Higher Standards Than God

There They Go-Go-Go!

There They Go-Go-Go! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The other day, I read a tweet that asked the question “Are your standards higher than God’s?”

This question has popped into my head a few times since reading it and every time I’ve had to answer, “Why, yes. Yes they are.”

My standards are higher than God’s.

Yes, I may sound like a heretic for saying so. But it’s true. At least for myself. I have enormously high standards for myself.

I expect myself to be perfect, while God does not. We both know I will never be perfect but I still put the pressure on myself to somehow achieve perfection.

I hold myself to standards of perfection. If I am not perfect, I am a failure. So you can imagine how often I think of myself as a failure.

He may accept me for who I am but I don’t. I have continuously been striving to hit my standards when God’s standards are a lot lower than mine.

Zoom and Bored

Zoom and Bored (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m like Wile E. Coyote while my standards are like the road runner.

I am continuously striving to reach my standards and finding various ways to try to catch them. But no matter what I do and come up with I can never seem to catch them.

When it comes to other people, my standards are lower than they are for me but they’re probably still a little higher than God’s. I often have to remind myself, people are human and they make mistakes. However, I still hold them to standards and get angry and/or disappointed when they don’t meet my standards.

You probably think I’m crazy for having higher standards than God. After all, He is the creator of the universe and I’m just one insignificant person.

I probably am crazy but no matter what I try or how hard I try, I can’t seem to knock my standards down so they are lower.

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Is Thick Skin Just a Myth?

your words hurt.

your words hurt. (Photo credit: Amy Fleming)

If only my skin could be as thick as I pretend it is. I like to pretend that the saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is true in my life. However, in actuality it’s not. My skin is not thick and it never will be no matter how much I try to pretend it is.

And the fact is, I remember every negative thing that has happened to me whether in result of someone else or not.

My oldest memories involve me getting bit by a skunk and falling off a horse; both occurring when I was four years old.

I remember every time I was abandoned by my friends for someone else. I remember every time I’ve heard someone talking about me behind my back. I remember when my brothers bug me and hurt me both physically and mentally. I remember every time someone said something to me or about me that hurt whether they meant to or not.

I remember the times when I was sat during a volleyball game or a basketball game because I wasn’t good enough or I made a mistake. I remember the time when my basketball coach in grade 7 told me I wasn’t going to get any playing time during the playoffs because I wasn’t aggressive enough. I went to the game because it was in our home gym against a team that my cousin played on and the main reason I went was because of my cousin. I even found myself wanting to cheer for my cousin’s team because I was angry. I remember not going to the finals when my team made it there because I wasn’t going to play and I was still angry.

I remember one of my friends commenting on how it wouldn’t take much to paint my nails because they were so short. I even remember who it was who said it. I remember playing badminton during Phys. Ed when I missed an easy shot and one of my classmates who I was playing against laughed and said “easy point”. I also remember exactly who it was and who her partner was as well as how my partner was. I even remember where I was positioned on the court.

Maybe I just have an unhealthy memory because most of my memories are negative or at least the ones that tend to resurface.

It may be because of all these negative memories I pretend to have a thick skin. I don’t want people to see they hurt me with what they say or what they do.

I don’t let people see me cry. I could probably count on one hand the times when people other than my family have seen me cry in the last ten years. And even then my family hasn’t seen me cry very often. However, this doesn’t mean I don’t cry. I just cry when I’m by myself, often when I’m in my room with my door locked.

Is thick skin just a myth or is it possible to let what people say and do just roll off you? If you have found ways to let what people say and do not affect you please tell me your ways. I wish I had thick skin and would love to be able to if it’s possible.

Grow Into Your Identity

Vincent Bethell Self Aware Placard

Vincent Bethell Self Aware Placard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I believe there are those of us who focus too much on our identity. In North America, I feel like someone who does not focus on their identity is an anomaly.

We constantly are fed lines about who we should be and what we should do. We are told we are nobodies if we aren’t rich and/or famous. We go through identity crises more than once because we have to try to “find” ourselves.

Like, really? Where did we go that we need to “find” ourselves? Was I abducted by aliens and switched with an imitation me?

We constantly focus on me, myself and I and live on a stage. We are real life actors who play a part in the movie called life. Continuously fooling others into thinking we’re someone we’re not.

We also fool ourselves into believing we’re someone we’re not or that the person who is really us isn’t actually us at all.

We try to categorize ourselves into boxes and categorize others as well. We pick and choose which parts of us are really us and which ones are only acts when in actuality we are a lot more complex than we believe.

I, personally, have probably had an identity crisis since I was ten years old when I started doubting whether I was worthy to live and be called a human being.

Since then, I’ve wondered many things about my identity. Am I the outgoing, friendly, happy person I am when with my friends or am I the shy, quiet girl when around people I don’t know very well? Or, perhaps, am I the loud, angry, aggressive girl I often am with my brothers. Or then again, could I be the introspective, crazy, sometimes depressed person I am when by myself? Who am I really?

I act different, depending on who I am with or who is around. Which one is the real me?

Per chance, they are all me. Do I have to simplify myself into only one category or can I be in different categories based on the situation I am in?

