Much of my personality was shaped growing up in an emotionally dysfunctional and disconnected environment. My physical and educational needs were being looked after, but there was something missing like a wilted plant receiving water and sunlight, but deprived of nutrients.  My “friends” were always competing to be the best athletes as if that was all that mattered. I was always trying hard to win recognition, but due to my underdeveloped athletic skills, I never got close to getting it nor playing on the school team.

Now as an adult, I am learning to turn my insecurities into strength by not allowing others to quell my love and creativity.  Just because society rejects your sensitivity, doesn’t mean you have to reject it.

~ vincenzo ©

What is important for friends to know about me?

I have an overbearing sense of responsibility toward others. I enjoy honest and meaningful connection where noble values prevail.  I learn most from those who are honest about their struggles. I find myself needing solitude in order to appreciate the company I keep. I am selective when it comes to showing my playful and humorous side. I need a high level of independence in a relationship.  I am open to new experiences when I don’t feel rushed or pressured.  If I don’t have my own space to retreat to and recharge, I get fatigued and irritable.

As far as my temperament goes, it is artistic and colors the way I see the world. I seek beauty in the commonplace. I align creativity to my spiritual calling.  It’s a side of me few take time to get to know.  I seek substance over style. I shun doing things in a run-of-the-mill way. 

I am called to attend to what is invisible to most, in a culture that has little or no understanding of the calling to spiritual and creative attunement.  My faith can be summed up in the Incarnation.  God descended to earth to show us humility, grace, servanthood and serendipitous wisdom. The teaching and challenges I have received for the past years at church have been lightweight and repetitive: so I have been searching greater depth to the Christian life.

Having a low threshold for sensory stimulation, I want to develop greater coping strategies. I have an aversion to loudness, triteness, small talk and ready-made scripts.

I admire literary authors and how they delve the subterranean currents of the human heart.  I never tire exploring the forgotten world of classic literature. I am skeptical when it comes to convention, the media and consumerism. Writing (as well as Classic Literature) is intimately connected to my spiritual walk. Since my youth, it has been a way of exploring my faith and personal growth. I admire how authors view life through an inner lens. I enjoy reading classic literature over contemporary appreciating how authors infuse feeling into words, creating word pictures through the five senses.

Imagination is an invisible friend you can believe in.  ~ vincenzo ©

We often measure our progress by others’ appraisal. We perceive by their elation or low tabulation of likes what works. Thus, we add to life a distress of our own making by placing our sense of well-being in others’ hands.

The following is one of my favorite stories. It shows how even a remarkable figure can be overlooked. One day a young man drew near to a mighty prophet in the gate, and said, “Please tell me, where is the seer’s house?” And the mighty prophet answered the young man and said, “I am the seer.”

The way this story unfolds flies counter-intuitively to what anyone would expect. The prophet displays no striking aura or impressive Hollywood attributes to impress the young man. The seer could have been a gardener or a lowly shepherd. A commoner. Unlike the TV evangelist of today, there was technical wizardry to distinguish him from the rest of humanity. Nevertheless, the prophet was a monumental Biblical figure named Samuel who left an undeniable legacy like few men in history.

Edith Nesbit, a British children book author, expressed how little we count for in the world. However, she places one disclaimer — the exception being those who love us. To paraphrase her words, the consideration we receive as adults is no longer the same as the consideration of childhood, free, ungrudging and invariable, but rather conditioned by the services we render and the extent to which we are pleasant or useful.

Unfortunately, this utilitarian mindset shapes how we see ourselves. Approval is measured out not by merit, but external attributes. We try to reach an unattainable celebrity status, by dressing in certain ways, following the self-help gurus of the day, getting plastic surgery or bodybuilding. These strategies, however do nothing to alleviate our sense of love and belonging.

In other times, people had to write out their thoughts in private notebooks with no immediate responses. They relied upon the inner motivation that came from attaining personal development. There was never any concern for how many likes or comments each entry might gain.

For this reason, creativity is and has been a redeeming kind of therapy. We need to express ourselves even when no one is out there to cheer us on. It allows us to look at ordinary life through the extraordinary lens of love, truth and beauty. It starts off with a rough draft. We go back to it until new insights appear while learning to express ourselves in more engaging ways. All this allows us to transcend the daily demands and pettiness through the higher self.

As long as we inhabit this common body, people will overlook our innermost qualities. It is up to us to believe in those extraordinary qualities no matter how often they are overlooked. Those qualities are like invisible friends. Few have the ability to see or appreciate them.

~ vincenzo ©

To the artist, each entry is a love letter that provides a sacred space for contemplation. It is twofold: what you plan to send and what no one but yourself will ever read. ~ vincenzo ©

As a child I sensed I was different and somehow set apart from the herd.  Although I sought to camouflage myself, sometimes my emotional sensibility would leak out.  I didn’t know what sensory overload signified back then, yet I vividly recall how too much stimuli could leave me overwhelmed, incoherent, and exhausted.  On top of that list I also had few social skills.  In my family of origin communication was overshadowed by emotional upheaval and the need to keep up appearances.

My life was a mix of childlike joy and competitive misery.  I remember summer vacations, the playful titillation of sunshine and breeze on my icy cold wet skin after a long swim, trekking home with my best friend — our fingertips dipped in bright orange from synthetic cheese puffs. However these and other Disneyesque scenes interspersed themselves among many boot-camp segments where I had no idea what was being asked of me. Coaches and fellow players yelling or ridiculing me for my latest blunders. I never questioned these uncivil acts, but assumed they were fully justified.

Although school life dragged on in its tiresome/tedious way, one day something unusual happened.  I don’t remember what the speech was about nor the name of the student. I just remember the effect her storytelling had upon me. We were in third grade. She was a slim East Indian girl with charming Asian eyes and an intelligent sounding soft voice. I remember her unassuming literary style, disarming me with her playfulness and uncommon wisdom. After that speech, a subtle creative process of mitosis began. A love for words awakened. Little by little, I started enjoying classic literature, creative writing and dabbling in motivational talks.

Later as an adult, I began reading about the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) and how many HSPs are creative/gifted. The challenging side however, is they also have neurotransmitters making them vulnerable to emotionally intense environments. I was most relieved to finally view my childhood through this benevolent and insightful perspective.

~ vincenzo

In today’s mad-rushed materialistic world, life can be a dreary desert lacking imagination and soulful reflection. Emotional upheaval or boredom can cloud and dominate the center core of their being. Friendships, media, school and even family life can form a dissonant chorus of cynical voices. Nevertheless, we  respond to motivational stories and the lessons they inspire.

We may or may not remember the name of that someone, the exact words of this or that chapter. What we remember, is the unforgettable effect it has upon our heart today. It is the seed well planted in spite of the adversity and disappointments.

In the hurry of daily living we can feel profoundly disconnected. And yet, despite many years of wanting, a creative cell can burst forth into new life. We begin discovering the joy of reading or perhaps artistic expression. It all starts with a spark of inspiration. What the artist/writer instinctively sense is how every source of inspiration is intimately connected with love.

~ vincenzo