Meet the “What Ifs”

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NTs live in their heads and in their systems. They are often systematic. They are future-focused and deal more often in “what-if” than in “what is.”  They are more focused on “what works” than on “what is the accepted way of doing things” (pragmatic).

ENTJ

Chiefs

Ego:  Te Ni Se Fi

Subconscious:

Ti, Ne, Si, Fe

 

ENTP

Visionaries

Ego: Ne Ti Fe Si

Subconscious:

Ni, Te, Fe, Si

 

INTJ

Strategists

Ego: Ni Te Fi Se

Subconscious:

Ne, Ti, Fe, Si

 

INTP

Engineers

Ego: Ti Ne Si Fe

Subconscious:

Te, Ni, Se, Fi

 

 

ENTJ in a word: COMMANDING-ENTJs seem so serious and business like on the surface. They are structured, systematic, directive, intuitive (more in tune with What if than What is) and do things at their own pace. They seek to do the right thing as it is measured by external standards of the system of which they are a part. They need to be comfortable and to know that you value them and to those they care for, they don’t want to seem heartless. They may come across as blunt, curt, harsh and bossy, but the truth is that they really don’t want to give you a bad experience. They merely want you to competent and do your job right and for those they love, they want to give a good life experience with a childlike fervor.

ENTP in a word: IMPROVING—ENTPs are abstract thinkers who look for the “big picture” and seek to understand the core of any system, situation or motivation. They are also looking for a systematic way to make things better. They need things to be constantly progressing toward “better” whether it’s a system, a person or a relationship. They are constantly pushing for improvement. As a result of this many of the world’s finest inventions have been brought about by ENTPs. They deal in “what if” more often than “what is.” ENTPs need to have great experiences in life. They need to feel like they’ve truly “lived” not merely existed. They are often accused of being deceptive but it is only because their pragmatic thinking sometimes flies in the face of the traditional so they learn to be selective with whom they share their truths and observations.

INTJ in a word: STRATEGIZING—INTJs are abstract, systematic, direct and always moving toward building a system, designing a plan, plotting an outcome, finding the best way. They are more concerned about what gets results than what’s traditional, expected or socially popular. INTJs tend toward objectivity and when mature can be one of the “fairest” of all types, meaning that they are less likely to play favorites in order to gain social popularity and in truth, they may even be somewhat oblivious to certain social norms. However, they are gifted in whatever area they find an interest and can always plot a course for the future. Like the ISTJ, INTJs have a childlike adherence to their own values and will not violate their own core beliefs.

INTP in a word: CONCEPTUALIZING–INTPs live in a world of internal frameworks and future possibilities. They have the uncanny ability to immediately see a concept and determine its legitimacy, to determine if it is true or false, logical or illogical. They understand how theoretical components fit together and can see multitudes of possibilities, both positive and negative, for the use of that understanding. They have a pure and positive ability to collect past data and see where and how it fits in to current data. They aspire to consider the values of others and to make others feel good. It makes them happy to know that they made you feel good and it hurts them when their actions have made you feel bad or angry. For this reason, they sometimes are “frozen” in their choices, fearing that no matter what they do, they might “mess up” socially.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet the “Free Spirits” (SPs)

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SPs do what works, pragmatic.  They deal in “what is” more often than in “what if.” They like to test the rules, push the boundaries, live in the moment and have an aptitude for mechanical, tactical or physical type things. They have a sensual bent and sometimes come across as daredevils. They don’t usually like restrictions, detailed itineraries and rules that impede their adventure and creativity. They are artists, craftsmen, technicians and tacticians, regardless of what their occupational title actually is.

ESTP

Ego: Se, Ti, Fe, Ni

Subconscious:

Si, Te, Fi, Ne

Persuaders

ESFP

Ego: Se, Fi, Te, Ni

Subconscious:

Si, Fe, Ti, Ne

Entertainers

ISTP

Ego:  Ti, Se, Ni, Fe

Subconscious:

Te, Si, Ne, Fi

Craftsmen/Tacticians

ISFP

Ego: Fi, Se, Ni, Te

Subconscious:

Fe, Si, Ne, Ti

Artists

 

ESTPs in a word: PRAGMATIC. ESTPs are directive in their communication. They give orders but don’t enjoy taking them. They are great at starting things but lag behind when it comes to getting them finished. They move at their own pace and don’t appreciate being rushed. They take their time and do things their own way. They live in the here and now more often than not. They are pragmatic, wanting to do what works above what’s always been done. They like to give those around them a great and memorable experience. They need to be given freedom to make their own choices and the time in which to do them. Understanding which direction they really want to go in their great weakness and they need patience from others in regards to that weakness.  They are motivated by interested more often than external systems.

ESFPs in a word: ENTERTAINING. ESFPs are informative in their communication which means there is a lot of subtext. They want to inform you and leave the decision of what to do up to you, much in the same way that ISFJs and ESFJs do, except there is no “should” attached to the information you’re receiving. ESFPs are spontaneous and funny and fun-loving. They are creative and aware of “what is” more often than “what if.” Like all Artisans, they will test the rules, push the boundaries. They make decisions based more on their interests or personal motivations than they do on an accepted system. Like the ESTP, they need the freedom to choose.

ISTP in a word: SURVIVAL.ISTPs need to know that they are valued for their expertise in an area. If ISTP is a musician then he wants to be acknowledged for his incredible skill which he may have spent untold hours perfecting. He is in the moment, logical, analytical, concrete (what is) and relaxed. He is movement oriented and likes to keep things going. He doesn’t like to stall or piddle. He is the ultimate tactician and survivalist with uncanny mechanical and physical aptitude. ISTPs are direct in their communication, not using anymore words than necessary (the silent grunters). They sometimes lack patience with others who don’t learn as fast as they do and may label highly intelligent people as stupid if the other person doesn’t catch on to a concept as quickly as they do. They live in the moment, are extremely aware of their physical environment and are highly analytical.

