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Friday, 23 May 2014

On The Production Of Energy.

You may be familiar with the ideas of introversion and extroversion. The idea is fairly simple; introverted people gain energy by taking time by themselves - typically quiet, and get drained through social interaction. Extroverted people, on the other hand, gain energy through social energy; but they are drained when they are left to their own devices.

Note that these do not necessarily correlate to shyness, or even social aptitude. You can have a shy extrovert, and a social introvert. They might be less common, sure, but they're not mutually exclusive.

Now, I have always considered myself an introvert. No questions asked. That's obviously where I'm at. Not even a thing.


The definition of extraversion is when you are recharged, energised, through social interaction. When I meet up with people one-on-one, I feel energised. Like the world has a million new opportunities. I often need to take time afterwards by myself, yes, but to process what has been said - not because I feel depleted. The times when I feel the most drained - are when I'm by myself. When I can't motivate myself (I've got a decent chunk of 9 in me [NB: Chances are I'll be doing the odd Enneagram joke in my posts. Just saying.]), and I just feel tired and gluggy. I've found that doing things like going outside, actually getting dressed (from pajamas, that is) and having some food can help that quite a bit. But that's one of the big times I feel drained. The only other one is when I'm around lots of people - (aha! you say. He must be introverted! Wait for it.) - and I don't have anyone to talk to. I just wander around, amidst heaps of people, with nothing to do, nowhere to go, and it drains me worse than anything.

So, to some up; I'm most drained when I'm by myself, and when I can't interact with people. I'm most energised when I'm interacting with people, particularly one-on-one. (I get energised by other stuff as well - projects and such is a big one - but that's off-topic.) I think you can see where I'm going.

Apparently, I'm extroverted.

If I've slipped up somewhere, please feel free to correct me. Because the idea of me as extroverted just seems weird.... (even with the proviso that I gave earlier re: shy extroverts.) But yeah. That's the conclusion I came to.

Try drawing this Venn diagram...

I watched the new X-Men movie yesterday. This isn't going to be a review of that movie; but I'm going to look at one idea that the movie centred around. And it was quite interesting; because you'd think, that because it was dealing with time travel and such, it'd be talking about Fate, and whether you can really change history, (ala Oedipus) and all that jazz. And they do have one good scene for that - but what they do instead is pay gratis to that idea, but continue on with the one they want to focus on, which I think is really good to see.

That is the idea that one person's action can change the world; therefore, be the best of yourself. The latter is the bit they really focus on, but without the former it wouldn't be there. It's basically taken for granted, because that's established right at the beginning. But the idea is particularly that if you're part of a group (e.g. mutants), and you do something that shows the worst of you, people are going to think the worst of your group, not just you.

Thankfully, these days, there's a few more people realising that people just do stupid things sometimes, because they're people. But there is still a heck of a lot of group attribution going back. The problem is, though, which group do you attribute it to? Every person is part of dozens of society groups - their actions could be impacted by any one, or multiple of them.

I, for example, am a human, a male, a young adult, an older brother, a first child, a Christian, a musician, an actor, a writer, an ex-uni student, a churchgoer, a choir member, a youth group leader, a sound desk operator, a Macarthur Anglican School alumnus, a Narellan resident, an Australian, a New South Welshman - and that's just the ones I can come up with off the top of my head.

But, even with so many possibilities, we can often attribute things people do to particular areas, because of our bias. (Unless they're a politician; in which case we often just say they're stupid.) Religion is a popular one. Political affiliation, sometimes. But hey - maybe it's because they're a Dad. Maybe it's because of the uni they went to. Or the mentor they had. Or maybe they've just had a rough day/month/year/life.

People are people. We can try to be the best of ourselves; but we won't always be. And you'll see that. It's your call as to how you decide to respond.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

The Story.

Come in, I’ll tell you a story; sit down!
For this is going to take a while.
I’m sorry if it’s sad from time to time,
But hopefully it will end with a smile.

For there was this man, perhaps like you
(Unless you’re a woman, that is);
Who knew in no uncertain terms
That Mud was bad - that’s just the way it is.

And he knew why, of course he did;
It wasn’t just a matter of say-so.
It was dirty, and messy, and quite unbecoming;
It stuck to you and smelled worse than Aunt Jo.

So he stayed away from the Mud, yes siree;
He didn’t want any of that monstrosity.
And that, my darlings, is where the story would end;
If not for a little thing called Curiosity.

Curiosity, you see, can be good or bad;
It’s a little whispering in the ear - 
Wondering what it is that things are like,
That you haven’t had the chance to be near.

