I’ve been paying attention to repetitive behaviours of mine as part of my Mindfulness practice. As I determine what I wish to release, I’m paying attention to things I say and do that come from a conditioning over time; automatic reactions that, if mindful attention were given, responses might change.
Something I have found myself saying a lot lately is, “I need to run and hide,” or “I want to hide from the world,” or “If only I could hide.”
Upon reflection, I realize what I mean is that I’m experiencing an overwhelm of some kind from which I desire to escape. Paradoxically, I don’t desire to ‘hide from the world’ at all. In fact, it’s the noise and distractions I seek to avoid; I want a deeper connection to the world and to feel that I’m a more significant part of it.
On the day I took the picture above, I felt so connected to the seagull. I’d walked the water’s edge amongst many others enjoying their day by the lake. The conversation and activity all around made the place alive – the energy of which was manifesting for me as a slow, desperate suffocation.
I needed peace, I needed quiet, I needed to hear the water lap against the shore, the birds squeaking amongst each other, the feel of the grass beneath me as I unfolded myself to the Mercy of Nature.
At the Water’s Edge
Kindred Spirit with this bird
Hiding from the world …
I smiled at the seagull as I imagined him hiding behind the embankment in hopes no one would see. And I kept wandering along the water’s edge, honouring his need for solitude as I sought out my own.
I am grateful for the attention Introversion has been given over the last little while. It has not only helped me to understand myself a little better, it has also made me more confident and assured about setting, and protecting, boundaries I need.
I enjoy the company of others and do well in a group for periods of time; many challenge me when I share that I’m an Introvert. This is not a label I wear like a Tiara, claiming to be special or important in any particular way. I find it helps people to better understand why I quietly withdraw from gatherings or events after a period of time. (“You can’t leave now, the party’s just getting started.)
Stating who I am and what I need prevents people from taking my behaviour personally. I didn’t leave early, or not show up at all, because of anything you did – I left because I was depleting by the minute, I was finding it harder and harder to breathe; the energy and the noise slowly suffocates me. I left to abate anxiety and to sink into the healing solace of silence, quiet, stillness, solitude.
[Quiet], I need you like water, like breath, like rain. I need you like Mercy from Heaven’s gate …
So, as I walked the water’s edge, happy for the seagull and hoping I’d find a refuge of my own, I felt in my heart that I was closing in on something special.
Imagine my joy to discover I’d been led to exactly where I needed to be.