ISFP in a word: FREE-SPIRITED. ISFPs go at their own pace, make decisions based on their own interests and wait for you to make the first move. They are pragmatic and you can bet they will do what they want to do when all is said and done. They are quietly stubborn and have a hard time getting their ideas across sometimes. However, they are usually excellent at mechanical and physical things, just as the ISTP is. They need to be valued for their input and not to be written off because they struggle to get it across to you. They are more intelligent than most people realize. They are often gifted with an aptitude for art and music and many of the world’s famous artists and musicians have been ISFPs. They may also struggle with anger outbursts and tend to live on the edge at times.

Meet the Shoulds

Continuing with the 16 Sets of Cognitive Blueprints

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MEET THE SJs

SJs come in four basic blueprints. They are keepers of tradition, deal in “what has always been” more often than “what if”. They are more likely to adhere to a system most of the time (systematic) but occasionally can be pragmatic. They play by the rules and what to do what is lawful. They do what they SHOULD do and expect you to do the same. They tell lots of stories of the way things used to be and are very aware of their physical bodies. They are safety-focused and may talk a lot about their health. They NEED things to be planned and organized. An itinerary, color-coded binders, closet organizers, filing cabinets, clocks, calendars and sticky notes are their best friends.

ESTJ

Ego: Te, Si, Ne, Fi

Subconscious:

Ti, Se, Ni, Fe

ISTJ

Ego: Si, Te, Fi, Ne

Subconscious:

Se, Ti, Fe, Ni

ESFJ

Ego: Fe, Si, Ne, Ti

Subconscious:

Fi, Se, Ni, Te

ISFJ

Ego: Si, Fe, Ti, Ne

Subconscious:

Se, Fi, Te, Ni

ESTJs in a word: ORDER. They are orderly, objective, lawful, keepers of tradition, often blunt go-getters who start things and move at their own pace. They are directive when they speak more often than they are informative and even when they are informative, they sound directive. They are often seen as unyielding and “by-the-book” but there is far more to them than that. They need to know you appreciate their hard work and see them as compassionate people, because understanding other people’s values is their greatest area of struggle. Their decisions are often based on the “system” of which they are a part.

ISTJs  in a word: SAFE. ISTJs are safety-conscious keepers of tradition with a penchant for details and sometimes, conspiracy theories who like to see things get done (they may not be the ones doing them but they will dutifully and systematically remind the “doers” until the thing is accomplished.) They are orderly collectors of information and knowledge. They are systematic and direct in their communication. They appreciate being told what they should do and they like to have a precise order to do it in. ISTJs are inventive in practical ways and can come up with mechanical inventions that make life more comfortable and easier. They need to know your intentions and that you want to be with them, because feeling afraid of other people’s intentions and feeling unwanted are their greatest struggles.Their intuition works to  make them suspicious and causes them to imagine what others might be doing or intending to do.

ESFJs in a word: SUPPORTIVE. ESFJs are duty-conscious, self-sacrificing, caring, hard-working traditionalists who go the extra mile to help those in their circle of influence. They are informative in their speech, aware of what’s accepted in their culture and live by their “shoulds” doing what they “should” do. They need you to listen to their ideas and assure them that you find them useful and intelligent because they doubt their own intelligence and when you don’t listen to them you reinforce their doubts. They need to know that you value them enough to listen to their ideas. They make excellent community leaders and event organizers.

ISFJs in a word: PLANNING. ISFJs need to be safe and comfortable. They dislike the unfamiliar and being in situations where they don’t know the intentions of others or where there is an element of danger.  Like the ESFJ, they are informative in their speech. ISFJs are masters at dropping “hints” which they expect you to pick up on and act accordingly to what you “should” do. They are usually neat, tidy and organized. Trust an ISFJ to plan your family vacation and pack snacks for everyone. They may fix your hair or pick lent off your clothing. Tradition is everything to them; it provides them with the comfortable, predictable and familiar. They are all about what they “should” do and about feeling safe. ISFJs are behind-the-scenes kind of people and don’t enjoy being put in the public spotlight. This is often uncomfortable for them. They need to know your intentions. They make excellent managers and come up with wonderful inventions for use in their work environment and in their homes. Their intuition works to  make them suspicious and causes them to imagine what others might be doing or intending to do.

 

 

16 Types: Part III

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Below I give a brief overview of the four basic temperaments, according the categories in my previous post..

Then I follow with examples of people from each temperament category. Finally, I break the types down and give a very brief description of each. I put the negative possibilities in italics. I will return soon to post all of the types in more detail. Right now, I simply want to familiarize people who haven’t heard of these cognitive preferences before with them.

I am endeavoring to simplify to the point that anyone can understand, but an ISFJ friend did recently warn me, “Some people won’t understand it, no matter what you do, because some people can’t understand it.” Maybe she’s right. I don’t know. But, it’s not for a lack of trying on my part.

SJs have Sensing Introverted in their top four functions which makes them past-focused and comfort-seeking.  This means they may be apprehensive about changes and need a tether to the past to be comfortable going into the future. Stability and focus matter to them.

Conscientiousness George Washington, Martha Stewart, Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, Oral Roberts,  Tom Clancy, Woodrow Wilson, Colin Powell, Harry Truman, Sam Walton, Apostle Paul

Funny Fiction Character: Monica from Friends

SPs have Sensing Extraverted in their top four functions which makes them concerned about and in-tune with their present physical environment and the experiences that are going on around them. Exploration, self-expression and independence matter to them.

 

Survivalism–Bruce Lee, Frank Zappa, Clint Eastwood, Jim Morrison, Janice Joplin, Jimmy Hendrix, Tom Cruise, Christian Bale, Orlando Bloom

 

Funny Fiction Character:

Joey and Rachel from Friends

 

NTs have either Thinking (Extraverted or Introverted) in their top four functions, so they will all either rely heavily upon reason or upon logic. They value independence, theories, experiments and exploration.

