How Meditation Helped me Discover the True Gift of Being an Introvert
And Why It May Help You Do the Same
There is no doubt, I was born to be a meditator. I think being an Introvert was the first clear indication of my destiny. This, and the fact that I tended to remove myself from social situations and awkwardly stare at people instead of interacting with them.
I also think that all of us are born to be meditators in one way or the other, as meditation is nothing more than the art of consciously living. The art of being fully present in any given moment. But to be present, silence is needed. And that seems to be pretty uncomfortable for most.
Meditation Might Change Your Perspective on Being a Loner Completely
Some say, meditation is not for everyone, and this is a question I cannot speak on, but if you’re an introvert, like me, I highly suggest you’ll give it a try, it might change your perspective on being a loner completely!
For us quiet ones, growing up in an extroverted world is a constant fight for acceptance — both your own AND that of other people. The world is demanding constant attention and interaction. Taking time to go in — completely disinterested in what is going on outside? — feels almost selfish.
About Me: The Weirdo Kid
From an early age, my safe space was being alone in my room or playing in the forest — all by myself. I enjoyed the stillness. I liked to be left alone. Laying outside in the grass and sungazing at the sky — deeply invested in self-talk or sitting silently in a corner analyzing adults, those were my things. I was that weirdo kid. And I was always well aware of that weirdness.
Other kids were different in that sense, how I discovered when I started going to school. I remember looking up to the quirky and loud kids because they were always the first to make friends and for them, it seemed so easy. I hated the fact that I was introverted so much, I even started envying the kids that had ADHD.
I was shy, almost afraid to talk to people. The dreamer in class. Constantly staring out of the window. Silently drifting away from the room. Slipping into imaginary worlds, full of adventure and magic. I had no problem blending out my surroundings. It was as if stillness was always available, I could just slip off and enjoy the peace which filled my being at any moment.
My teachers had a hard time keeping my attention. Over time, I developed tactics to make it seem like I was listening, even though I wasn’t. I started staring at the teacher, instead of out the window, only to secretly dive back into my world of comfort and fascination. It was like playing hide and seek. I would enjoy the moment, then be caught, and forcefully pulled back. I watched my attention being put into chains.
Adaptation to a Highly Communicative World
This pattern didn’t solely apply to the situations in school. I learned to hide my weird habits of drifting away. The only moments when I could fully be myself, was when being alone. With others, there was always some sort of communication expected. Something had to be said at any given time. Silence was awkward.
As soon as there was a pause .. people would start asking ‘What are you thinking now?’. — What an odd question! Is there anything more intimate than our personal thoughts? Is there any space more holy and sacred than our inner privacy? And if someone asks what we are thinking, in 90% of the cases, they are not interested in our real thoughts but simply want the conversation to go on and avoid silence. Truth is.. most times when I am silently staring into the distance, I’m not thinking at all. My mind is empty and I am enjoying it.
Over time I learned to adapt. I adopted skills to camouflage with the extroverts. Many people nowadays wouldn’t even consider me an introvert. So yes, there is such a thing as an extroverted introvert. I am living proof. But being around people, especially in crowds, always remained hard work.
Have you ever wondered why silence is so uncomfortable for most people? Why is it even perceived as awkward?
As I found out by studying this phenomenon, if there is no noise covering the obvious, silence comes and reveals everything! Not the silence is uncomfortable, but the situation which is disclosed by the lack of distraction.
If you are not comfortable with a person — if there is any tension filling the room — it is not possible to ignore that tension when we can’t place the focus somewhere else. Worse, it is even multiplying by the absence of noise.
Silence is raw. It’s honest. And we are not used to that level of honesty.
That being said, meditation is a beautiful way of enjoying each other’s presence in a way that suits our natural gift of sharing energy instead of sharing words.
My first Meditation Class felt like Coming Home
When I entered my first mediation class, I was deeply confused. Life didn’t make sense .. it seemed so pointless. An ongoing fight against the never-ending need to remove me from our high functioning society and seek real peace. I expected to be bored and dozing off here and there(sleeping is my second greatest hobby).
Instead, I couldn’t help but enjoy being in a room full of people without anyone claiming my attention. There was nothing to be said, nothing to be done, than to simply sit. I fell into a let-go. The energy of the moment was speaking for itself. It felt like coming home.
I realized that fighting against my introverted nature, was fighting against meditation.
Not only was I permitted to withdraw my mind from the room and turn inwards, but I was specifically asked to do so! I was cheerleaded on my way out and congratulated for successfully leaving.
This was my place!
The Pull Towards Peace
In meditation, introspection is the very first thing you’ll learn. Focus. This happens to be the most difficult thing for most people, yet it seems almost natural for introverted minds.
For beginners, the greatest challenge lies in unlearning this external fixation and opening up to the infinite possibilities of the inner dimensions. They reveal themselves to those who succeed in letting go of the outer experience and stop clinging to it. Considering how much work so many introverts put into being engaged with the external world every day.
For an introverted mind, inner abundance is not big news. We are craving solitude because we crave space to experience ourselves.
How Meditation Benefits Us as Introverts
For natural-born meditators, it is especially hard to get a feeling of acceptance while authentically acting on the need for undisturbed moments of introspection and silence. We seek solitude to recharge, but more so our soul seeks a break from the attention-demanding ways of society.
Furthermore, it allows us to give in to that pull of introversion without feeling guilty or weird. Meditation enables us to unpack the wonders stillness has to offer, which are rich and deeply fulfilling in nature.
As introverts, we are original pioneers — explorers of unknown territory. Those who haven’t felt the abundance of the inner world clearly won’t understand the beautiful richness of silence. That’s why we must keep exploring and help them understand the true beauty of silence by sharing our results and discoveries.
Thank you for reading :)