Being an introvert/HSP/empath (according to May Sarton)
I cannot remember exactly when I was introduced to May Sarton's Journal of a Solitude. I do feel drawn to re-reading it, though, at least once a year. I haven't read a body of work that articulates introversion (HSP, empath) so well. When I read Sarton's journal, I am reminded that another living being had feelings that I feel, spent much time continuing to become aware of them as I do and had a strong desire to learn how to navigate through these feelings and ideas. The life INSIDE an introvert's mind is an extremely stimulating place to be. And there is always so much sorting out that needs to happen. These are direct excerpts that continue to speak to me. As I am re-reading this book again, now, I will continue to add more.
That is what is strange - that friends, even passionate love, are not my real life unless there is time alone in which to explore and to discover what is happening or has happened.
Yet I taste it fully only when I am alone here and 'the house and I resume old conversations'.
For a long time now, every meeting with another human being has been a collision. I feel too much, am exhausted by the reverberations after even the simplest conversation.
I often feel exhausted, but it is not my work that tires (work is rest); it is the effort of pushing away the lives and needs of others before I can come to the work with any freshness and zest.
I hate small talk with a passionate hatred. Why? I suppose because any meeting with another human being is a collision for me now. It is always expensive, and I will not waste my time. It is never a waste of time to be outdoors, and never a waste of time to lie down and rest even for a couple of hours. It is then that images float up and then that I plan my work. But it is a waste of time to see people who have a social surface to show. I will make every effort to find out the real person, but if I can't, then I am upset and cross. Time wasted is poison.
'How does one grow up?', I asked a friend the other day. There was a slight pause; then she answered, 'By thinking.'
Imitate the trees. Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember that nothing stays the same for long, not even pain, psychic pain. Sit it out. Let it all pass. Let it go.
I have time to think. That is the great, the greatest luxury. I have time to be.
The delights of a poet as I jotted them down turned out to be light, solitude, the natural world, love, time and creation itself.
We do the best we can and hope for the best.