Today I'll tell you a crazy secret that nobody knows ... I have 2 people inside of me!
At one time in my life, I didn't understand it, and it was scary. But no more! It's not a case of multiple personalities ... nope, it's way cooler than that!
When I was twenty-something, like most twenty-somethings, I was trying to figure out who I was. What my path was going to be.
I had already had THE Conversation with God in my late teens where I finally made peace with all of the intensity inside of me. All that raw energy inside that frightened the willies out of me and made me feel not normal. The intensity that I tried so hard to supress, because I thought it was something bad. I really believed there was something terribly wrong with me, and perhaps I was heading toward the looney bin. But then I asked the right Person the right question. And I remember that conversation like it was yesterday:
What is wrong with me?! I asked.
He replied, There's nothing wrong with you. I put all that intensity inside of you, because it will come out in your art. You will need it to be a good artist. Stop being frightened of it. Embrace it. Walk with Me and I'll guide you in developing and using that gift.
That was the real beginning of my walk with Him. The beginning of not just knowing about Him, but of actually knowing Him. Big difference.
So not too long after that I heard about the four temperments. I don't know how scientific or accurate this model is, but apparently it dates back to the ancient Greeks. They narrowed personality down to four basic types: the Sanguine, the Choleric, the Melancholic and the Phlegmatic.
The Sanguine and the Choleric are the extroverts in this model. The Sanguine being the fun-loving social one. Sanguines are fun and they make great story tellers. But because they will try to make their stories as interesting as they can, if you ever find yourself in the presence of a story-telling Sanguine, enjoy, but be wary while listening ... while they don't exactly lie, they definitely embellish! The Choleric is the strong, no-nonsense leader of the group. They will take over, take charge and get things done and make things happen.
The introverts are the Melancholic, who is brooding, analytical, quiet and creative; and the Phlegmatic, who is the relaxed one. The Phlegmatic is peaceful and relaxed, doesn't get too excited. Not very industrious, this one, but if you get upset with them for not getting their chores done, they can calm you right down so you won't care anymore!
So I got the bright idea that it would be fun and maybe informative to take the test and see how I stacked up. Since I had all this intensity inside, perhaps I could learn a bit about myself and maybe that would help me manage me better. The way the test works is that you will find that one of the four temperments will be your dominant trait, and you'll likely have a slight influence from one or more of the other three. So I took the test.
The result was unsettling, to say the least. I thought maybe I should re-take it, but knew that the spontaneous answers from the first time would likely be more accurate than an influenced second go.
With minimal influence from either the Choleric or the Phlegmatic, I was 95% Sanguine AND 95% Melancholic! How could that be? No wonder I thought I was going crazy! I WAS crazy! I had TWO of me inside!
Great! I'm the serious, brooding, lover of fun. The introverted extrovert ... or is it the other way around? The attention-seeking one who is hiding in the corner trying not to draw attention to herself! The people-loving loner ... good grief!!!
Naturally I took this to God ... please explain this to me!
He didn't. He just smiled. I love it when He smiles. He's just saying, Don't fret. Just trust. Hold onto Me and keep going forward.
So that's what I've always tried to do. It's always been a balancing act, trying to not allow the Melancholic to sit and brood too much. Or have the Sanguine play too much. Both of them are really good at not being very productive, so I really need to stay alert.
The biggest issue I've had is trying to get those two to just work together. Sometimes when half the day has gone by and I haven't gotten much done, I stop and reflect over what I've been spending my time on ... I'll find the Melancholic brooding over the day's tasks and arranging them and coming up with a schedule to get it all accomplished. But brooding over the list doesn't get anything marked off the list!
The Sanguine is actually a pretty good worker. Unfortunately, whatever is being worked on isn't always the most expedient thing. Like having three or four freelance jobs that have deadlines, but look at how gorgeous the weather is! A perfect day to wash the car!
Of course, all my days aren't like this. But it's definitely a challenge to keep these two in balance and working harmoniously. They are constantly at odds with one another. If one is cooperating with me, the other one is sulking. Occasionally, it's both sulking and me pushing through trying to force the issue ... like herding chickens, my husband would say!
Then one magical day somebody put a manuscript in my hands and asked me to turn it into a book ...
That 95% Melancholic residing in me perked right up: Woo-hoo! What's THIS?! Open that puppy up and let's have a look! How can we break up the narrative into pages? What fonts will we use? How many pages? How much margin? It was the liveliest I think I'd ever seen the Melancholic get! Something positive to analyze and brood over!
The 95% Sanguine was looking over over my shoulder, too. Woo-hoo! A STORY! I can see pictures in my head already! What will the characters look like? How will we dress them! What can we add to the pictures that will embellish the story a bit? Color! We need lots of color! Get the paper out! Where are the pencils? Let's DRAW!
Finally these two were cooperating! They were collaborating on a common goal! It was a MIRACLE!
And that was the beginning of this wonderful journey I've been on for the last few years. Last year when we added the website, that just fired them up even more! And so the journey continues ... I never knew it was going to be this much fun! I hope it will last a long time ...