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What happens when INFPs truly give up their idealism?

When they understand the more they love, the more it hurts. Love and pain go hand in hand and there's no separating the two.

When they give up their dreams for people they love. When they stay beside their loved ones while they suffer and die. And when no amount of knowing that you're doing the right thing eases the pain and you're left with the undeniable truth of it all.

Then what?

What happens to an idealist when they can no longer hang onto their ideals?
 

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There's lots of ways people are idealistic. Some are idealistic because they believe life is suppose to be good. Or they're idealistic because they're special and no one understands. There's lots of ways to be idealistic and the question is: is the way you've chosen to be idealistic working for you?

Your view that love and pain go hand in hand, and that's a valid way to view life.

Another ideal comes from the the Zen saying: Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

That's why when people lose the use of their legs and become quadriplegic, some go into severe depression and commit suicide while others take up wheelchair rugby. It's all about how a person chooses to give meaning to the pain that happens and what they choose to do afterwards.

People will die on you and sometimes that dying can take years or decades. That is pain and it happens. Some people choose to suffer by going it alone and lose themselves and their ideals in the process and other people choose go looking for a support group that will help them figure out how to live their lives during the process.
 

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"When they understand the more they love, the more it hurts. . .

When they give up their dreams for people they love. When they stay beside their loved ones while they suffer and die. And when no amount of knowing that you're doing the right thing eases the pain and you're left with the undeniable truth of it all.

Then what? "


Then nothing, because they are still idealists. Being idealist doesnt mean, that you dont know how hard is it to stay with your ideals in real world. It doesnt mean that you are absolute dreamer with head in clouds. It just mean, that there is some little flame inside of you thats telling you "things should be different, things should be better. And maybe you should be the one who can do something with this."

I believe that idealist can never lose his ideals. He can only cover them with lots of cynisism. But they are always there.

Ideals never die.
 

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Not sure if I understand this correctly, isn't love an ideal? Of course this person had sacrificed a personal dream. But you suggest a little bit that it matters if it mattered. I can imagine it would be comforting (or 'rewarding') to know it mattered and it eased the pain.

But, imagine the other way round, suppose you were predicted the future, before making the choice. And you were told, it's not going to ease the pain, and the loved one will die after years of suffering. Would the choice be different? Do you think you would be happy chasing your dream knowing the loved one is suffering?

A book dealing with these contemplations is 'The unbearable lightness of being' by Milan Kundera. The film is nice, but the book is more philosophical/idealist.

review on amazon...
"To me the main theme of this book is responsibility, those who accept it and endure the consequences, and those who attempt to avoid it. Tomas and Sabina at the start of the novel represent the lightness of non-commitment and irresponsibilty, Tereza on the other hand is burdened by and committed to her love for Tomas. As the novel unfolds Tomas is forced to make decisions which eventually weigh him down and cost him both his postion as a doctor and his free-spirited life style. Kundera uses the theme of responsibilty to not only highlight moral issues in personal relationships but also the consequences of expressing one's opinions publicly(in this case in communist Czechoslovakia of the 1960's)."

Amazon.com: The Unbearable Lightness of Being (9780060932138): Milan Kundera, Michael Henry Heim: Books
 

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I haven't exactly lost my ideals. But the following...
When they stay beside their loved ones while they suffer and die. And when no amount of knowing that you're doing the right thing eases the pain and you're left with the undeniable truth of it all.
Been here, still am. In the sense that I'm left with the undeniable truth - she's gone, and no amount of pleading, crying, thinking of her, praying to her, talking and whispering to my imagination of her is going to bring her back. No earthly ships will ever bring her home again.

That truth has been like lead in my boots. I've never worn such heavy boots before. I don't really think it matters whether my type is INFP or not - no one gladly wears these kind of boots. Death is so absolute and undeniable.

She told me that sometimes we have to lose (something) in order to better understand our inner strengths, in order to try a little harder. Yeah... I am trying a little harder. I can walk now with these boots - but ever so often, I remember why these boots were so heavy to begin with, and then they do feel pretty heavy again. That's the way it is.

