I get overwhelmed easily with “too many” of anything. Too many choices, too many words at first glance, too many ways to find my way to peace and healing. I have to back away. Take a beat.
If I understood myself as an introvert earlier in my life, it is likely I could have avoided some trauma. This is why I am passionate about Widowed Introvert conversations.
According to experts, introverts have a longer neural pathway to process different kinds of stimuli. Information runs through a pathway that is associated with long-term memory and planning. In other words, it’s more complicated for introverts to process interactions and events.
As I reviewed the information from the previous posts, I was surprised to find that it felt like word salad. Feeling overwhelmed and backing away, I thought, “if it were only that easy” — but it’s not even easy to read! Whew!
make connections, accept change, move toward goals, take action, look for opportunities, nurture a positive view, keep things in perspective, maintain a hopeful outlook, on and on and on. So.many.words.
In summary, here is where I landed.
Stay in the work, connect in community, and keep going
Stay in the Work
In the past two and a half years I have attended several Camp Widow events. Camp Widow is a place where attendees get into the work of grief at their own pace. A place where widowed folk can do the work in their own way which is offered to us via presentations, written word, conversations, and mini-events within the event.
I like to call it Camp Widow soup.
Swimming in Camp Widow soup has strengthened my grief-muscles. It’s helped me to learn how to settle into the unsettling, unexpected nature of the grief journey.
Doing the work, for me, means owning my new reality and learning what life asks of me daily, hourly, and moment to moment; learning to find courage to take small steps to see, feel and own my grief. And to reach out for help.
Connect in Community
Along the way, I have discovered a few precious friendships that provide deep connection. These friendships are not something I “make” or “manage,” rather, they are gifts, in the form of people, that find me.
Being able to say what is true for you, especially when, as an introvert, you only tell these secrets to yourself, feels immensely freeing.
In true connection we find trust, tenderness, and a toughness that says,
“I will not let you go; even when you have given up. I will hold you in my heart.”
There is no way to put a price on these friendships that arrive as gift and help us do the hard work of building a new life when we feel totally incapable of doing so.
As an introvert, extrovert, or not.sure.exactly.how.I.lean person, we are the drivers in our grief work vehicle. We get to decide how, where, when, and in what way we come to own our new life and live it in the way that honors our past, present & future.
I want to learn how to come through grief as a whole, healthy person.
I want to live fully.
Other wid’s help me to make this happen. We encourage each other, take steps together, and learn to live again.
So, let’s keep going, shall we?