 

Innovation–Einstein, C.S. Lewis, Hawking, Benjamin Franklin, Ayn Rand, Tesla, DiVinci, Darwin, Carl Sagan, Napoleon

 

Funny Fiction Character: Brain, from Pinky and the Brain

 

 

NFs have Feeling (Extraverted or Introverted) in their top four functions which means that they all are either concerned with the values and directions of the human race at larger or with their own internal values and personal growth.

 

 

 

 

Existentialism–Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr., Tolkien, Agatha Christie, George Orwell, Van Gogh, William Blake, Tom Selleck, Hitler, Jesus

 

 

Funny Fiction Character:

Phoebe from Friends

 

ESTJ–Efficient, organized, strong, determined–blunt, stubborn, elitist, rude, intimidating

*aptitude for leading/government/law enforcement

ISTJ–conscientious, loyal, honest, dependable, knowledgable–fretful, suspicious, comfort-seeking, insecure, lazy, hopeless (lose all hope for future)

*aptitude for keeping records/science/law enforcement/research

ESFJ–dependable, organized, self-sacrificing, funny, warm, family-oriented–overbearing, guilting, manipulative, covert contract holders, socially destructive

*aptitude for nursing/social work/counseling/elementary education

ISFJ–kind, nurturing, family-oriented, innovative, dependable–neurotic, lonely, fretful, comfort-seeking, guilt-inducing, victims of abuse

*aptitude for nursing/ data tracking/elementary-education/some fields of science

ESTP–Practical, pragmatic, resourceful, analytical, mechanically inclined, trouble-shooter–rude, abusive, critical, harsh, stubborn, tunnel vision, short-sighted

*aptitude for foreman/construction/heavy machine operators/building contractors

ISTP–physically attuned, analytical, practical, tactical, mechanically inclined, quick to catch on, self-sufficient–short-sighted, harsh, critical, arrogant

*aptitude for machines/electronics/some fields of science/tactician

ESFP–fun, loving, inventive, creative, physically attuned, good-natured–selfish, undisciplined, disorganized, narcissistic, lazy

*aptitude for entertainment/partyplanning/cooking/ fashion/teaching in some settings

ISFP–creative, charming, talented, physical aptitude, mechanic aptitude, easy-going, adaptable–self-absorbed, undisciplined, anger issues, narcissistic 

*aptitude for music/art/woodworking/machines/anything physical and creative

ENTPs–open, charming, caring, witty, innovative, independent, self-sufficient, analytical, ingenious–succumb to Stockholm syndrome, narcissistic, overly nit-picky over how things are phrased, presented  etc., critical

*aptitude for research/applied and theoretical sciences/inventing/ poetry/comedy

INTPs–innovative, analytical, peaceful, open mentally–insecure, lazy, failure to launch, childish emotions.

*aptitude for computers/sciences/think tanks

ENTJs–enormous sense for business, dedicated, hard-working, smart, witty, determined–harsh, abusive, judgmental, cruel, unaware of how words and actions affect others, unrealistic demands of loyalty.

*aptitude for business of any kind/overseers/commanders/officers

INTJ–Focused, determined,  original, rational, independent, strategic, pragmatic, self-sufficient, observant–oblivious to other’s feelings, suspicious, unrealistic demands of loyalty. 

*aptitude for science/research/computers/medicine/anything that requires strategic planning

ENFJ–altruistic, caring, merciful, kind, see the “big picture,” organized, planned, enthusiastic, positive, unwavering, determined–unrealistic visions of the future (live in a dream world at times), master manipulators, con-artists

*aptitude for performing arts/public speaking/missionary work/teaching

INFJ–strategic, focused, analytical, observant, non-judgmental, creative, linguistic aptitude, generous, kind, highly productive, determined–unemotional, manipulative, cold, calculative, obsessive, physically destructive

*aptitude for languages/writing/art/sciences/medicine/research/teaching (especially in a university setting)

 

ENFP–fun, innovative, creative, open, entertaining–fickle, selfish, moody, overly dramatic

INFP–creative, unique, observant, loyal, kind, generous, detail-focused–hoarders, lonely, misunderstood, self-pity, depressive, 

*aptitude for literature, music, art, some sciences, editing

1.     Traditional

2.     Do what they “should” do, what is “right.”

3.     Past-focused

1.     Non-conforming

2.     Do what “works.”

3.     Present-focused

1.     Non-traditional

2.     Do what “works.”

3.     Future-focused.

1.     Idealistic

2.     Do what is “right.”

3.     Future-focused

 

 

My Easy “W” chart! (16 Blueprints: Part II)

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Before I continue on with the 16 type introductions and fictitious examples, someone suggested that I make a basic chart, so I did that. I know there are tons of such charts on the internet, but I just quickly threw this simplistic one together and gave each group a “W” name that I thought was interesting, catching and positive. I want to emphasize that there is NO BEST TYPE and there is NO WORST TYPE.

SJs–Watchmen SPs–Warriors NTs–Wizards NFs—Wisdom Keepers
ESTJ, ISTJ, ESFJ, ISFJ ESTP, ISTP, ESFP, ISFP ENTPs, INTPs, ENTJs, INTJs ENFJ, INFJ, ENFP, INFP
1.     Traditional

2.     Do what they “should” do, what is “right.”

3.     Past-focused

1.     Non-conforming

2.     Do what “works.”

3.     Present-focused

1.     Non-traditional

2.     Do what “works.”

3.     Future-focused.

1.     Idealistic

2.     Do what is “right.”

3.     Future-focused

 

16 Blueprints: Part I, The Basics

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So, let’s start with the notion that human beings are born (for the most part) with the capacity to learn and grow. In order to do that we must take in information about our world and then we must utilize that information in our day to day lives, communication and interactions with others, with nature, with the physical world, with concepts, with spirituality and so forth.