I like what @infpblog said about pain being inevitable but suffering optional. I stayed with her, I didn't have to. So I let her share some of her pain with me, I suffered because I wanted to. I suffered after her passing, the pain was inevitable. I still feel the pain, but I'm getting used to the truth. I don't suffer as much as I did right after her passing.

I haven't lost ideals, but I have lost dreams. I'm looking forward to picking up or making some new dreams.
 

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She told me that sometimes we have to lose (something) in order to better understand our inner strengths, in order to try a little harder. Yeah... I am trying a little harder.
Reminds me of a friend of mine who died. It was in fact more him trying to comfort and ease the pain of his friends than otherswise. He always stayed calm when now and then someone panicked or snapped. He was a very inspirational guy. He had learned me how to meditate, so basically helped me learn to become a happy person (and still am), and profoundly change my life. After he died (by palliative sedation, we were called to the hospital, about 25 friends, his wife and his father) many of us were in a kind of state of shock for at least one or two years. It felt you owed your life to him. Somewhere in my valuesystem there was apparently a hidden assumption that -a bit like @infpblog wrote- life is supposed to be good, to be fair. Some people say they lost their faith after a loved one died, so I think you can compare it with that a little bit.
 

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She told me that sometimes we have to lose (something) in order to better understand our inner strengths, in order to try a little harder.
My friend chose the music for his funeral. And he ended with 'You can't always get what you want' from the Stones. Was a bit weird, but then again, he was like that.

"You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you might find
You get what you need "
 

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What happens when INFPs truly give up their idealism?

When they understand the more they love, the more it hurts. Love and pain go hand in hand and there's no separating the two.
I don't think this is a depressing view to have. The fact that you feel so much pain means that you are capable of loving so much. Most people don't experience caring for someone on such a substantial level. Our language dictates that we use dichotomies to be able to communicate and explain: ex. love/hate, happy/sad, pain/bliss, etc... The truth is these concepts are all interconnected and cannot exist without the other, so being happy is being sad and going through pain means you have experienced bliss. The fact that you started this thread means you haven't given up your idealism- you're just questioning the validity of the way you view certain ideals.
 

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Ughhh, these posts are so sad to me. I'm so freakin' emotional and I experience things like love, loss, and longing at an extremely intense level. Sometimes I believe I allow such a small group of people into my inner circle because the inevitability of these intense emotions linger in my subconscious.

Tragedy also happens to be incredibly beautiful to me when contextualized in the ebb and flow of life--certainly not beautiful in the sense of desiring it, but more like an awe-inspiring reverence for the absurd amount of feeling it evokes--feelings so deep they cannot be articulated, they cannot be consoled, you're left vulnerable to the empty promises of time and time only.

I believe I've posted this quote before, but it seems relevant to this topic also.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”
- C.S. Lewis.

I think this is very true, and it makes me realize that there's no "safe zone" from life. It's not easy when you toil, it's not easy when you're idle. It's not easy when you love, it's not easy when you avoid love. We're not as free as we think. Life takes us unexpectedly, kicking and screaming, where it wants to, just as we came into this world. The biggest difficulties, I believe, come from our resistance to life's leading.

My friend offered an analogy about our journey in life: Imagine being a part of the river, like a leaf floating, and you try to control where you want to go, like upstream or to the side, but the flow is bringing you where it wants to you to go, you keep getting splashed and thrown about and hitting rocks, but if you relax, even just for a short time and just trust in letting the river take you where it wants for a little bit, then the leaf may find where it was meant to be going, rather than trying to control it so much, the right thing will be found.

so to answer your question I don't believe an INFPs ideals will ever disappear. Life's circumstances may cause them to shift, but I really doubt they disappear.
 

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Is this really giving up on ideals or giving up on reality because it hasn't met your ideals? I'd say it's the former because you're still judging reality by your ideals... But okay, what happens after this?

