An epiphany hit me this morning on the way to work.
I was listening to Bob Edwards on my XM radio as he interviewed Dan Gediman the author of This I Believe: On Love. Mr. Gediman spoke of a short essay in his book written by Debra Bronow titled “Hand-Knit Socks”; a charming story of how she shows her love through her creative knitting… and it happened: a truth I’ve always known about myself slapped me across the face and told me to reveal in my introverted modus operandi (ie: writing trumps speaking every time) of how I tell my loved ones that I love them.
It’s hard for me to utter the words “I Love You”. The more I love you, the harder it is to say. Why are introverts like that? It can be a little (sometimes a lot) frustrating. If my loved ones say it to me first, then I can return the words much easier. But to be the first one to form those sounds… tears are more likely to escape me than words. Awkward, huh?
Since childhood, I’ve expressed my love in actions, like all good Introverts should. And since I’m an ISFP, those actions come in the form of creativity. As a girl, I sewed and sewed, knitted, crocheted, embroidered, etc… bestowing gifts to say “I Love You”. When my incredible and creative mom (I just told you of my love, Mom) taught me to cook, I had a new avenue for brandishing my love.
I have taken that talent and expanded it through the years. I create recipes, cook elaborate meals, make wine, brew beer, etc… lavishly serving all to family, friends and guests – every bit of it in the name of love whether the consumer realizes it or not.
Now (starting in the fall of ’09) I write – a new creative outlet for me, a cathartic and healing outlet; an unbelievably rewarding phase of my life. I’ve remained true to my Introverted nature: rather than speaking, I send published love notes when the inspirations hit me. I get overpowering urges causing bursts of energy to escape my fingertips: an evening with my beautiful daughter and old friends gave birth to Beauty; a need to thank my mom and dad for relationship knowledge produced Always, Never; the loving support of my boyfriend, even when I don’t deserve to be loved, led to You Make It Right.
I am endlessly thankful for this wonderful method of expression. I plan to nurture and care for it like I care for and nurture all my loves.
And for my loved ones that I haven’t devoted a piece to, I will as soon as the inspiration hits me.
20 thoughts on “What I Love You “Sounds” Like From an Introvert”
You have an incredible way with words. I know those you love and care deeply about truly appreciate your loving words.
Thank you, Phyl.
You’re kind in person and in words.
Debi, you brought tears to my eyes. My thoughts go back to your Grandpa Russ. Some of my most cherished memories of him relate to your poem. He grew up the oldest of six children and son of two very strict parents which was not so unusual 100 years ago. My mother (your grandma) said more than once that he had never told her he loved her. He never told his two daughters he loved them, either. Yet, he would do anything he could for us and wanted to teach us all that he knew from math to fishing!
On one occasion as he was wheeled down the hallway of our local hospital for prostate surgery, I was walking alongside holding his hand. I leaned over and said, “I love you, Daddy.” I hadn’t called him “Daddy” for years and probably had not said outloud that I loved him, ever. After he had recovered and was at our house for dinner one evening, he called me from the kitchen to the dining room, away from the others, and said to me, looking into my eyes, “Do you remember what you said to me right before my surgery?” I replied softly, “Yes.” He then said, “The feeling is mutual.” I will always remember that moment as the first time my father told me he loved me.
Thank you for this. I miss Grandpa Russ.
He would send me outrageous stories and funny jokes that he gathered.
I probably still have them somewhere.
He taught Kathy and I how to cast a fishing line, shoot bow-and-arrow and guns, how to handle a dog and so much more – always with safety as the first priority; we would lose our privileges with the slightest deviation.
He meant enough to me that I named my son after him.
He said I Love You every day.
Wonderful and perfectly true! Thank you for sharing this.
Thank you, Carl
Your just amazing girl friend
Very insightful for us introverts. I’m the same way. Can’t articulate myself in speech, especially in times of conflict. Ask my hubby–we argue over e-mail 🙂 But you know, Jesus himself lived and taught that love = action. We can say ‘I love you’ a billion times, but it doest’t count unless we show it. Actions speak much louder than words. So keep embracing the loving actions girl! Everyone will remember you for it!
Sue and Mysti,
I wish I could press on a “Like” button in response to your comments, but I haven’t figured that one out yet.
Thank you for your being so open, Debi. That’s quite a feat for an introvert – one I’d find hard to copy. Reading your post I was reminded of a TED lecture by Brene Brown. She talks about vulnerability and “connection” (using it as a synonym for love). The lecture is here: http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html. I think you will like it.
I’ve watched the lecture twice, and I’ve linked it on my home page under “More Personal Growth”. I am now a fan of Brene Brown (and you, as always).
I have so many thoughts, that I’m having trouble putting them all together. I will watch it once tomorrow with a fresh mind and make a comment directly about what she says.
There is nothing so convincing as the conviction of a person determined to disprove something, who then must become vulnerable enough to concede defeat.
I finally tackled my to-do list enough to listen to Brene Brown one more time. I was as deeply touched as the other times I listened.
My mind is exploding with ideas. What if everyone was able to believe they are worthy; was courageous enough to embrace their imperfections; had the compassion to be kind to themselves first; was able to EMBRACE VULNERABILITY knowing that it makes us BEAUTIFUL!
I’m crying thinking of the broken hearts I know that could be whole; of the individuals that don’t believe they are worthy of love and belonging. Including me — I’ve made great strides, but we never complete the journey, do we?
Embracing vulnerability, imperfection as that which makes us beautiful… I love that passage too. Imagine the parents we could be be if we were to apply this concept first to ourselves and then to our kids. But it’s hard. It asks us to trust, to make a leap of faith – something I was not taught to do until I had reached midlife. At my age learning is slow. Like you I try.
Can I just say your expression of love is powerful? I only know you through the interesting virtual world, but it’s not difficult to discern your tenderness and your zest of love for people around you. Using the gifts of creativity to express your love is priceless and personally I think it speaks louder than uttering the words itself.
Come to think of it, the phrase “I love you” is rarely used in my culture, regardless of your personality. Most of us may find it easier to say the words in English than in our mother tongue. I have to confess that I’ve never uttered these words to my mom & dad or vise versa!
Thanks for sharing your many inspiring thoughts. You loved-ones are blessed with your love.
Aren’t we fortunate to get to know each other, even if it is only electronically?
All your posts illustrate your “tenderness and your zest of love for people around you” also.
A very moving post. Your words are beautiful and I wish you inspiration and success in your writing endeavors. I’m so impressed that you are working chapter by chapter on a virtual novel. You’re amazing!
Oh my, Sarah! You calling me amazing? – who’s the one out exploring the world allowing all her friends to take the journey with her virtually? I love your adventures and posts.
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Courage is actually going from disappointment to failing without losing passion
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