And when these things are jelly, roller-coasters or waterfalls,
Then that’s perfectly fine, you see;
But when it is something like Mud,
That’s when it becomes dangerous, unfortunately.

You see, this man John (for that was his name),
Started to wonder how it was Mud did look;
And so he decided to walk one day,
To see some - a glance was all he took.

But Curiosity is never sated with just a glance, no;
It must always have more.
And so John found himself getting closer to the Mud,
Though he knew quite well what was in store.

One day, he got so close to touch it - then he did!
And he didn’t know quite what to do;
Because people would see, and people would know -
And John didn’t want that. Would you?

So he did his best to wash that bit off,
And it wasn’t really too hard;
But he still kept worrying that there was some left somewhere;
And so he started putting up his guard.

Yet he kept going back to the Mud,
Starting to go deeper and deeper;
And each time, trying to wash himself off,
But the danger got steeper and steeper.

Washing himself got harder as well,
‘Specially in those hard-to-reach bits;
And the worry got worse as he thought,
“What about the smell?”, and “I couldn’t take the hits.”

For he knew what people thought of Mud;
Knew that he would be cast out.
Never to see his friends, or family again;
And so he tried to turn about.

He tried to stay away from the Mud;
But that was easier said than done.
For he found, quite quickly, that he couldn’t stop;
The worst of him, it seemed, had won.

So he gave up; he went back in,
In the Mud up to his neck.
And he probably would have drowned one day,
He was really a total wreck.

But, hold on! Wait up! That’s not the end!
I told you it’s not all bad!
Because along came another Man,
Who saw through John, and the fake cleanness he had.

And John saw him too - and for a moment,
Thought that it was the end.
But then the Man smiled, and said,
“Relax, John; I’m your friend.”

“You have tried and tried to wash yourself clean,
But it was never about your look.
It’s what’s inside that needs to be new;
That’s what’s been the hook.

“But now, I’m here - and I have living water,
That washes the inside.
You’ll be a new man - the old will be gone;
You won’t ever again need to hide.”

But John exclaimed, “How can that be?
How can I ever be clean?
I’ve been in the Mud up to my neck - 
Don’t you know what that means?

“I’m dirty! I’m messy! I’m brown! and what’s worse, I stink!
Why do you even pretend to like me?
People would run away if they’d known what I’d done;
And for good reason - just leave me be.”

The Man smiled, and somehow, in that smile,
Conveyed the pain that he felt for John.
“I know what it is to be in the Mud, friend,” he said,
“Because I drowned in it so it would be gone.”

“But it’s still here!” John shouted,
“I don’t understand! What are you trying to say?
Even if you did drown, if you did what you said,
How would that make it go away?”

“John,” the Man said, “I know that you’re hurting;
But right now, you need to trust me.
It’s only when I clean you,
That you can be truly new and free.”

The words sounded crazy, like that of a madman;
Yet somehow, John knew he spoke true.
He didn’t know how, he didn’t know why - 
But he also knew there was nothing he could do.

“Okay,” John said, “Do it.”
And he closed his eyes, and raised his hands.
A few moments passed, but nothing happened.
He opened his eyes - “I don’t understand.”

The Man smiled again - it was annoying, yet beautiful - 
“I may be a miracle man;
But how do you expect me to clean you,
When two feet in the Mud you stand?”

“But,” John railed, “You promised,
That you could fully clean me!
Why does it matter where I stand,
If you can truly set me free?”

Yet even as he said the words,
He knew that they didn’t ring true.
They made sense, perhaps; quite logical indeed;
But that wouldn’t help him pull through.

Because all along, it was his heart that had feared;
Feared the rejection and the shame.
It was the brain that had tried to cover it up,
But he was tired of playing that game.

And somehow, John knew that this Man
Whom he had never met in his life before,
Could set his heart free of that fear, at last,
And give him new life forevermore.

And that little spark - that glimmer of Hope -
That was what helped him then.
He gave one hand to the Man, and then the other,
And the Man pulled him out again.

Then the Man washed him, from head to toe,
He felt so incredibly clean;
More even than before he’d even touched the Mud,
Or before it he’d ever seen.

And the Love that he felt from that Man
Was incredible, powerful and strange;
And slowly, his fear ebbed away;
His heart began to change.

Many years have passed since then,
And John is a brand new man;
Not only that, but now he makes others new,
By helping them to understand.

