway: Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Do you ever find you need to take specific action to refuel and refill from too much of what your particular personality tolerates less easily (too much or not enough socialization)? What works best for you?
Spilled coffee photo available from Shutterstock