“Do they see it as an excuse?” he asked me as we talked. “Like, because they’re this personality type, you’re just supposed to accept that? Or do they see it as a starting place for their work?”
That last question is everything. Essential. Important. Spot on. And, often ignored.
People like to say it’s just the way they are.
They like to hide behind the colors and numbers and letters that define “who they are” and what their personality is. It’s just how they are. Just how they operate. Like a badge of honor, only focusing on the good aspects of “being this type of person.”
But there are always shadow sides to our personality types. There are patterns and fears and ways we operate that don’t feel good to ourselves or others. There are things we do to sabotage our dreams, potential, relationships, and health. Ways we avoid. Ways we hurt. Ways we turn defensive.
Like me. I tend to run. To hide. To close my heart.
When things get hard, this is my natural instinct, because of my personality type. I pull away, shut down energetically, put up a wall that keeps me “safe.” But instead of saying “it’s just the way I am,” I see it as a starting place for my work, and I’m doing it. I’m learning how to stay. In all the ways that staying requires. Because leaving only caused pain to myself and those around me. So, I continue to learn the art of staying.
And, yes. Sometimes it is just the way we are. Sometimes there are aspects of our personality that are simply non-negotiable.
I will never stop being deep and complex. I will never stop feeling all the feels. I will never stop being purpose-driven. I will never stop desiring more connection. I will never stop being hyper-aware of death, that life is short. I will never stop caring and loving deeply and fiercely. I will never stop facing the darkness, doing the hard work.
To some people, these things are viewed as “wrong” or “bad” or “too intense.” To some people, these things make me “not fun.” That’s okay. They’re not negotiable for me. They’re not pieces of my personality that I’m willing to give up or change. They are what make me who I am in positive, powerful ways. What drives me forward in the best of ways.
We get to decide what’s negotiable and what’s not.
But to do that consciously and productively, we have to be willing to face the parts of ourselves that aren’t so awesome. That aren’t so healthy or helpful. The parts that are hurtful and damaging. We all have them.
And when we find them, it isn’t about beating ourselves up or focusing on the negative it’s about starting the work. Starting to shift and change and grow in ways that support our best qualities. That allows us to deepen our relationships, step into how we’re here to be, and do the work we’re here to do.
What’s your starting place?
What’s there for you to work on, right now? Where are you willing to shine the light, even if it’s uncomfortable? Where are you willing to choose growth and healing?