Because it’s not that he never touched or saw the Mud again
(For it can’t be thrown off overnight);
But it was that Hope and Love had found a place
Inside him, that burned bright.

And while he still stumbles along the way,
The Man is never too far;
And he always smiles - he always loves,
No matter how Muddy you are.

That’s the end of this story, dear folks,
And I hope that you’ve come to see,
That it’s not a story of Mud and despair - 

But a story of Hope and Love, for you and for me.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Captain America: 2 Awesome

Thought that with all the serious stuff I've been posting on lately, that it was time for something more light-hearted. So movie review!

Now, before you go any further, *alert* *alert* There will probably (read: definitely) be spoilers.

So. I'm a Marvel fan. And as such, slightly biased. Yes, I did go and watch it a second time just so I could see it in 3D. I absolutely loved it. But you're here to hear about what it's all listen in.... (If you want to skip the overly long description of the storyline, go ahead.)

We start off with Cap adjusting to life in the modern world - everyone he knew is dead, and there's not really anyone around for him any more. He starts up a quick conversation with fellow jogger Sam, and we can see that he's going to be back. But wait for it, because Romanoff calls him up for a mission before he can get too into it.
The mission is basically a chance to remind us of all that Cap is - both the great fighter, as well as the good man. You get some great action scenes here (particularly his fight with the main guy, Batroc), but you also get to see him putting the people first - he rails against Natasha for endangering the mission, as she grabs some evidence off a computer. We'll come back to that, that's important. But the mission, of course, goes off pretty much without a hitch.
Cap goes and gets annoyed at Fury for not telling him about Natasha's mission. Fury says that he doesn't trust many people. But he takes him up in the elevator, where we have an interesting scene of Fury talking about his dad, which shows a bit more to him than we're used to. Which is good, because we'll need that for later as well. They then come to their destination; and Cap sees what Fury has been working on - some mega-aircraft-carrier-air/gunship-things. Essentially, Fury says, they mean that they can neutralise threats before they happen. Cap isn't particularly happy, because it doesn't sound very fair and free and all.
So he goes and has a look at his own spot in the museum (as you do), and then heads on over to his old girlfriend's place (in both senses of the word 'old', hardy har har) for a motivational talk. Nice emotional moment, particularly as she isn't doing so well, and we can see how that hurts Steve. 
Fury goes to decrypt the information that Natasha gave him. But he can't. Because apparently, it has been locked - by him. Fury gets one of those 'bad feeling' moments, so heads up to his friend, who is high up in SHIELD brass. Asks him to delay the helicarriers (that's what they were called!), Pierce says he'll try.
What's the next thing we see? Well, Fury gets ambushed by assassins. Of course, he's planned for this, and so he manages to get away, though pretty bruised - to come up against this one guy, who shoots some device that blows up and flips his car. He's still planned for this, and whips out a doohickey that can cut through the road and get him a quick escape. Cap then goes back to his apartment to find Fury there, pretty beat up. Fury tells him that SHIELD has been breached, that he got attacked - but then he suddenly gets shot twice, and in (what seem to be) his last words, he tells Cap not to trust anyone. And gives him the USB with the info.
Next-door neighbour then rushes in, saying she's a SHIELD agent, and Cap implicitly trusts her and rushes off after the shooter. Turns out he's some weird guy with a metal arm. Neighbour turns out to be OK, but Fury dies in surgery. Cap's pretty angry, Nat tells him the dude is called the Winter Soldier. Soviet guy or some such. Cap gets called up to meet Pierce, so he leaves the USB in a vending machine. As you do.
He essentially tells Pierce that he can't tell him anything, because Fury said not to trust anyone. Next scene, Cap gets ambushed in an elevator. We seeing any sort of pattern here? No? OK then.
Cap and Nat use the USB to find a spot that Cap got trained at, and find a secret bunker that looks like where SHIELD started. They then find a secret secret bunker that houses a megacomputer, housing the intelligence of the Swiss scientist Zola, who tells them that SHIELD is Hydra, Hydra is SHIELD, woohoo! (Well, not quite.) And the helicarriers are going to kill all of the threats to Hydra pretty much instantaneously once they're deployed. He then admits that he was stalling for time, and they find a couple of missiles heading for them. Of course, they make it out OK.
They then backtrack to Sam, who happens to be a pilot of an awesome wingsuit called a Falcon. They then interrogate random guy to find out how the targeting system works, and find out that it is pretty darn bad. But then, they're ambushed by the Winter Soldier and friends; cue epic fight scene again, plus Cap finding out that the Winter Soldier is Bucky. They get captured, but then rescued by Maria Hill, SHIELD goodie. She takes them to a secret base, and (Surprise!) Fury is actually OK! Well. Cracked/broken everything, but alive. And he has a plan for taking out the Helicarriers. You just need to replace the targeting chips! Too easy! And, of course it's not.
Cue rallying cry speech from Steve, epic battle sequence from Sam and Cap while Nat goes for the Council to dethrone Pierce. It all goes kinda OK/not really, but particularly the latter once the Winter Soldier steps in. Fight gets pretty heated, but of course, Cap manages to save the day, Bucky doesn't quite know what he is but isn't all that bad any more, and SHIELD is history.

