As a teenager and young adult, I didn’t have an inner circle. What I define as those few loving souls who just get you, have your back when things get tough, and help you celebrate your triumphs.
This was a huge deficit in my life. Though I spent time with many people, I felt completely alone. Like I was walking through the world as a lone wolf, a solo shadow stalking through the night.
A part of me wished desperately for connection, a part was scared silly to consider inviting anyone inside my rich, inner world. Having experienced quite a bit of bullying, I did not want to hear someone I thought was a close friend, criticize my way of being.
It seemed easier to be alone, to construct walls, only interact superficially. It felt safer this way. Don’t let them get close, they appear to be holding out their hand, but behind their back must be a hidden sword.
I agonized over this. Do I trust or remain distant?
Are there aligned souls for me, or is everyone going to be dissonant?
I struggled with family relationships, friendships and particularly in romance. Trust was missing — in others and especially in myself. Hell, I didn’t even know who I was, not realizing in my youthful naivete that self-awareness is a life-long journey.
I intersected with a series of friends throughout the years. We hung out, partied, and had dinner at each other’s houses. But I rarely dove deeper. When I opened the door to my heart just a crack, I felt vulnerable and exposed. Sometimes I got hurt and because of my inner walls, I hurt others.
I struggled to be a good friend. Fell into several co-dependent situations, where I was the rescuer trying desperately to help a soul who was spiraling down. At first, I helped because I didn’t want to see them struggling. Later, I realized I helped to feel better about myself, so those relationships didn’t have a firm foundation.
I thought my people-picker was broken.
At some point I resigned myself to a lonely life.
But the knowing that I need an inner circle, persisted.
Fast forward to my spiritual re-awakening at age 40, when I recognized I am a highly sensitive person, an…