Monday, January 25, 2016

Belonging...Or Not

I am very rare.

We all tend to think that about ourselves.

There is a scripture in the Hebrew Bible that says we are "fearfully and wonderfully made."

It makes one feel special, great, unique.

Truly one-of-a-kind.

So, yes, I am very rare.

Even more rare than the uniqueness of everyone else is my personality type.

They say that just 3% of the population is on the Myers-Briggs INFJ Personality Scale.

The company is almost exclusive.

President Jimmy Carter shares my personality type. So does one of the younger writers I've met in the past year. We almost need a support group so we can sit together quietly intuining with each other the world we encounter with our keen emotional intelligence and perception.

The pain of belonging or not can show up all over our face.

Like when one is dismissed or disregarded because we are so busy helping and serving others instead of touting how brilliant we are to a bunch of captive middle schoolers.

Should we even try to belong?

Can we just exist as our individual selves,collectively being the conscious of a nation that sometimes forgets to be concerned about the least of things?

Would we ever truly distance ourselves from the people we seek to help because it is ingrained in our DNA?

It is why Jimmy Carter, with a cancer diagnosis, and an octogenarian, still showed up to teach Sunday School on the morning after one of his grandsons died.

Compelled, perhaps that is the word, we are compelled to shine a light on those thing that are wrong and try to use the miniscule extroverted part of us to rally other people to feel an ounce of compassion for someone else.

Maybe that is why we may appear either aloof or too busy to notice, our sleeves rolled up and our noses to the grindstone.

I often wonder what it would be like if I could be cold and callous, not caring that I pass over someone who has been there working all the time for a friend who just showed up and is suddenly in charge. Could I do something like that with a straight face?

Belonging is something that is underneath conversations of my middle school daughter and her friends who try to navigate cliques, circles,and clichés.

Do we really want to be in space and place with someone else who could care less about the light we are shining on the world problems? Is our insightfulness overwhelming to them who simply want to have an espresso and drone on through their day?

I am curious. Intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, mentally. I am never without a book, a journal, and a pen.  I seek to understand what is happening around me and process it so that I can make a difference in the world where I exist. I wonder about those on the other side of the globe who are navigating through ancient customs clashing with modern technology. I wonder about fellow mothers and writers and poets and artists.

It is in being curous that I keep trying to learn more about what makes me tick.

Facebook is notorious for these tests popping up on our timeline. A friend of mine said she thinks the government is experimenting on all of us. Maybe, like a dystopian world waiting to happen, wonder if we will be categorized into zones, like the Divergent Series, and people like me, us INFJs, would be the Divergent ones who they will seek to eliminate. Anyway, I started to look at some of these "what does your favorite color say about you" or "this is what your personality says you will do in five years" tests as part of both curiousity and distraction.

One that I just took almost mirroed one I took in 2013 as part of a consultancy training.

I am indeed a rare bird.

This one said I am a Blue, like a true blue.

What did that even mean? I have an affinity to blue, I mean I was in a sorority auxillary in college and the colors were Royal Blue and Pure White, did that count? My youngest daughter loves blue, wonder if that was it? My college colors were Blue. Could it just be a fluke?

No, the test is pretty accurate.

You belong to the blue color family! The color psychology quiz tells us that like those blue colors that you subconsciously most relate to, you're deep, comforting, emotional and naturally intuitive. You've always had a sixth sense or gut feeling that never leads you astray. Rely on your intuition; it will never fail you! But, you probably already know that. Others may perceive you as overly emotional, and you may even have a reputation for being a bit sensitive or touchy, but you actually just have an incredibly high emotional intelligence. You can be a bit melancholy at times, and you need time and space to recharge your emotional energies.

When I finished the test and thought about the results, I decided that not belonging is not such a bad thing. I do belong to a select group of people, us Blues, us INFJs, who have a special purpose of existing. We are the heart, the pulse, the light shining, the conscious at times, to have everyone else stop and consider the implications of things we do.
Do we really need to own everything when we die and can't take any of it with us?
Is there really enough for everyone that Park Avenue doesn't have to horde resources or make people walk in a blizzard to deliver them pizza because they don't want to cook?
Should we stop using bottled water in Missouri so it can be sent to Flint, Michigan and not pollute our three rivers?

Can we have quality education for all if we normalized funding away from property values and just made it an equal opportunity system? 

Would race matters go away if we just celebrated everyone as a "fearfully and wonderfully made" creation that has a special purpose of existing?

Thoughts and questions of life swirling around my mind day-and-night as I try to decide how much this introverted intuitive person can take of other people in one moment.

Belonging or not, the questions remains unanswered.

©2008-2016 by Tayé Foster Bradshaw.

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