There's so much in this movie for fans. From the extra bits after the credits (two of them, make sure you watch all the way to the end!) to the Stephen Strange reference, there's plenty in there for Marvel buffs. But there's lots in there for movie buffs as well; whether you're there for the action, the story, or even just the emotion, this movie has it. It's got some great Wow! moments (loved the Falcon), and a lot of bits that will stay with you for a while. The twists are fantastic, and it's going to be really interesting to see what that means for the future of the Marvel Universe.

An extra note: I've also been watching Marvel's Agents Of SHIELD, and what was really interesting to see is that they had this tie in to the TV show. Which was awesome! They planned it around the release date, so you could go out and watch the movie when it came out, get the Hydra twist, and then the Agents of SHIELD episode that week had that same twist. It was pretty cool. And, of course, that has then continued on for the following episodes - SHIELD is pretty much not around any more, so it changes the whole dynamic.

All in all, an awesome movie. If you haven't seen it yet, go see it. Definitely.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Welcome To The New!

OK, I stole that title. I absolutely love that album (for those who have no idea what I'm talking about, MercyMe's new album is entitled Welcome To The New), am currently listening to it, and am finding it so much relating to where I'm at in life right now. It's kinda awesome. Anyway!

Exciting, exciting, exciting!

I've just redesigned the blog, redone a few of the Pages, and most importantly, changed the title.

Now, you're probably wondering who these strange people Zoe and Kainos are. Well, they're actually two Ancient Greek words. And I think that they really describe what God is doing this year for me.

Kainós is, according to Strong's concordance, "properly, new in quality (innovation), fresh in development or opportunity – because 'not found exactly like this before.'" In short, made new. It's used twice in a verse you may be familiar with, 2 Corinthians 5:17; "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come." Both of those 'new's are using words derived from kainós. It's about being made new. Or rather, something that has been made new. I like what the definition said - "not found exactly like this before."

Zōē is, from the same place, "life (physical and spiritual). All life, throughout the universe, is derived – i.e. it always (only) comes from and is sustained by God's self-existent life. The Lord intimately shares His gift of life with people, creating each in His image which gives all the capacity to know His eternal life." It's God-life. The life that God gives and God wants for us; the life that God himself has. It's the sort of life that you might be familiar with from John 10:10; "I came that they might have life, and have it to the full." Other versions say abundantly, which is another good way to put it.

So, in a very small nutshell, Kainós Zōē means new life. (It's probably terrible grammar, but oh well.) But it's also so much more than that. It is life that has been made new; it is a new life that comes from God, that is the very life that God lives. And that's pretty awesome.

And that's what God has been doing - has done - in me this year. He's been changing me a lot before, but this year he's hit Turbo or something. And yeah. I just wanted to change this all to reflect that, because my writing was already really doing that. So this is really just catching up to where I was already at ;)

I'm looking forward to seeing what God has for me in the future, and what I can share with you all in the days, weeks, and months to come. If you want to keep reading what I write, please subscribe so that you get notified about new posts :)

Monday, 12 May 2014

The Search and Desire for Intimacy.

So, this isn't something I'd typically post on. And keep close to my chest. But, I'm attempting to be more open, and get more of myself out there. Of course, then you can just go too far with that, so hopefully this won't be a case of the latter. Anyway. Rambling.

This post relates a bit into two recent posts I've done; one on core beliefs, and another on the Enneagram, and me as a 4. The primary important bit from the former is the core belief that I've identified in myself that "I am unloved, unwanted and uncared for. People think I am repulsive and don't want to talk to me, and definitely wouldn't touch me." (NB: Negative core belief, that I'm trying to get rid of. Read the full post to get more context.) From the latter, the important bit is actually something I didn't put in there so much. And that is that they have a great desire for intimacy; to be intimate with someone, and even just to be close to people in general. To have very close friendships and such.
And then these both relate in to a series that we've recently been doing in my Life Group (read: Bible study group) on the 5 Love Languages. If you haven't heard of them, essentially, there are 5 love languages, and everyone has different ways in which they primarily give, and primarily like to receive love. (Often the same, but not necessarily.) My top is Quality Time, with Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch close behind.