We call the ways of taking in and utilizing information cognitive preferences. In the same way that most people have a preference for handedness (right or left) people have a preference for the order of their cognitive functions.

The way we take in information is called our perceiving function. The manner in which we utilize or act upon that information is called our judging function.

Think of it this way:

Perceiving = in-put.

Judging = out-put.

There are two categories for perceiving functions: Intuition and Sensing and two categories for judging functions which are called Thinking and Feeling. Now, intuition can be either introverted or extroverted. In psychology circles this is abbreviated as Ni (intuition introverted) and Ne (intuition extraverted). Sensing is also either introverted (Si) or extraverted (Se).  Thinking is also introverted (Ti) and extraverted (Te) as is feeling, Fi and Fe. I will use these standard abbreviations throughout my posts.

Let me take a moment to give a brief description of these functions.

Se–is attuned to the physical world and is concerned with what is happening outside of one’s self (it is extraverted…outward focused). Se is concerned with what others are doing and with the experiences others are having, their comfort, their safety, whether or not they are enjoying the moment. It is present-focused and in the moment. 

Si–is attuned with the past and the experiences one has already had. It compares present experiences or possible future experiences to past experiences and is inward-focused. Si is concerned with one’s own comfort and safety. 

Ne–is attuned to possibilities outside of one’s self. It looks outward and at multiple combinations, connections and outcomes of any system or situation. It tinkers with ideas and theories, always seeking to find another way.  It is experimenting and  future-focused, asking “what can be?” 

Ni–is attuned to finding what is the “best” or most efficient outcome. It looks inward and is concerned with “what will be.” Ni connects invisible dots and sees patterns and pathways to infinite numbers of outcomes pertaining to one’s own path forward. It is strategic and future-focused. 

Te–is outward focused on external frameworks. It is objective and adheres to proven structures to support its conclusions and in order to form conclusions. It looks to the experts and to foundations that have already been laid. It seeks to find the most practical way to accomplish objective tasks.  It basically asks, “how to do it?”

Ti–analyzes and dissects, seeks to understand how something works and why something is.  Ti is inward-focused on one’s internal framework and understanding of structures. It questions the purpose and meaning of everything. It takes apart in order to put together, synthesizes. 

Fe–is concerned with values of others. It understands the cultural and social values of any group that it is put into and forms an ability to adapt to those values.

Fi–is concerned with one’s internal values and seeks to be true to one’s self.  

 We all have all the functions but the order of dominance and development is different. The placement of a cognitive function determines how it plays out in each of us. There are sixteen different orders in which these functions can be arranged. The J or P on the end of each set of  cognitive preferences denotes which preference a person extraverts. It doesn’t mean whether or not they are judgmental as I have heard some say. I am showing the sixteen different orders below. The ones in bold are the functions that we are most adept at using. The ones in italics are our weaker, more *”mirror universe” functions.  You may notice that the functions always appear on an axis, which means they are aways paired opposite of each other. The axis are as follows:

Se & Ni; Si & Ne; Te & Fi; Fe & Ti

The four letters after each arrangement or line-up of functions are what we call our Type Code.

  1. Se Ti Fe Ni Si Te Fi Ne =ESTP
  2. Ti Se Ni Fe Te Si Ne Fi = ISTP
  3. Se Fi Te Ni Si Fe Ti Ne= ESFP
  4. Fi Se Ni Te Fe Si Ne Ti= ISFP
  5. Ne Fi Te Si Ni Fe Ti Se= ENFP
  6. Fi Ne Si Te Fe Ni Se Ti= INFP
  7. Ne Ti Fe Si Ni Te Fi Se= ENTP
  8. Ti Ne Si Fe Te Ni Se Fi= INTP
  9. Te Ni Se Fi Ti Ne Si Fe= ENTJ
  10. Ni Te Fi Se Ne Ti Fe Si= INTJ
  11. Fe Ni Se Ti Fi Ne Si Te= ENFJ
  12. Ni Fe Ti Se Ne Fi Te Si =INFJ
  13. Te Si Ne Fi Te Se Ni Fe= ESTJ
  14. Si Fe Ti Ne Se Fi Te Ni= ISFJ
  15. Fe Si Ne Ti Fi Se Ni Te= ESFJ
  16. Si Te Fi Ne Se Ti Fe Ni= ISTJ

And here’s how the order affects our functions and our lives:

Our Strength Functions:

  1. Our Hero Function–our “go to” way of being, the mode of operation when we are allowed to be our most authentic selves. This function is where our optimism lies, our confidence.
  2. Our Parent Function–the function we kick into when we’re trying to be responsible. This function is where we go when we think about consequences and safety. It’s a more pessimistic function because it’s always on guard for pitfalls and dangers.
  3. Our Child Function–our purest function; This function is where we play and enjoy ourselves. It’s optimistic and usually like the child in the “Emperor’s New Clothes.” It’s the function that simply sees what is there.
  4. Our Aspirational Function–this function is the one where we feel the least confident and we may aspire to work harder when using this function, but if forced into it continuously, we may burn out. However, when an individual is not under stress and allowed to “just be” this function can offer a change of pace and an outlet.  
  5. Our Nemesis Function–it’s the function that casts doubt on our Hero.
  6. Our Critic Function–it’s the inner voice of criticism
  7. Our Trickster Function–it’s our delusions function. It’s the one that lies to us about ourselves.
  8. Our Demon Function–Just as our number four function is the one that spurs us to aspire, this one is accessed when we have lost all hope or feel lost in the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Journey to Realms of Depth Psychology

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Depth psychology looks at the cognitive blueprints (natural tendencies) that frame a person’s basic perceiving and decision-making processes. These blueprints are the foundation which our personalities are built upon. They are shaped by character, environment, faith and culture, making every person totally unique. I believe that understanding these blueprints can make us better communicators and help us understand others better. As a teacher and a parent, I think that learning our children’s basic blueprints will help us do a better job in guiding them in the way they should go as they grow.

