I am all about being safe. It’s been my top priority for the past few years. This need to be safe has turned my ‘introvertness’ into possibly ‘hermit living.’ And the weird thing is I don’t mind it, to some extent it has helped me regulate my overworked nervous system.
By pulling back from socializing, I’ve had time to reflect on the principals that drive my life. I would call it a healthy spring cleaning where every belief is pulled out of the dresser drawer and analyzed: “Do I keep this item or toss it?”
In order for me to ‘spring clean’ my principals, I had to leave social contexts with rigid divides – ones where separating lines were drawn in permeant black marker with a clear “in and out” mindset. When I participated in these social contexts, I was both insecure and confident. When I sat on the desired side of the divide, I was confident and did everything I needed to do to stay in that position. This included foregoing self-reflection. I never thought to ask myself, “Is this what’s best for you? What do you truly want?” The framework of this social context was conformity – you were affirmed when you met the criteria set by the ‘right’ side. For a people-pleaser who doesn’t like conflict this was ideal. For someone who also has a strong intuition and likes to ask questions this was not optimal.
Leaving social contexts with rigid divides left me on the ‘other side’ which was the place where I realized that I had lost much of my intuition, or at least my ability to voice it. I had questions but I knew dialogue was not encouraged in these social contexts. It was when I sat alone, I felt something deep within me crack open – I had known all along what made me feel unsettled, out-of-sorts, angry and truly content. …but it had been covered by years of being concerned with who I needed to be for others.
In an effort to retrieve and recover my needs (why I am the way that I am) I spend time becoming attuned to my body’s energy. I retreat and focus inward on sensations happening within my body such as tension, nervousness, fluttering, temperature and so on. These sensations uncover an emotion and once I understand the emotion I can express it and begin to exercise self-advocacy. This has been revolutionary for me. I am less concerned with people-pleasing and conflict. I am more aware of my internal happenings and how to self-advocate.