I have a desire for intimacy; and that runs through all three of those points. As a 4, it's part of who I am; Physical Touch is the greatest form of intimacy, and Quality Time can be very intimate as well (and slightly less weird for some people); and the part of my core belief that says that people "definitely wouldn't touch me" relates directly back to that as well - I mean, that line starts off with the words "I am unloved." That's essentially saying that when nobody touches me, I feel unloved. Which is true for me, and that's only something I've begun to more consciously realise.
For example. I can't usually remember my dreams too well. There's only a couple that I can still remember. But one that always stands out, that I always remember, is just me and someone else hugging. I don't even know who they are; it's not a visual thing. I just feel it. A lot of the time, I feel like I could just hug someone and stay there. Just like that. Of course, that tends to make people feel uncomfortable. So it stays in my head. And I worry about people being uncomfortable a fair bit, so I often won't initiate a hug, even though most of the time (read: all of the time) I feel like one.

But that desire for intimacy has led to a search for that, in many different ways. And the problem is, when you go searching for intimacy, you find it. But not in a healthy way. And not in the way that you ever wanted it. Even when that search has been for intimacy in terms of relationships, being close with someone relationally - it hasn't worked out. Because when that's the goal - your priorities are off, skewed. My priorities were off. And that took me a while to figure out. Still trying to teach myself, to some degree. My heart still longs for intimacy, and as I've mentioned before, that means it attaches itself to someone. And that is hard, because I don't want it to just become this all over again. But I've already waxed lyrical about that, so I won't go down that path.

Thankfully, God's been coming in. Because even when other people are intimate with you, do love you in that way - that longing can very well still be there. Or that question can still be there - as to whether I am loved or not. And that's something that only God can really come in and answer, can really come in and change. And he's been doing that for me. In little bits and pieces. Incredible bits and pieces. And yes, physical touch. No, I didn't feel the hand of God on my shoulder or something. But he was using that love language of Physical Touch - interestingly, as well as the ones of Quality Time and Words of Affirmation. He was relating to me in ways that were significant to me, that I connected to and valued. And I think that's true for each different person - God will love you in a way that is unique and special to you. And that's incredible.

Now, don't get me wrong. I still have times when I would really love a hug. (Thankfully, my little sister and my mum are very huggy, but they're not always around.) There are times when I just want to reach out and touch someone. When I want someone to hold me, to just stay there with someone forever, and not worry about anything else. But in the midst of that, God sees me. God loves me. And I remember.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

New Family!

So, I've recently gotten back from my last Impart Intensive. Hopefully, you've already seen my last post about the Enneagram, which was definitely one of my favourite points of the week.

But the other big thing was about the different ways that I relate to God. And, him being Trinity, there's three different ways.
I am the son of the Father.
I am the brother of Jesus.
I am the bride of Christ.
And, yes, the Holy Spirit isn't there. But then, she (yes, she - it'll take too long to explain, but that was another thing we learned) is; she's in each one of those, fostering and growing those relationships, and my understanding of them.

Me as a son is an idea that God had already been teaching me recently; particularly through the Wild At Heart book, as well as some good friends. So that was more an expansion on what I already knew to be true, rather than something new.

Jesus as my brother, though, did hit me out of the blue. It's from a passage in Hebrews 2; “So now Jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters.” And that was just after it was talking about how holy, and strong, and awesome, and exalted, and blessed Jesus is. And I'm his brother. He calls me that. That's something I'm still trying to understand a bit better.

Me as the bride of Christ, though more surprising as how he relates to me, wasn't so hard to get used to, honestly. Maybe that's because I don't really understand it quite yet; maybe it's because he'd been building me up to that (which I can kinda see, looking back). But that was something really special. It might be something I go into a bit more in a later post, because there's a lot to this one. But then again, I might not.

Because I'm actually attempting to write some of this out in a book. I'm not exactly sure how it will look when I'm done - hopefully I'll be able to finish this one, though I'm assuming it will at least take me most of this year - but it essentially expands on these three ideas (for guys in particular, sorry girls). How we have been created and called as the sons of the Father, the brothers of Jesus, and the bride of Christ, and how He connects to us in each of these ways intentionally. That's what I've got so far, anyway. Maybe you'll see some updates from me on it now and then :)

Actually, just came up with this line that I think puts it really nicely.

