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.

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 ©

The beauty of creative writing is seen in its power to awaken imagination, emotion and pathos – facets normally kept in check. In it we discover a kinder, more noble world. We embrace its vitality even when real time may be insipid and cold. It is a time machine allowing the mind’s eye to visit distant lands in other eras. It is connecting with open hearts on a level rarely achieved in verbal interactions.

For some, blogs are an unmasking of the wounded self, where we attempt to calm and reconcile the aching, elusive inner world of conflict and emotions. It is also a day by day, week by week reconnection to the wonderment and awe of the ageless inner child. ~ vincenzo ©

Writing is not just another way to communicate. It is the deepest and most soulful. ~ vincenzo ©

May those who walk alongside of you, see you from the inside out. There is no greater compliment. ~ vincenzo ©

Most of us were born into an inhospitable world. I know I was. It rarely consults us or adapts to our preferences. Moreover, it often assumes a posture of inflexibility, judgment and/or indifference. These insular traits hardly ever get questioned, though no-one can deny their deadening effect. Jesus expressed this fallen state of humanity when he referred to the people as like sheep without a shepherd.

Acts of kindness however, beautify life. They are a source of blessing when they come from a place of strength. It’s never about yielding our sense of well-being into someone else’s hand. It is about showing generosity of heart, even in the face of possible indifference. It’s never in vain to show thoughtfulness and care even when someone doesn’t value it. Love avoidance doesn’t make caring expressions less valuable. The failure of someone to respond is often a sad reflection of the wounded self. ~ vincenzo ©

Written expression has an indefinable mystery impossible to simulate in verbal communication. It would be unfortunate after meeting someone through written correspondence to switch exclusively to verbal communication thereafter. Verbal exchanges tend to be strained and a lot more guarded. ~ vincenzo ©

Although a new friendship can die for lack of spice, the number one killer is giving too much, too soon. According to life coach Rhonda Britten giving too much, too soon is the biggest error committed by both genders. She says,

“The worst part about giving too much is the other person probably won’t just drop you. At least then you’d be free to start over. Instead, they will keep you on a string and not take you seriously, and you find yourself in ‘crazy love’ relationship. ”

It is easy to crush a promising relationship by following natural impulses, so what should you look out for? Here are some thoughtful questions cited by the above author:

Is your sense of contentment consumed in making the other person happy?
Do you over-identify, pouring your self into his or her problems to the point of ignoring your own?
Is he or she pulling away while you keep looking desperately for more ways to engage or connect?
Are you so wrapped up with the euphoria of this new relationship that you’ve forgotten your friends and family?
Are you lacking motivation to pursue interests on your own?
Here is my favorite:
Have you confused the sensations of uncertainty for love?

Britten says watching your pace is crucial from the start. She recommends two easy-to-follow ideas: 1. Maintain a slow pace enough for both persons to consider the compatibility factor, communicating as friends. This pace conveys an essential message of having a life of your own. (and) 2. Think of at least three interests in your life unrelated to your new friend, where you are proactively cultivating your own garden.

Another counsellor, Tracy Cabot says a relationship that starts on too high of a romantic pitch has nowhere to go but down: “If you give too much of your time too soon, the other person takes you for granted. You’ll know whether you’ve given too much too soon because you’ll feel cheated: The best way to give is intermittently. Give just enough of yourself to let the other person see how wonderful you can be, then back off a little to see if the other person is responding, then give a little more.”

~ vincenzo ©

I first wrote this entry for its therapeutic value. I grew up clueless and highly disconnected when it came to emotional inner reality. To make matters worse, I never paid attention to the consequences of this nameless, soul-killing condition I am about to describe.

Leo Tolstoy, an awe-inspiring writer of classic literature masterly portrayed this phenomena in his novel “The Death of Ivan Ilyich”. In the story he reveals society’s commitment to emotional dishonesty (the antonym of emotional inner awareness) where everyone is wanting the main character, Ivan to believe he would pull through his sickness when all evidence was proving contrary. In the end, death not only related to the physical realm, but an extreme emotional disconnection from others. As one literary commentator wrote,

“The artificial life is marked by shallow relationships, self-interest, and materialism. It is insular, unfulfilling, and ultimately incapable of providing answers to the important questions in life. The artificial life is a deception that hides life’s true meaning and leaves one terrified and alone at the moment of death.”

Since the beginning of my childhood, life, like the robotic walking brooms from Fantasia, kept sweeping my feelings under the carpet. When anyone attempted to draw me out (even as an adult), I froze with discomfort. I never imagined how this frozenness could melt. I never dreamed how creative expression could pave the way to new awareness. I never considered myself worthy of this elusive yet necessary realm called emotional inner reality. ~ vincenzo ©

Creativity is a kind of view finder you carry with you wherever you go. Your artistic leanings cannot help but shape your outlook. ~ vincenzo ©