Good vs. Evil, my latest inner conflict

I still gain much insight to the inner workings of my brain from the personality type test I took in June. I am Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving and the following is true of me:

“An INFP friend describes the inner conflict as not good versus bad, but on a grand scale, Good vs. Evil.”

My latest inner conflict includes other Christian sisters and my relationship with them. I recently attended a celebration for a sister in Christ. Although I knew most of the people in attendance, I left the function feeling completely detached and very alone. I cried the whole way home, mourning this feeling of aloneness that is a recurring theme in my life.  

This feeling of detachment, separation, aloneness is not new for me. I suppose I became aware of this feeling in jr. high when cliques were in abundance. Not only did I not understand cliques, but I was torn by having to choose friendships according to who was in what clique. This was extremely stressful and emotionally distressing to me, and the cliques continued through high school. I never felt like I “fit” anywhere during this time period.

To this day, I continue to feel this lack of connection with many people, especially in a group of people that already have established, close friendships. I suppose I feel like an unwelcomed intruder in these social situations.

I am not the most savvy communicator, especially with people I don’t know well. I have been really honing my “small talk” skills over the past decade. Small talk is very difficult for me, but in social situations, it is essential. My difficulty with small talk is not the words, but the underlying emptiness to them. Once again that personality type comes into play. Everything to me must have great purpose. My introverted feeling dictates that “The “object,” be it homo sapiens or a mere representation of an organism, is valued only to the degree that the object contains some measure of the inner Essence or greater Good.” To me small talk has no value because it is not impacting anything in life. 

Here is the essence of the whole conflict for me. If I do not feel valued in a relationship, I disconnect myself from that person or people. If the relationship is one-sided, with me making the effort and the the other person really showing no reciprocating interest, I shut down. And my Good vs. Evil inner conflict is the impact I would love to make by investing myself in a relationship with another vs. selfishness I see in myself when I perceive no connection and find myself in that place of emptiness. I am dreadfully hurt when my voice, my person, is really not heard. This is not because I see myself as so greatly valuable to everyone else in the world, but because I have that inner desire to be accepted and valued by the other person. 

So when I was crying my way home from this celebration, I was crying out to God asking Him why He made me this way. I was so frustrated with myself. He immediately showed me the value in my personality. He told me why He created me.

I am here to love immensely and with great purpose all those He puts in my path, even when it makes no sense. I am here to love the unlovable, because I see such great value in their personhood and the fact that God created them. I am here to rejoice when the flower blooms, or to mourn when it does not. I am here to love deeply the nameless, the discarded. I am here to see beauty where it does not otherwise exist.

God has a way of putting things in perspective.

This quote was from a “CWO Tuesday In Other Words” hosted by Fruit in Season:

“As Christians, we are called to convert our loneliness into solitude. We are called to experience our aloneness not as a wound but as a gift–as God’s gift–so that in our aloneness we might discover how deeply we are loved by God.” ~ Henri Nouwen

I get it. God revealed to me on the way home the beauty and value of this river of mine that runs so deep.  What was a viewed as a wound became a gift. He made me this way because He has plans for me. He wants to use me for His glory. How awesome it that?!

God has put me in a regularly occurring situation this summer in which I have an opportunity to explore these feelings and perhaps get a grip on them. I am coming to realize that I am so fearful of rejection that if I don’t sense a reciprocating interest in a friendship, I stop the relationship before I have a chance to get hurt. My choice is to either embrace the feelings of detachment and lack of value I feel, or to crucify these feelings and lay my heart on the table come what may.

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

amanda ∞

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11 Responses

  1. Amanda,

    You are wonderful and this is a wonderful post! Celebrating differences… this has been on my mind a bunch lately too. It is a pleasure to read the blog of another INFP!

    Thanks, Julie. I happen to feel the same way about you.
    amanda

  2. Amanda,
    I know no two people are alike, as God created us all so unique, but I sit here with tears amazed at the similarities. As if God is showing me something in the mirror. Once again, you’ve put words to what’s in my heart, but it has never gone this deep. Thank you and I don’t know what else to say…

  3. I just couldn’t get over this post and I wish we could sit and have tea.

    You know, I always have to make a decision to be selfless, otherwise, it is just too painful for me to be “out there.” God is my strength, but I’d lying if I say it doesn’t sting.

    Flo- who’s grateful to be driven by eternity

    I’d love some tea. I am comforted to hear you can relate. Sometimes it feels like I’m the only one.
    amanda

  4. I want to sit and have some tea as well and I am not an introvert according to that personality study. 🙂 I do have many of those same feelings and thank you for expressing yet another thought that has been pinging around in my head.

    Ooo, I think a tea party is in order!
    amanda

  5. You’ve given me sooo much to think about with this post!

    LOVE your new cabinet and LOVE the Middle Name Meme~I felt honored to get it twice!

    I have sad news, and PLEASE forgive me! I have not mailed it yet, when I had said I would Monday. There was a mishap of little fingers and a now broken record button, and I’m trying to work out the kinks so it’s not just Christmas but a few other things as well. If I can’t figure it out this weekend, then Monday or Tuesday I WILL send it out, but it will just be Christmas. I’m sorry! (((((HUGS))))) sandi

  6. […] is just the lesson I need to apply to my latest inner conflict. How does it make me feel when others are so caught up in their close-knit relationships that they […]

  7. Amanda,

    Thank you for sharing.

    I too struggle for these and many related issues. In some ways, it is a tragedy that people like us have difficulty connecting with the world. I too ask God why He made me like this – I feel like I suffer so much at the expense of others.

    Small talk – Amanda, can I relate; an emptiness that the world somehow entertains them selves with. To me it is much like nothingness – an activity of no point.

    Thank you for your post. Oh, can I join in the tea party?

    Thomas

  8. Hi Amanda, My husband and I moved to a small town away from our home. We joined a church and hoped that our fellowship needs would be filled. It’s a very cold area, relationally, that we live in. I think you have to be born here to be accepted. We feel very much like you do and relate totally. I choose to take the attitude that, “they just don’t know what they are missing, because I am a fun person!” God has brought me one pretty good friend, but she lives miles away and is pretty busy. It’s hard. I’ll just say with Flo—I am…grateful to be driven by eternity.

  9. Hi Amanda,

    I just discovered this post today and have this for you to think about:

    A dear friend of mine told me the emptiness and longing we feel will never be completely filled from this world because it is a longing for Heaven, a longing to sit in HIS presence. It must have been felt by all who love God since the time when Adam and Eve had to leave the garden. I have found that explanation highly plausible and greatly comforting. Perhaps you will find some value in these words too.

  10. I love your blog. I am so happy I found you. I am a collage artist, journalist….check out my work on my blog. I will visit again for sure! Carol

  11. […] circmumstances? How do you handle them? Amanda from Hidden Art has written a wonderful post about Good vs. Evil – My Latest Inner Conflict. This is a must read for anyone who has ever felt […]

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