Created by the Father, Called by the Son, Connected through the Spirit.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

The Emergence Of Self.

Currently at Impart - day 3, and I've already learnt and been shown so much. Some things that I'm going to need some more time to ruminate and expand on at a later time; but this one I thought I'd do a bit on now, seeing as I'd actually done a bit on it already in many ways.

So today we looked at the Enneagram. It's a sort of personality test, with 9 types. Just the 9 numbers (123456789), and then each will have various words that are used to describe it. And it's more than just a surface level thing - it goes into your motivations, your fears, your desires, your strengths, your weaknesses, all of it. Even stuff like fashion style, and how you go with food.

So we had someone come in who has been looking at this for thirty years or something. Because it's that complex and in-depth a thing that you can look into it for that long. And she was helping us each find out where we sat - what number we were, and what that meant for us as we move forwards in life and try to grow as people.

I'll run quickly through the nine types, very generally, to give you a bit of an idea. One is the perfectionist - meticulous, analytical, calculating, etc. Two is the helper - always looking out for others, trying to help other people above themselves. Three is the performer - striving to achieve in various ways to be the best. Four is the individual - artistic, creative, needs to be different, unique and special. Five is the thinker - gathers lots of information, retains lots of information, particularly about their one topic they love. Six is the loyalist - they believe in tradition, safety and duty very highly. Seven is the adventurer - they need to have fun, party, energy, etc. Eight is the boss - they know how to use power and influence people, and play with others that have power. Nine is the peacemaker - a bit of an all-rounder, they connect to all the numbers quite well, and struggle to find their own energy.

Don't try to guess which one you are from that, because that's a very brief description, and there's a massive amount to this.

I came out as a 4 - the individualist, or tragic romantic. I believe it relates fairly well across to the INFP of Myers-Briggs if you're more familiar with that, but there are a lot of differences in the systems.

And there was a couple of things that really stood out to me today when we were going through this, that made things make some sense for me, as such.

Firstly, my dad is a 5. Apparently, that's fairly familiar ground for Aspies. I've actually got a decent chunk of 9 in me as well as 4, which means that I can be fairly comfortable with being somewhat like a few numbers around the circle. For example, I could relate to 1, 2, and 6 particularly. Now, the 4 is about emotions - heart space. Being able to share on a deep level, being able to connect. 5 more retreats into themselves a lot, and doesn't focus much on emotions. So, when I started expressing bits of 4 when I was younger - I didn't get much from my dad. So I was like, OK, since that doesn't seem to work too well, I'll just do what you do - and be a 5.
(NB: This is nothing against my Dad here. For a 5 to be able to be able to respond to something like this from a 4, without having a bit of 4 themselves, they would have to be very very developed as a person, very self-aware, etc. Firstly, that takes a heck of a lot of time (decades, and then still not guaranteed), secondly, 5s are not the best at soul-searching. Funnily enough. So not trying to say that this was something that happened because of what my Dad did - just because of who we both were. Simple as that.)
And that's what I did pretty much all the way up through at least high school, if not later. And I expressed my 4ness first through my writing, and then my music. I'm starting to go back through my old music now, and I'm seeing so much of the personality that I have now! It's actually kinda ridiculous! But very slowly, over time, the friends that God put around me helped to bring me out a bit more, back into my 4, back into where I was supposed to be in the first place. To the point where now, I almost don't identify with 5 at all. I find it difficult to retain information, barely read at all, and don't really have a hobby topic that I know everything about. My maths has also plummeted. And that reinforces for me that a bunch of that - probably not all of it, but I think a fair bit - was adopted from and copied off my dad.
(As an aside, for those interested, this somewhat contradicts/much better explains/develops my understanding of what I was trying to say in my testimony, video here.)

The other thing is that 4s are characteristically depressive and melancholic. There is an underlying sadness to them. And that's something that I've definitely had for the vast majority of my life - I believe I called it an undertone in a recent post I did. And I've always recognised its presence there - without (for the most part) being overwhelmed by it, I think. I've had a couple of bad episodes, certainly, but nothing near proper depression. In fact, these days, I would say that I have joy. I am a joyful person. And that doesn't mean that I don't have sadness, and that that depression isn't there any more, it is - but I don't let that overtake my life.

Anyway, that's quite a long post, and it is quite late. So I am going to get some sleep, and let you folks mull on that one for a bit!