I am, at the core, basing my ideas in this post on the works of John Beebe, Dario Nardi, Linda Berens, Vicky Jo Varner (whom I took an online course under when I won it in a competition on a typology forum), Mike Boudria, C.S. Joseph, Cynthia Tobias, Howard Gardner, Anna Barsova and Tim LaHaye, all who have, in one way or another, influenced my thinking on this subject.

PHASE I: Teacher Test

I was an eighteen-year-old artist who was recovering from bulimia and I had been accepted into college. I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to make a difference in the lives of others, to sow seeds of kindness, joy, hope and love. In my freshman orientation class they plopped a “test” down in front of me to help me identify my “calling” in life. The results would give me a bunch of letters like I, F, S, P and so forth. They told me these letters would be arranged in one of sixteen ways. So, I read the questions and answered them based on what I thought it took to be a “good” teacher.

My call letters turned out to be an ENFJ. All that mattered to me about that result was that it had the word “teacher” listed under the recommended occupations.  A few months before, all that would have mattered was the word “artist.” But I had decided, at the urging of one of my own teachers, that I would make a better living as a teacher. I watched Anne of Green Gables and Little House on the Prairie and Christy and read Jesse Stuart’s, A Thread that Runs so True and I wanted to be one of these heroic people that made a difference in the life of a child, that changed someone’s future for the better, so I answered as if I was Anne Shirley herself.

By the time I graduated there were no teaching jobs in my area so I went to work in a hospital as an X-ray clerk. My favorite moments were the ones I spent alone, quietly working at my desk, developing film in the darkroom (yes, it’s been a while.) Co-workers said I was a ray of sunshine and patients loved my quiet mannerism and gentle nature. Of course, everyone loved my humor that was quirky and innocent. I mean I was still very young.

Then came the day that I finally got that teaching job and I was off and running. Little did I know that my personality wasn’t a typical elementary teacher’s personality. In fact, I would be reprimanded for “being too timid” on more than one occasion, until the day I realized that what others mistook for timidity was simply my preference for being calm. It was during these early years as a teacher that I was sent to Dayton, Ohio, to a teacher’s convention that would lead me to seek to not only understand myself, but everyone around me.

PHASE II: Temperament Tantrums

I attended that convention in Dayton where a gregarious and bouncy blonde public speaker introduced me to the concept of temperaments. The lady gave us a paper test with columns where we could read statements and rate them from “most like me” to “least like me.” We were all supposed to discover our primary and secondary temperaments. Of course, I had a tie. I mean, I would be the only person in the room who tied on all four temperaments, so I went to her to help me break the tie and “learn about myself.” She took a look at me. I was wearing a white sweater with a teddy bear on it and a pair dark-washed-jean. She said, “Oh, you’re a Sanguine. I can tell by your clothing. Only a Sanguine would wear that sweater.”

I was miffed. How could she tell by my clothing? That was silly. I stewed about it all the way home. I then started buying books on the Four-Temperament theories and it didn’t take me more than a chapter to realize that the lady had read my teddy bear sweater all wrong. So, I decided to order myself the genuine Tim LaHaye Temperament Analysis. I was so excited to receive my manila envelope in the mail and took great pains to read and re-read every question on the test. I said a prayer that I would answer honestly and truly tried to step outside myself and analyze myself.  I knew there was something to the idea that we all come into this world wired differently and any two people facing the same situation will react differently. I wanted to understand my “human” nature, my initial blueprint. I wanted to know what made ME tick. I didn’t think the idea was wrong or that it had no validity. I DID think the presenter was too quick to form an opinion.

I took the test, sent my answers in and waited about a month to receive my results: Melancholy Phlegmatic—a creative introvert who loved peace and harmony, who internalized things and was reluctant to ask others for help, who had trouble saying “no” to others, who was highly gifted and slightly messy. Yes. That was me. As it turned out, my report went on to say that I was not extremely introverted but I definitely was not an extrovert, not a Sanguine. So, Melancholies and Phlegmatics COULD wear teddy bears on their sweaters! All joking aside, this basic understanding DID help me understand myself and somehow it helped me to stop being so hard on myself. More years would pass before I started to go beyond the Four Temperaments of Hippocrates.

PHASE III: Depth Psychology and Jungian Cognitive Preferences

Somewhere along the journey I began writing novels and my desire to learn more about human nature sky-rocketed. I didn’t know what I was looking for. I only knew that I couldn’t stop looking. I used my temperament knowledge to write the characters in my first few books.

Many years after the ENFJ test at college and long after the Temperament phase, I was assisting two people with their undergrad homework, a man and a woman. They were taking a test called the MBTI. I recognized it as the same one I had taken in college. So, we took it, all three of us together. The man came out as ISTJ. The woman came out as ISFJ and I came out as INFJ. So, together, we sat down and looked up our call letters and read the descriptions.

His fit him—perfectly. Hers fit her—perfectly. And mine fit me—well, beautifully.  My ENFJ was gone, because it was never there in the first place. This time, I was already a teacher and had been for over ten years. I didn’t need to answer like what I thought would be the “ideal” teacher. I just answered true to myself. This revelation led me to interacting with others online, to joining a forum and buying books by the authors listed above. I wanted to understand the Love Languages, Multiple Intelligences and more than anything, Depth Psychology.

By this time, I had several published novels under my belt and I realized that going beyond temperament, beyond the basic Myers-Briggs test and really understanding the idea of cognitive functions, allowed me to write characters with emotional depth, three-dimensional characters. It also caused me to differentiate with my students and to realize why I had so much more trouble with some students, parents and co-workers than others. We were speaking entirely different languages! We had completely different values.