I think something usually comes along that fills you with hope again. This happens when you stop only noticing how reality fails to meet your ideals & instead focus on how it has, does, and can meet your ideals, even if it never will match them perfectly. Ideals are amazing things because they fill us with motivation to bring some of that beauty into the world. They drive you to seek out solutions creatively & to see hidden potential in life & other people. They are theoretical goals to motivate, not exact goals to meet. Extreme idealism can lead to disappointment as nothing can ever meet the ideals exactly, and it's particularly poisonous when the ideals are simply a gauge to judge reality with & not a call to action within yourself. However, extreme realism has a downside too; it can make you complacent & unable to see the less obvious solutions (extreme realists can be very cynical also, IMO). So being idealistic is not the problem in itself, IMO.

What @downsowf says is very illustrative of where the sense of disappointment comes, IMO. You can look at the situation as losing a loved one or you can see it as having had the great privilege of having them in your life & experiencing a profound connection. This doesn't minimize the loss, but it can help you cope with it, IMO.

FYI, I find it hard to keep a positive mindset also. I have to constantly be readjusting my view to be less, well, disappointed with life. I admit I don't like when others try & do this for me ("You should be happy because at least you have X & you know, it could be worse"). I think it's because they don't know my ideals, not to the full extent, and they don't know just how deep & high the hopes were, and how hard the subsequent crash was. They don't know the whole story. Not being able to control reality is very frustrating too, and I imagine more so for than the introvet than the extrovert. What soothes me is when I begin to look around me & feel some hope again, because I see a dynamic reality that is changing & that I can change, not a static one where dreams are given up forever because you made a sacrifice once in the past.

So I hope this does not come off as patronizing to the OP, because all I really want to say is - don't be afraid to hope again, to embrace life, and pursue creating some semblance of those ideals wherever opportunities present themselves. The little bit of beauty that comes from it is MASSIVELY significant, and it greatly counters the disappointment, both in your life & others' lives. I suspect you will feel this again in the future because idealists die hard ;).
 

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@OrangeAppled- that was beautifully said. It's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel sometimes. It's particularly hard when we experience a type of loss that tips the view of our world upside down. I've personally been in stages where I've diluted myself in an overwhelming amount of cynicism. I think it's a struggle for anyone to get out of. It always helps to get different perspectives. An ideal is something to live up to- not necessarily something that will be conceivably reached. Even if not an "idealist," it's necessary to try to live up to certain ideals because this motivates us to strive for something better and hopefully create our world around a particular image.
 

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What happens when INFPs truly give up their idealism?

When they understand the more they love, the more it hurts. Love and pain go hand in hand and there's no separating the two.

When they give up their dreams for people they love. When they stay beside their loved ones while they suffer and die. And when no amount of knowing that you're doing the right thing eases the pain and you're left with the undeniable truth of it all.

Then what?

What happens to an idealist when they can no longer hang onto their ideals?
But... there is no undeniable truth :)
I know how hard it is to try not to think you know, but we really don't. Whatever we see in our life is only for our eyes only. No one knows anything outside of what they see with their own 2 eyes. Not even history can help with finding the truth. It changes with every passing moment.
 

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Lala - On the Anniversary of My Father's Death said:
I feel like I cannot let this day pass without mentioning what happened a year ago. A year already... My father passed away. I do not feel especially sad, a few tears fell on my sleeve when my uncle sent a picture of my father's grave with fresh flowers on it. I remember when my sleeves were often so moist with tears, sitting in a hospital room, deciding his fate, and during his final moments. But at this point in time, I just feel like everyone has lived life in a way that would make him proud, and I think that is all he would want for us. It makes me feel quite happy to know that so many people thought of him today, that his life touched so many people, that so many cared about him. Even my mother who divorced him over 10 years ago was full of tears and sent flowers. I know it is not supposed to be a happy day, but I cannot help but feel happy for him to have had so many good friends and such good family while he was alive. While we all certainly would have been better off with him still beside us, his departure taught us how random and precious life is, and what truly matters in the end we all must meet. I miss him everyday, but he instilled in me so many lessons and experiences that I will treasure for my entire life. I am sorry you had to go, but I am so happy to have had you while you were here.
After he passed away, I found the love of my life. I realized how important it is to have people who love you, and who you love too. There's nothing more important to me than family and friends, those who are there for you at the very end, they are the ones who make life worth every second. That doesn't mean everything comes easily, people come and go, you might make mistakes and end up getting hurt. But in the scheme of things, it's worth it. Experiences like this break me down so hard, but I did not give up on life, I embraced it more wholly than ever.
 