Perhaps, I will never know the “real” me or at least not fully know her but my identity doesn’t have to be one-faced. It can have many facets to it with each one being one more piece to the puzzle.

I have depended on others to tell me what my identity is. I have allowed them to put me in a box and I didn’t fight to get out of that box but rather let the box confine me.

The past three years, since leave high school and going to college, I was allowed to escape from the box and redefine who people saw me as. It was a chance for me to grow into my identity rather than letting my identity shrink into the box I was put in.

Identity can be a wonderful thing but we don’t have to let it define us instead we should just live and be who we were meant to be.

Don’t allow others to define your identity but rather let your identity find you.

I have a lot to learn about not letting others define my identity but I’m working on it.

Does What I Say Matter?

Does what I say matter? I know people would tell me yes what I say does matter, but does it really? I mean, does what I write on here actually make a difference in anyone’s life or is it just a platform for me to write things down and have no one read them?

I’m one of those people who generally think before posting a status update on Facebook or before I send a tweet. I try to think of clever things to say that maybe some people might take notice of but it rarely happens.

I can pretty much tell you when I post something on Facebook which of my friends are the most likely to like or comment on it which is not very many.

There were times, two years ago when I was in my black pit of despair where I would post cryptic Facebook statuses about my depressed state but no one took notice of them.

Now, I’m thinking maybe I should post something really blunt and possibly morbid to see if people would actually read it. Because, honestly, I don’t know if what I say matters to anyone.

My writing seems to sit in a place where only I read it even when it is on my blog for everyone to read. What I say seems to be drowned out by what someone else says.

Does what I say matter?

People get drowned out loud and boisterous people. People are put on the back burner for those who are “important.”

Can’t what I say matter, too? Can’t I be heard even if what I say is often written down and not spoken out loud?

Do I have to become one of the loud and boisterous people or even someone who is popular in order to be heard? Or can I still be myself and have my words mean something?

Ashamed Introvert with a Jell-O Heart

Being Told Not To Be An Introvert

I am an ashamed introvert. I’ve been an introvert my whole life, however, I’ve been told constantly that I need to be more outgoing or talk more even if people haven’t said it verbally.

It was always the talkative extroverts who had friends. People always wanted to hang around the extroverted outgoing people; not me. It seemed like everyone but me could make conversations with people easily while for me it was work. Even now, I generally hate small talk and won’t often participate in it except when someone else starts it and then they generally have to carry the conversation.

I was told indirectly by teachers I should talk more. Participation marks were my enemy because it meant I had to talk in class otherwise my marks would suffer and I prided myself on my marks in school.

I have also been told numerous times in not so discreet ways that I should be more talkative, more outgoing. “You should come out of your shell,” I’ve been told many times. Also, even in Christian groups such as youth group, camp, church, etc. I’ve been told many times to go out of my comfort zone and I should evangelize to people.

For an introvert, this is very hard to do. I can’t just go up to someone and evangelize to them because I can barely do with normal conversation never mind when it comes to my faith which is a topic that is offensive to some.

In essence, I’ve been told numerous times not to be an introvert and rather be an extrovert.

Ashamed Introvert

With all the ways I’ve been essentially told not to be an introvert and rather an extrovert, I’ve become an ashamed introvert.

I feel guilty for being an introvert a lot of the time. All the times, I’ve refused to go out and hang with people and instead stay home and do things by myself, I feel guilty.

Shame eats at me every time someone asks me what or if I have any plans for the weekend because my plans often involve me reading a book or multiple books and doing things by myself. I feel ashamed when I make excuses to myself as to why I can’t go to my college & career group (now they don’t even invite me anymore) and most of the time it is to watch sports or that I need that time to myself because I’ve worked 6 days a week.

Lately, I’ve realized why I feel like I don’t fit in when I do end up going to college & career. It’s because I am an introvert. Which doesn’t help me with wanting to go if I don’t fit in because of who I am.

I feel like I should be texting people more and hanging out with people more.

I’ve become ashamed of my introverted ways but can’t get myself to be more extroverted. I know I am an introvert but I’m also an ashamed introvert.

Jell-O Heart

I have a Jell-O heart. It only pretends to be solid. It feels every poke and prod that it receives. The Jell-O heart may look tasty and that it is solid but every little touch is felt in a bigger way than was meant. It doesn’t have much sustenance to it because it is only made of Jell-O crystals and water. It has no nourishment.

Knives are continuously being thrown its way even though many of the knife throwers are doing it subconsciously and unaware of the impact on the not-so-solid Jell-O. Knives that are not even thrown directly at the Jell-O seem to make a dent in the Jell-O.

The protective covering does nothing to help it either. The protective covering is like Saran wrap. It holds the Jell-O in one place but it does not keep it intact nor keep others from seeing it occasionally. It is very thin so it does nothing against the knives that are thrown its way.

As an ashamed introvert with a Jell-O heart, I know when I’m not wanted or even liked and don’t want to waste my time with those people and believe every lie about myself I’ve been told.

If your actions show me that you don’t want me around, it doesn’t matter what you say or believe because I will believe your actions. My Jell-O heart will try to avoid the pain that it will take if it tries to be around you if your actions prove that you don’t want me.