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.

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Although writing usually helps clarify my thoughts, sometimes it clouds me over with angst. I not only encounter complex issues that resist translation, I come into collision with my own perceptions. No matter how the words arrange themselves, they look back at me with trifling glances. The deeper I excavate, the less justice accorded to the lived experience. I tackle it in bits and pieces – save it to draft, then return to it another day. I find I can only devote so much time before I’m consumed with heartache and fatigue.

When we believe we are undeserving, we can involuntarily open ourselves to unsuitable company without understanding the damage it may cause. These unsuitable personalities have abilities to decode susceptibility and hoodwink others through false assurances. While being charming on the surface, they are volatile, combative, and disrespectful of boundaries. They maintain a persistent self referential attitude and suck away energy like vampires.

Abusive episodes operate within cycles and begin with measured doses of seductive sweetness, followed by days of increasing tension, then finally erupting into violent verbal and/or physical attacks. They’re called cycles because the sweetness, tension and acting out become a recurring pattern played over and over again like an endless loop cassette.

You come to a startling realization. What seems real is imaginary. You hold on tightly, only to discover it brings instability, desolation and untold stress. This kaleidoscope of emotional upheaval erodes the soul with unpredictable bouts of dissonance.

You let go. You move on. You grieve. You open up to others. You isolate yourself. You realize many are called but few confidants are chosen. In real time grief is too alien a subject. Society at large fails to acknowledge or comprehend it. There is an unspoken aversion to it. Online, writers convey their thoughts through a generic-sounding-scientific lens. Cold and sterile. Colorless depictions.

Grief is an inner work. I came to realize I needed God to give me a new viewfinder, for mine was passed broken and looking through it, I only grew more anxious and fearful, even when reading the Scriptures. It was when I was at dead end of myself with no sense of direction did Christ answer my prayer.

~ vincenzo ©

*parentheses mine

“Being a low-maintenance child or partner (a nice word for self-neglect) is idealized as a valuable attribute.” – Charlotte Z. Cavatica

Many children who cannot rely upon their immediate environment to meet their needs, become as low-maintenance as possible. Some refer to this as an avoidant personality. Beneath their tough exterior, some develop exaggerated fears of letting others down and feel acutely responsible for others’ disappointment and anger. ~ vincenzo ©

The ruling majority is rationally driven. It ignores emotions as if they didn’t exist. This makes life challenging for artistic temperaments who filter thoughts through their feelings. ~ vincenzo ©

We add to life a distress of our own making when we place our sense of wellbeing in others’ hands. ~ vincenzo ©

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