Dear Introverts (especially my dear INFJs),
Please don’t follow your heart. I know you want to, I know that it’s the way you naturally lean, the first instinct, but remember: The heart lies. It deceives. This heart you have, it does not love. It hates, and it wants to drag you into its dark, downward spiral. It wants to corrupt you, and it will do so by whispering the sweetest lies. Someday, your heart will be good, and someday, you will be able to trust it. But not now. Never now.
I don’t mean you can’t dream or imagine or feel or even act intuitively. I just want to warn you to please be careful. Don’t just follow your heart—follow Him, and when the thrums of your heart align with the whisper of His words, then you can follow it. Only then.
Another word of advice: do the next thing. I know you dream of changing the world and reaching the stars. I dream of those, too. But remember that what He’s called you to do in this moment, whether it’s loading the dishwasher or smiling at a stranger (ah, that one’s hard, isn’t it?), is the noblest thing you can possibly do. It is even more important than changing the world, although it’s funny, because by doing this little thing, little thing after little thing—that’s how you change the world.
It’s hard, I know, to change the world this way, but always remember that you can tell others your struggles and burdens. You can—and should, must—open up to people. I know you’re afraid to—afraid that they’ll laugh at the deepest sorrows of your heart or afraid that your trials will burden them. You are afraid of being hurt, and you are afraid of hurting others. But these fears paralyze, and they hinder any world-changing, love-showing, dream-reaching. You must cling to this truth: You will hurt those you love by not sharing your troubles. They care; they want to know. So tell them and be free.
You’re reading this quietly, aren’t you? That’s what we are, often: quiet. Other don’t understand it. They think we’re morose or depressed or unfriendly. They don’t realize that sometimes we are happiest inside when we look the most serious on the outside. It is good, normal, even necessary for you to draw within yourself. But please, before you shut the world out—remember that your introversion is no excuse to be unkind, to withhold love. Yes, it may be hard for you to talk to others, yes, you may not want exert the effort it takes to smile and appear happy, yes, it may be much easier to close others out, but that is not the way He’s called us to live. Definitely take time to rest and be alone, time when you can focus inwards and dream, but don’t do it at the expense of others. We’re to love them first, remember? Before ourselves. Honor them with your attention, with the smiles they want to see.
It’s funny, because you’re so quiet, and yet you so want to help others. You lie awake in anguish over their pain, and you replay their sorrows in your mind, over and over. You feel so helpless, but there’s nothing you can do, and it tears you apart. And you know what? The best way you can help them is to let them go. You can’t fix everyone’s problems. You can’t save the world. But this is no reason to despair, because there iss only One who can, and you’re certainly not Him. Pray—oh, pray. Let others go and put them in His more-than-capable hands.
Oh, and please don’t forget this: Extroverts are … well, just plain wonderful. Yeah, they can be loud and tiring and oh-so-confusing, and we often don’t understand each other one bit, but here’s the hard truth: We introverts, we tend to think we’re better. I think it’s because we’re insecure, and we want to hide it by assuming superiority. But we’re not superior, not one bit. Extroverts are beautiful and valuable and necessary, and they have many qualities we could learn from. I am not saying you should be one or even act like one, but don’t scorn them. Thank God for them.
And one last thing, the most important: You are loved. There is One who doesn’t misunderstand your silence, One who doesn’t need you to talk aloud, One who dreams with you. There is One who can be trusted completely.
a fellow introvert
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