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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As I continue to accept the nature of my type, INFJ, I am beginning to acknowledge its strengths and weaknesses. As many of you will have read I've had some good times and bad in the last 3 years. I've had many revelations of thought recently which I think play into my need to seek meaning and understanding. But tonight I experienced something that gave me pause.

My wife insulates me from many things. It's true. There are things she simply feels she must bear because she thinks my creativity and my work habits have to be nourished and protected. The practical component is that my odd habits keep us under a roof. But also she just feels compelled to insulate me because she believes we are all happier when the people in the family can be themselves.

Tonight I saw something in her eyes. I could tell that she was weary. The last 3 years have been hard on her too. In all my hand wringing about "meaning" and "self-discovery" I was missing the fact that she was carrying on in a way that shielded me from even more chaos than that which was troubling me so far.

I motioned her to come sit next to me and I put my arm around her. Quietly she began to sob. I knew for a moment that I had to be the one to care for her and not the other way around. I didn't say anything. I just held her until she had let it out. My time to shed a tear or two was later at my desk. But not too much because honestly I have been quite selfish.

I think that every day I am surrounded by people who do not make such protests about the nature of things. They don't make grand pronouncements. With certainty they plod on tilling the soil of daily life. There are times that I wish my nature were more ordinary. There is a time when one must take heart and encouragement in simple things. A time when we have to appreciate people who do what they must each day.

How easy it is to fantasize about ideas or other people in frivolous ways. How difficult it may seem to take delight in the ordinary, or appreciate deeply the simple things that our friends and loved ones dependably do. As I pondered on this for a while I realized there were others who looked after me in this way. My middle daughter is a caregiver to others and to me. She brought me my supper tonight. Did I properly thank her? My art assistant basically looks after me like the apron strings were never untied. And what do I do to deserve such attention? Do I honor it by sulking and day dreaming? There is a time and place for what I do but there is also a natural limit and a mature apprehension of duty that requires acknowledgment of the ordinary and necessary elements of life. Yes a time and a place for everything.

It is good for our souls to see that the simpler things of life are in fact profound. Those who love us and carry on in the mundane affairs of daily existence are not dull. They are noble. And we should esteem them as such.
 

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So wonderful to read Runescribe, I have had such revalations before, where the dark blanket of clouds dividing planet earth and I part...and slowly my feet return to the ground, and everything is so clear. And clearly everything has meaning, and mundane begs fascination and honor, each cog that turns has such purpose and importance in the grand machine that is this world of ours, and I wonder why i'd not seen it all along. and for a moment i fear losing such awareness again....your words i'll take with me, for they play harmonies inside.
 

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It's always great to read your insightful and candid posts. I agree it is so easy for us to take things for granted. But at least we have the capacity to be aware, to place ourselves in the shoes of others and having understood their efforts and pain, make an effort to change our actions where necessary.

Like you it's not always easy for me to see the kind of impact my actions have on people I love. That's why I always remind them to correct me if I ride roughshod over their feelings or do something wrong. It helps to keep me in line. And though it's not easy to listen when they point out my mistakes, I do my best to accept responsibility for my actions and change because I love them.

It's always the little things that lay the foundations for great things. Thanks for the timely reminder! :happy:
 

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Thank you for the wonderful post, Rune:happy:. I appreciate it very much and I'll take that as a reminder; a chicken soup kind of thing. You're also reminding me, in a way, to enjoy the simplest things in my youth, because nothing really lasts forever. I've been thinking ahead too much. This gave me a pause.
:happy:
 

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For me, it is rather hard to understand why people wait so many years to come to these revelations that, indeed, helps them being the way they have chosen to.
Pain and such are the choices of the ones suffering. But whether they do it for us or not, they need proof that it was worth it, and love is always the greatest proof anyone could give.
Nothing on this earth is dull, it was put there specifically for those who want to see it. It becomes dull only when people believe these things should come up to them by themselves, but it must be their choice, nothing and no one could choose for you.
 

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The only person who can make this work for me is Fernando Pessoa romanticising the mundane comforts of bookkeeping in the Rua dos Douradores, ofc only bc he happens to be a literary genius on the side. The day I happily accept life's ordinariness I will cease to be an average-unhealthy four. :unsure: I can't get myself to think like a sensor and find meaning as effectively as they do in the dutiful and ordinary just bc that's what I "should" feel. This is mostly bc I think the working class are often exploited and robbed of real self-determination, but I won't get into that here. I do respect people who are resilient however just bc they don't outwardly complain doesn't mean they aren't cursing the stars down inside, or unintentionally complying to a culture of obedient complacency.