PHASE IV: Sharing a Passion

I do not believe that we can be pigeon-holed and each person in the world is a unique snowflake of sorts, yet, we DO all come into this world with different natural tendencies, blueprints. However, the house that is built upon any single set of blueprints can be vastly different from every other house that is built upon those blueprints. In the same way that paint choices, flooring choices, furniture choices, window dressing choices, appliances, etc. can make a thousand houses built from the same blueprints different, so can our environment, education, faith, life experiences, and so forth can make any two people with the same personality blueprints different.

It is my hope to delve into the sixteen types in the next few posts and hopefully, those of you who are interested will find something of value. I also have started doing youtube videos on Depth Psychology, not because I’m an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but merely because I love the subject and I have a profound need to learn and to share.

 

 

 

Go Ahead…Laugh!

When I was a kid I used to start giggling so hard that I couldn’t stop. My parents would say that I had my “giggle box” turned over. I see kids getting their giggle boxes turned over once in a while and tonight I’m thinking about how good that is for them and how maybe adults need to laugh a little more. It’s okay to be silly. We’d all be healthier if we could just let loose and giggle. It’s not just may opinion, either. Long ago King Solomon of Israel said, “A merry heart doth good like a medicine but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” It seems that modern science agrees, too.

Laughter releases dopamine and endorphins into a person’s body and activates the pleasure pathways to the brain. If a person laughs hard enough and often enough, these pathways become easier and easier to access. and this may be a key to overcoming depression. Granted, it’s hard to laugh when you’re depressed, but one chuckle can lead to another. When we’re down it’s tough to pull ourselves out and surround ourselves with funny but doing just that can potentially cure us.  

So many times when we are sick, I’ve come to believe that it isn’t the sickness that gets us down as much as it is the worry, anxiety, pain and fear that go along with the sickness, not to mention the stress that comes with dealing with mounting bills, hospital stays and coping with how to handle every day life. These things continue to worsen a person’s emotional, mental and physical health. That’s where laughter comes in. Deep belly laughter triggers endorphins in the body, which act sort of like natural painkillers.

Humor is as important to our health as eating right, getting enough sleep and exercising. George Burns, the famous comedian who lived to be over 100, attributed his long life to laughter. Many other centurions accredit laughter as one of the reasons for their longevity. You can’t take life too seriously, or it’ll take you out. I believe a person needs to laugh several hundred times a day. Psychoneuroimmunology is a field of research that is telling us that depression actually suppresses our immune systems. Laughter affects us exactly opposite of the way that stress does by decreasing epinephrine and cortisol levels. Researchers at Loma Linda University School of Medicine discovered that laughter also increases in germ-fighting cells.

Laughter ramps up your heart rate and circulation, and afterwards, the heart rate drops below average while the improved circulation continues. The body goes into a state of relaxation. In the same way that anger and stress can elevate your blood pressure and heart rate, laughter can lower it. Laughter also exercises your lungs and diaphragm. It creates vibrations that massage your internal organs. While stress and tension elevate stress hormones, tighten your muscles, constrict your blood vessels, upset your hormonal balance, and tax your immune system, laughter relieves tension, lowers stress hormones, improves hormonal balance and boosts your immune system.

I remember reading a Bible verse that talked about how the “joy” of the Lord is our strength. I do believe that evidence bears it out that joy which brings about laughter truly does give strength to our bodies. So, go ahead and get your giggle box turned over!

 

What I Think About Love, Fear and Faith

People say that Love is an emotion.

I disagree.

Love is so much more.

Love is a way of living. Actually, it is THE way.

I believe Love is the force of all creation. When I speak of love, I’m not talking about romance. Romance is a compulsion to get people together so they will pro-create. I’m not talking about infatuation or needing to be with someone because they make you feel better about yourself. Some people think they are “in love” with a person but what they are really in love with is the way that person makes them feel, usually about themselves. Others say they “love” a person but what they really love is the sense of safety and security that the person gives them. Love isn’t about how someone makes us feel about ourselves. It’s not about “feeling” good, because if it were, it would be impermanent. If it’s impermanent, it’s not love. It’s something else disguised as love.

Love is an eternal connection that may or may not involve sexual interaction.  Love is the spirit energy of life itself. Love is the light of the world and without that light, life on earth would have ended long ago.  In essence, Love is the author of life, the source of faith and without it, hope is squelched.

Now faith is the substance (foundation, elemental make-up) of things hoped for, the evidence (proof) of things not yet seen. Faith works on the principle of Love and Love casts out all fear. If we are made perfect in Love we are not acting in fear. If we are acting out of fear, then we are not acting from a center of Love. Fear has to do with punishment. I have heard it said that there are only two true motivators for every human act: love or fear.

Some would argue that greed, violence and the struggle for power are not motivated by fear, but they are. If a person feels the need to keep getting more and more and more material possessions then ultimately he or she has a deep rooted fear of not having enough, not being powerful, etc.  All acts of narcissism and selfishness are rooted in some realm of fear; fear of disrespect, fear of lack, fear of death, fear of disapproval, fear of abandonment, fear of being powerless, fear of physical harm, etc. Fear compels us to harm others, to manipulate others and to try to control others.

Love, however, is fearless. Love is God and God is Love. God doesn’t “have” love. God IS love. Those are not my original words. They were written by a man named John, the same guy who said that perfect love casts out all fear. So when we live by the principles of Love, we live by the principles of God.

What are those principles? We have Paul’s account in I Corinthians 13. We have other accounts in other books, too. Here they are in my own words.

WHEN YOU ACT FROM LOVE….

*you never give up on a person or a dream. You may have to walk away sometimes in order to protect your other loved ones or even your own life, because you do have to love and care for yourself, forgive yourself and be kind to yourself (think of it as putting the oxygen mask on yourself first when a plane is going down so you can be alive to help save the person with you.) Walking away doesn’t mean you’ve stop caring; only that you have to think about others and is sometimes as much or more an act of love as staying.