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all I really want to say is - don't be afraid to hope again, to embrace life
Well said @OrangeAppled, in the end I think this is where it comes down to.
To embrace life you need to open your heart (again)
You cannot rationalize that, for that you need faith
and basically to, just do it.

Edit: faith and/or courage (I learned from a video @infpblog posted this word stems from coeur = heart)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you everybody for your thoughtful replies.

Several years ago, I experienced something that changed me completely. I don't want to mention what is was specifically, simply because I'm too sensitive on the whole subject to discuss it on an open forum.

Anyway, this event led me to experience all emotions to an extent that I'd never experienced them before. Like they were being stretched so far they might snap. There was this deep sadness that I'd never known, deeper than grief and loss. It wasn't the hopelessness of depression, just very deeply felt sadness which I've learned to live with.

I gave up my dreams and expectations and never considered doing any other, I don't regret or resent doing so. What I gained was as valuable as what I lost. Within myself, there was a complete overhaul of my beliefs, perceptions, ideals, everything. I mourned my lost dreams and adjusted my ideals, a process that took a couple of years. I'm different, more cut off people outside my immediate circle, which was necessary because there's only so much pain a person can take. But I did move forward and accept it all as my life.

My adjusted ideals were dependant upon the belief that some people can be trusted completely to do the right thing and that ultimately you reap what you sow in life and relationships.

My experiences this year surrounding the loss of two people I was very close to, has shown me that ultimately, you don't reap what you sow. Also the fact that you can love, help and support certain people for decades. You can build up a friendship to the point where you trust them completely and they can still turn their back on you when you need them most.

If you can't be sure after 20/30/40 years of knowing someone, then how can you ever know who to trust before it's too late?

I'm not cynical, but I can't ignore what's right there in front of me. I still know there are people who can be trusted to do the right thing. I just don't know how you can tell who they are. Which in turn leads to some more of my ideals collapsing and I can't adjust them much more.

I hope that made sense, I feel like one day I won't have any ideals left to motivate me and live by.
 

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I just don't know how you can tell who they are.
This can be a topic on its own. I know that's not always easy. And perhaps you just can't never know for sure, except that people die.
At least it should be people who take me as I am, and with whom I can be the person I want to be.

Still, even then I had my disappointments in life and persons.
But people can make mistakes. Like I can make mistakes. So I could look at a situation and feel betrayed and let down. But when I'm honest I also need to admit I wasn't completely truthful about my feelings, for obvious strategic reasons but still. And I was suspicious, and for the other person that feeling of mistrust can feel like you already have given up on that person, even when there were legitimate reasons to be suspicious. And in a way, what you didn't want to happen was exactly what happened. (self-defeating prophecy) So I needed to elaborate on myself as well. If it was only because you just can't elaborate on other persons.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
@mimesis I know it could be a topic on its own. I'm sorry to make this thread so complicated by throwing various bits of information into it, it's because my current feeling about my ideals comes from an accumulation of events.

It's true you can never know who to trust, I was hoping that after knowing someone a long time you could be almost sure.
 

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@mimesis I know it could be a topic on its own. I'm sorry to make this thread so complicated by throwing various bits of information into it, it's because my current feeling about my ideals comes from an accumulation of events.

It's true you can never know, unfortunately not what I was hoping for.
Ow, but I jdidn't mean it in the sense that you make it complicated. Just that it would be an interesting exchange of thoughts.
 
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