I suppose you just mean we can learn better coping skills from them to follow through on things more? Make a conscious effort to get out of our heads instead of wallowing in self-pity and try to actually change something if it bugs us enough... After all it's not like they never have similar thoughts of wishing things were different, they're just more pragmatic in their approach and less idealistic, which is something I do see the value in. I don't wish to romanticise varying strengths of different cognitive processes, the bottom line is everyone should be acknowledged as having equal worth regardless of falsely grandiose and fantastical measures of power or status.
 

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The only person who can make this work for me is Fernando Pessoa romanticising the mundane comforts of bookkeeping in the Rua dos Douradores, ofc only bc he happens to be a literary genius on the side. The day I happily accept life's ordinariness I will cease to be an average-unhealthy four. :unsure: I can't get myself to think like a sensor and find meaning as effectively as they do in the dutiful and ordinary just bc that's what I "should" feel. This is mostly bc I think the working class are often exploited and robbed of real self-determination, but I won't get into that here. I do respect people who are resilient however just bc they don't outwardly complain doesn't mean they aren't cursing the stars down inside, or unintentionally complying to a culture of obedient complacency.

I suppose you just mean we can learn better coping skills from them to follow through on things more? Make a conscious effort to get out of our heads instead of wallowing in self-pity and try to actually change something if it bugs us enough... After all it's not like they never have similar thoughts of wishing things were different, they're just more pragmatic in their approach and less idealistic, which is something I do see the value in. I don't wish to romanticise varying strengths of different cognitive processes, the bottom line is everyone should be acknowledged as having equal worth regardless of falsely grandiose and fantastical measures of power or status.
spoken like a true fellow four. to truly practice a mindfulness of tempered steel which is not oblivious to the power of consistancy, reliability, service, and perpetual understanding, drama must be sacraficed, and no true four could ever accomplish such a thing for too long...or so i have read.
 

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I've always been the one who had to protect himself

As a result, in my later years I've found I lash out at those who are trying to protect me because I don't feel I need them to

It becomes quite messy then; I wind up pushing people away when they become protective of me because I didn't ask for their help, and often it winds up complicating my own plans when people jump in out of the blue with that "save the day" attitude

I like dealing with my own problems on my own. If I need help, I ask for it

That said, I'm awful at protecting other people

I might be meant to be alone, but hell, do you think I'm going to listen? :/
 

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Runescribe - so much has changed now in the world. the love that you and your wife share seems now like a thing of the past. it is good that you introspect and have determined that you have to show more gratefulness for the things in life you enjoy.

this is a woman's role to a certain degree, she upholds and protects the family and her husband, even in hard times. and she does not take a break, or have time to 'be sad' about it, she continues to do what she has to do. my mother does this, and i imagine many other women do this without a complaint. [my parents are not from north america, so in this post I am not interested in spurring debate about a woman's role]. i hope one day i'll to have someone to take care of, but it looks like my prospects are bleak.

for persons who are caring, for the most part, it is a joy to care for others. but there are trying times i imagine, i can only imagine. but i'm certain that on your end you aren't that bad, at least you are introspecting, i'm sure you are good person and husband too. thank you for this post, even in all relationships, it probably reminds us ways in which we are ungrateful and become complacent in everday life. just make some small changes, and all should be well again.

people who are capable of such care and devotion, generally are not looking for thanks, they just do it because it comes natural for them, and it is what they enjoy to do, even under difficult circumstances, it is a natural way of being. I'm sure she understands how you feel.

I like your Topic: Finding Meaning in Ordinary Things and Dutiful People. maybe as a challenge everyone who reads this thread and / or posts in it, should actually go out and find meaning in ordinary things and dutiful people around them.
 

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A fantastic idea femaleINFJ. I will start the revolution by slowly washing by hand my dirty dishes, while imbibing them with love and appreciation (excluding the forks as i've never really trusted them)...and perhaps i'll tip the mail-man a sandwich, he is a most honorable and reliable fellow...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
After all it's not like they never have similar thoughts of wishing things were different, they're just more pragmatic in their approach and less idealistic.
This is absolutely my point. I think of my ISFJ father-in-law who in a few quiet moments will reveal to me his "true" thoughts on the matters of the day. I could guess it before he says it, based on his deeds. He understands what people really need to live both practically and in their hearts. I think of what all he does, all the hard work that he put into building up a farm, participating in his community, mentoring youth in sports and outdoors activities and the love he showers on his grandchildren. I think of how he does all of it so quietly. He doesn't stand up as somebody asking for praise to be heaped on him. He does it and just keeps carrying on - satisfied in the value of the deed itself, and valuing the deed above mere thought and as a TRUE manifestation of sentiment.

