Sunday, December 4, 2016

What I've Been Doing Wrong

     I have been doing everything wrong.  Living for myself, yet claiming to serve God.  Choosing things I thought that I wanted.  Choosing to care so much about what others thought.
      I have been stuck.  So confused about what I wanted, what God wanted, what others expected of me.  How can you talk to someone about a problem that you don't even understand yourself?
     I am constantly trying to improve myself.  It all started back in Jr. high.  At that time in my life, I did everything half-heartedly, particularly my school work.  But one day, I decided to write down a few goals for myself.  One of these goals was to give my all in school.  That was enough to cause me to try harder than I ever had.  Just trying my best in school caused me to want to try to do my best in everything.  Setting goals constantly.
      I write them all down.  In fact, I still have the original list of goals from Jr. high.  And I know that this goal setting and perfectionism didn't happen overnight.  I'm a born perfectionist to a fault, but that perfectionism took on a different form with my goal setting.
     There are so many good things about my perfectionism, but there are also some really bad ones.  Like for instance, I over think everything, analyzing every last detail and I'm quick to jump to conclusions, even if they may just be in my mind and not reality.
      Perhaps this is where I have come to the point of caring so much what everyone thinks of me.  The fact that I think so much causes me to think that others do too, that they're analyzing everything that I do.  This has caused me to be selfish, thinking only of life through my lens, how it is for me, not thinking about how other people feel.
      Social situations are tricky.  I'm not a very big personality, I would much rather be in smaller groups of people, than large groups of people.  In the life of a teen today, it's so much about being funny.  People like funny people because people like to laugh.  Unfortunately, I don't consider myself a very funny person.
      Often, in group situations, it feels like people say and do things just to get noticed.  As if they couldn't for a moment go unnoticed.  Now that sounds condemning, but I promise it's not.  It's not a condemnation because I can admit to it myself.
     I hate when people say,"you're so quiet!"  I know that I'm quiet, but I'm trying.  I like to make my words count.  So much of what gets said is just fluff, unnecessary words used to fill time.

     To me, social situations can be absolutely draining.  Some people get energized by being with people (extroverts), others get energized by time spent alone (introverts).  I am most definitely an introvert.  Now this makes me seem like I don't like people and spending time with them, this is completely false.  I love people!  I love hanging out with friends and meeting new people!  But I need my time alone too, time to just think without worrying about anyone else.
     But because I want to be accepted by others, I have focused so much on that and not on things that really matter.  I let my desire for acceptance overtake my desire to do all things for Christ.  For instance, I have thought, I could say so many things that would be funnier if I just used some language.  Most teenagers do it.  But I don't.  I don't because I know that it's not honoring to Christ.
     As a Christian, I am called to stand out, not to be like everyone else.  I am called to do things Christ's way, even if it is the hard way.  I am guilty of taking the easy way.  I have allowed myself to be measured with the cultural norms, the things that are expected.
     I have not loved fully, I have not surrendered myself fully to Christ, I have not chosen to serve others instead of myself, I have not given my very best.  I have conformed.  Romans 12:2 says, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."     
     I have looked to guys for my validation.  I want them to like me, to find me attractive, to want me.  In fact, I have let what they think of me determine my self worth.  Now imagine how that affects my mentality since I have never had a boyfriend.  In fact, I have let that consume my thoughts for a time.  I wanted to stop thinking about it, bu I just couldn't let go.  It makes it that much harder when it feels like everyone is in a relationship except for you.      
     I have looked to friends for my validation.  I want to make friends and I want them to like me, like a lot.  I crave words of affirmation.  I want someone to be messaging me or snap chatting me at all times.  Because if they're not, that means that everyone is going and doing things that I'm not a part of, that at the moment, I don't really matter to anyone.  Crazy right?  Maybe a little.  I have a serious case of FOMO, fear of missing out.     
     I have looked to compliments for validation.  I was recently in a show and was lucky enough to get one of the lead roles.  Some of the people that came to see me in the show complimented me on my song that I sang, but they didn't say anything about my acting.  That made me think, "what if they didn't think that I was a good actress?"  As crazy as it seems, if I don't get a compliment on something that I do, I tend to assume that I didn't do very well, or if no one compliments an outfit that I'm wearing, I assume it doesn't look good.       
     But the ultimate point of this long-winded and perhaps incoherent ramble is that I'm sorry.  I'm sorry that I have let what other people think cloud what I think.  I have not chosen God's best, instead, seeking instant gratification.  I know that no one is perfect and, in fact, that is what I love about the human race.  We all have our own little quirks, things that make us different from the infinite number of people who live or have lived on this earth.  Our imperfections make us beautiful, like a stained glass window with countless colors all serving a different purpose to create a beautiful and intricate design.  What I'm saying is that I am going to choose to be different.  I will try my best 
  • to not care what anyone but God thinks
  • to love much
  • to spread kindness
  • to have courage
  • to be bold
  • to consider others before myself
  • to be happy and fulfilled with being single knowing that it is God's best for me
  • to give my all in everything
  • to surrender myself completely to Christ
     I don't want to live with regrets.  These are my new goals.  I hope that I have as much success with them as I did my original goal.  Only time will tell, but for now I'm content with trying to make every day better than the last.

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