*you don’t wish “bad” on others

*you don’t want what others have or plot to take it

*you don’t think yourself more deserving or better than others

*you don’t force yourself on others. Real love, real respect, doesn’t push itself on people.) Respect them enough to walk away or let go and not keep pushing on them until they react the way you think they should.

* you aren’t arrogant and need everything to be all about you and your needs or wants. Believe in yourself and seek to do your best but don’t expect or wish for others to pat you on the head and tell you how wonderful you are.

*you don’t brag about how great you are.

*you don’t always assume that your needs are the most important and insist on being first all the time.

*you aren’t quick to get angry and fly off the handle or throw a fit every time something doesn’t go your way or when people don’t give you what you want.

*you don’t plot revenge on people or seek to socially destroy them even when they don’t do what you want or even if they do something that “hurts” you. Remember that they may not be very spiritually advanced and pray for them to be able to ‘see.’

*you don’t constantly bring up someone’s short-comings or past mistakes.

*you don’t try to guilt people into behaving the way you want them to or doing what you want them to. I’ve heard so many people pull the “if you really loved me you’d________) card.”

*you don’t take pleasure in the downfall of others, even those who have been unkind to you.

*you are glad when someone or yourself learns true things, receives beautiful things or has a joyful experience. Celebrate in the successes of others.

*you rejoice with those who rejoice. Weep with those who weep.

*you look for the best in others and see the best in all situations.

*you don’t look back. The past is over. The future is out of sight. Make today the best it can be.

*you keep going. Never give up on yourself, your dreams and never give up on others.

*treat everyone with dignity, basic human respect and compassion

THIS IS LOVE. 

Love doesn’t force people to bend to its will, doesn’t manipulate them into conforming,  guilt them into acting, intimidate them into surrender, interrogate them into sorrow or dismiss them into despair. Love simply accepts people as they are and asks nothing in return. Love has not strings attached and no covert contracts.

Never Underestimate a Woman

28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.

I believe in the spirit realm that we are all equal regardless of our gender or shade of skin. All the trappings of gender issues are man-made, not God-made. Sure there are biological differences between men and women,  but the truth is that honor is not bound by gender. Dreams are not bound by gender. Having a purpose is not bound by gender. Faith, courage, nobility, intelligence and personal values are not bound by gender. Your worth as a human being and to society is not bound by your gender.

I remember hearing teachings in church when I was a teenager that left me feeling sad that I’d been born a female. I sometimes felt like that without saying it outright people actually believed that God valued men more than women. Certainly, some societies did and still do. And yes, that makes me angry.

It bothered me that a God who was supposed to be just and kind could love one kind of person more than another when we didn’t even get to choose which kind of body we lived in. That seemed like loving people who lived in big houses more than people who lived in small houses and to me that seemed awfully narrow-minded for such a “big” God.

Women have made enormous contributions to history and society. They just haven’t always been reported.

Consider this:

without Suzanna Wesley there would be no Methodist Church. She taught Charles and John Wesley to read before the age of five. She was extremely intelligent and highly literate.

without Joan of Arc French battle strategies would not have evolved.

without Sacajawea Lewis and Clark would have utterly failed. She was the bravest one, the most enduring one in that crew and she did it with a baby strapped to her back.

without Pocahontas the greedy gold grubbers of Jamestown would have all died of starvation.

without Rahab the whore, Ruth the pauper and Mary the teenage mother, Jesus Christ would never have been born. There would be no Christianity.

without Ester, the harem girl, the Jewish nation would have been slaughtered.

without Boudicca the people of Ireland and England might never have driven out the Roman Empire.

without sixteen-year-old Sybil Ludington, Paul Revere’s warning may not have been enough. He wasn’t the only one who rode that night. There was a young woman who was just as brave. She simply didn’t get printed in most history books.

without Rebecca Boone, Daniel’s kids would have starved. While he was gone for two years at a time (and got one of his sons killed by dragging him off into the wilderness,) she hunted game (like deer), carried it home herself, skinned it, cooked it and fed ten kids. Daniel got the recognition, but Rebecca was the hero.

without Lozen Geronimo’s stand might not have been as impactful.

without Elizabeth Jennings African Americans would not have been allowed to ride on New York street cars until much later than 1860. She went to jail a century before Rosa Parks and for the same reason, standing up for rights.

without Rosa Parks the freedom movement might never have been born. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream might never have come to be.

without Clara Bardin there would be no Red Cross.

without Mary Shelley, Frankenstein wouldn’t exist.

without Madame Curie, where would nuclear physics be now?

without Nancy Grace Roman there probably wouldn’t be a Hubble.

without Chien-Shiung Wu there would be no atomic bomb. Although, she didn’t receive credit for it, her work made it possible to develop a process that separated uranium metal into isotopes through a process known as diffusion. This led to an increase in the amount of uranium that could be used as fuel for atomic bombs.

So, whether we are male or female, we can live with honor and courage and respect. We can walk in kindness and love and it is never anything to be ashamed of for wanting to do what we believe is the right thing.

 

One of the Most Beautiful Songs I’ve Ever Heard, the legend of St. Patrick in a song.

Few songs have touched my heart like this one has. To me, Irish music moves the soul, stirs the spirit and I feel that of all the gifts Ireland has given the world (and there are many) her music is most penetrating.