It's one thing to say you love people. It's another to quietly prove it day after day for decades on end with nary a complaint. It just amazes me. And honestly when I see someone who can carry on so bravely it sometimes makes me feel a little selfish that I get caught up in the paralysis of my feelings instead of just working through it the way some of the more dutiful types do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
A fantastic idea femaleINFJ. I will start the revolution by slowly washing by hand my dirty dishes, while imbibing them with love and appreciation (excluding the forks as i've never really trusted them)...and perhaps i'll tip the mail-man a sandwich, he is a most honorable and reliable fellow...
Cheeky - but very funny.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
my parents are not from north america, so in this post I am not interested in spurring debate about a woman's role
Right my point is not about culture-bound sexual roles but the duty that people take upon themselves in accordance with their nature. I just am reminded so often of late that I owe a lot to people who don't whine.

I got that when I was younger from the outside in. Now as an adult I am seeing it from the inside out. Valuing those people and simpler things as a matter of my own discovery and not because somebody is making me.
 

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Awesome post again Runescribe. I know I still don't even realize how priveleged I am to have parents who have a relationship that sounds similar to your own with your wife. My parents have done so many things for me and still do (I'm 24, I need to stop being their burden) that I don't even realize and take for granted.

I do feel bad for them that I am so stuck in my own thoughts and pursuits that I push people away now because it's easier to not be close to anyone and pursue things. When I have brought people close to me and then pushed them away there is confusion and they believe that I am not interested in their friendship anymore. This is not the case, the real issue is my head is still stuck in the clouds and I can't seem to get it out sometimes.

It seems I can only handle having a close relationship (which would not be as close as having a significant other, obviously) with 2-5 people at most. Beyond this I feel tired often and when I have a lot on my mind that 2-5 usually becomes 1-3. I think I have offended many people in my life who think I am ignoring them or never really liked them. When again, I am stuck in the clouds and I forget important things, like maintaining relationships. What am I doing when I'm not spending time with these people? I am alone of course, either at a book store, cafe, or some place where it's just me and my thoughts.

I think this is a real weakness of mine. Wow I feel like a weird-o now.
 

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An excellent. thought-provoking post as always, Runescribe. I must admit that I empathize with your wife, and find it amazing when anyone can continue such support year after year. You are fortunate to have such a wonderful relationship. She sounds like an incredibly strong, understanding person. I commend your candor and your keen insight.

That said, I must align myself with Jwing's perspective in this instance.It is a delicate feat, juggling the need for personal space with the emotional needs of others, one that I have not quite been able to master. The older I get the more personal space I need; something to the tune of 85-90%. I know, it seems excessive, but really it is not. I'd rather have no time than one or two hours a day. When someone gets close, and begins demanding large amounts of my time I become torn between the two, so much so that I tend to accomplish neither very well.

I can, and often do, focus large amounts of energy on relationships, neglecting my need for copious amounts of personal space and time to be creative; so much so that I begin to resent the relationship and it reaches a breaking point and I end it. At others times I indulge my need for this personal time, and neglect the relationship, and so it breeds resentment and the relationship eventually dies. The irony is that, even with ample "me time" I am often unable to accomplish anything creative, and instead waste time on largely frivolous pursuits. This does not really bother me, though.

It reminds me somewhat of a Leonard Cohen lyric (which I may have posted before):
"You know that I love to live with you
But you make me forget so very much
I forget to pray for the angels
And then the angels forget to pray for us."

While I can appreciate your father-in-law's dutifulness and attention to these moments of his life as a person appreciates a fish in an aquarium (or perhaps as the fish appreciates those observing her), such dedication to the minutiae of life bore me senseless and would eventually crush my spirit. All the tedious details and obligations- the anniversaries, soccor matches, BBQs, dance recitals, birthday parties, etc.- would exhaust all my energy reserves. Of course, our situation are far different. I am not married (and have no wish to be) and have no children (and want none). Additionally, I celebrate no human holidays, and practice no arbitrary traditions. I dismiss all societal obligations and norms as subjective and arbitrary.

Whatever the case, all of this would only give me pause as it relates to contracts into which I have voluntarily entered, and not situations that I have been born into, or in which others attempt to place me. As for taking time to savor the little "meaningful" moments, I have had many of these (though perhaps not quite in the sense that is commonly understood), and will likely continue to do so. I intuit, and live vicariously (at a distance) through the experiences of others. I do, however, sometimes wonder if I am not missing out on something by not immersing myself in such experiences. Ultimately, I do not think so.
 
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