Be Thou Vision

Copied from description from Eden’s Bridge:

“Therefore, on that day when I was rebuked, as I have just mentioned, I saw in a vision of the night a document before my face, without honour, and meanwhile I heard a divine prophecy, saying to me: ‘We have seen with displeasure the face of the chosen one divested of name.’ And he did not say ‘You have seen with displeasure’, but ‘We have seen with displeasure’ (as if He included Himself) . He said then: ‘He who touches you, touches the apple of my eye.'”– Saint Patrick

Old Irish: Rop tú mo baile, a Choimdiu cride: ní ní nech aile acht Rí secht nime. Rop tú mo scrútain i l-ló ‘s i n-aidche; rop tú ad-chëar im chotlud caidche. Rop tú mo labra, rop tú mo thuicsiu; rop tussu dam-sa, rob misse duit-siu. Rop tussu m’athair, rob mé do mac-su; rop tussu lem-sa, rob misse lat-su. Rop tú mo chathscíath, rop tú mo chlaideb; rop tussu m’ordan, rop tussu m’airer. Rop tú mo dítiu, rop tú mo daingen; rop tú nom-thocba i n-áentaid n-aingel. Rop tú cech maithius dom churp, dom anmain; rop tú mo flaithius i n-nim ‘s i talmain. Rop tussu t’ áenur sainserc mo chride; ní rop nech aile acht Airdrí nime. Co talla forum, ré n-dul it láma, mo chuit, mo chotlud, ar méit do gráda. Rop tussu t’ áenur m’ urrann úais amra: ní chuinngim daíne ná maíne marba. Rop amlaid dínsiur cech sel, cech sáegul, mar marb oc brénad, ar t’ fégad t’ áenur. Do serc im anmain, do grád im chride, tabair dam amlaid, a Rí secht nime. Tabair dam amlaid, a Rí secht nime, do serc im anmain, do grád im chride. Go Ríg na n-uile rís íar m-búaid léire; ro béo i flaith nime i n-gile gréine A Athair inmain, cluinte mo núall-sa: mithig (mo-núarán!) lasin trúagán trúag-sa. A Chríst mo chride, cip ed dom-aire, a Flaith na n-uile, rop tú mo baile.

Modern Irish: Bí Thusa ‘mo shúile a Rí mhór na ndúil Líon thusa mo bheatha mo chéadfaí s mo stuaim Bí thusa i m’aigne gach oiche s gach lá Im chodladh no im dhúiseacht, líon mé le do ghrá Bí thusa ‘mo threorú I mbriathar ‘s i mbeart Fan thusa go deo liom is coinnigh mé ceart Glac cúram mar Athair, is éist le mo ghuí Is tabhair domsa áit cónaí istigh i do chroí

English: Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart; Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art. Thou my best Thought, by day or by night, Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light. Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word; I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord; Thou my great Father, I Thy true son; Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one. Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight; Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight; Thou my souls Shelter, Thou my high Tower: Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power. Riches I heed not, nor mans empty praise, Thou mine Inheritance, now and always: Thou and Thou only, first in my heart, High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art. High King of Heaven, my victory won, May I reach Heavens joys, O bright Heavens Sun! Heart of my own heart, whatever befall, Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Pre-Christian Ireland, to the best of my current knowledge

Celtiberian Days

At this point, I am uncertain where the first inhabitants of Ireland came from, but science is saying that they shared DNA with the early inhabitants of Iberia, so maybe they were a branch off that a same tree. Or maybe they came down from Scotland. Whoever they were, archeologists believe they got there somewhere between 7,000 and 6,000 BC. We are told that they lived by farming, fishing and gathering food such as plants and shellfish. They mostly lived on the seashore or along rivers and lakes where food and water were both easier to get. They hunted deer, birds, wild boar and seals.

About the time one of those skeletons I mentioned in my earlier article, 4,000 BC, lived, farming came about. The farmers raised  sheep, pigs, cattle and crops. They made pottery during this time, too. For hundreds of years, the farmers lived right alongside the hunter-gatherers but in time, farming prevailed and the old lifestyle faded.

These early farmers cleared the forests, built monuments (burial mounds called court cairns) and cremated their dead before burying them in stone galleries which they covered with earth.

Dolmens, created by these early Irish folks, were burial sites where massive vertical stones were lined up with horizontal stones on top of them to create a passage way then covered with earth. It was during these early pre-Celtic times that Stonehenge and other amazing, mysterious structures were built. William Stuklely, I think it was, linked the Celts (Druids) to the building of these megalith monuments, but the Celts hadn’t even arrived yet when these places were built. For the record, dolmens aren’t only found in Ireland. They can be found in Basque Country and as far away as Russia. There are even dolmens in Korea (but I don’t think they’re connected to the Irish ones). Click here to visit a site that shows you what they looked like.

Around 2,000 BC, bronze showed up in Ireland and people began using it to make tools. During this period, they erect large stone circles and built crannogs or habitations on the lakes. These lake homes were easier to defend than just building on the shore.

ALONG CAME THE CELTS

People think of Ireland as being Celtic but it wasn’t until about 5oo BC that the Celts actually arrived, bringing with them iron tools and weapons. Scholars don’t really agree on where the Celts originated, but they moved across Europe during the 4th and 5th centuries. The British Isles, in time, came to be known as the “six Celtic Nations,” which included Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, Briton and the Isle of Man. There were four major Celtic dialects that came to the Isles with them: Breton, Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic, and Welsh. The warlike Celts, divided Ireland into many small kingdoms that constantly fought with each other, but the Celts didn’t just subdue the original Irish, they absorbed their culture into their own until the new Irish culture was a blend and Irish Celts were heavily influence by Pre-Celtic Ireland. Evidence of this is found in the engravings at Newgrange which include lozenges, spirals, double spirals, concentric semi-circles, zigzags and so forth, all of which were found in Ireland before the coming of the Celts but is found afterwards in Celtic works.

So, the Celts left no religious monuments in Ireland that I am aware of. However, they did bury weapons and metalworks in the ground as sacrifices wot their gods and they did leave behind decorative pagan stone sculptures. The Celts buried their chieftains and leaders with their weapons, tools, drinking horns, food bowls and other things they might need in the afterlife. It seems that much of what archaeologists know of the Celts has come from burial sites.

When the Celts went to battle, they painted their bodies and faces, taking pride in their battlefield appearance. They wore personal adornments and carried elaborately ornate swords, shields, helmets and trumpets. Their metalworks were of gold, silver, bronze and other metals.

Next time, Christianity Comes to Ireland.

Here is a link to a timeline of Irish history for anyone interested.