I've kind of started to notice the fact that I'm so guarded is becoming a detriment to my life. Other than the things I write, I don't really share much about myself with the outside world. Not even with the people closest to me. I think this is causing those around me to make judements about me based on no factual evidence at all. Some of these judements can be positive, as in people assume I'm a much better person than I actually am. But they can also be bad, as in I'm a heartless or cold person.
I think the things I say can be misinterpreted too easily. I'm a sarcastic person, and I'm also a very defensive person. I don't like being judged or having my motives for things questioned. These two things seem to always be happening in my life. Just the other day, I overheard two girls from one of my classes talking about me as I walked past them. I have known one of the girls since preschool, and I have no idea who the other girl is. The girl that I don't know said to the other "Is that girl a bitch or something? She's always walking around like she's better than everyone." The girl I've known for a long time replied with "No, she's not a bitch, she's just never talked much. . ." By this point I was out of earshot and couldn't hear the rest of the conversation, but I was really offended by it. I mean I'm glad the girl that knows me set the other girl straight, but I still don't know what would even make the other girl think I'm a bitch.
Unless I know you, I'm a terribly shy person. In class, I don't speak up or carry on conversations with those around me. I never have. That doesn't mean I'm a bitch. The other day I caught the same girl that called me a bitch, giving me the dirtiest look ever in class. I've never said a word to the girl, but it's clear she kind of hates me. What gives her the right to pass judgement on me? I'm kind of thinking she's the bitch in this situation. 1) You shouldn't talk about people behind their backs and 2) Why give someone a horrible glance for no reason? I wanted to ask her what her problem was, but I figured it wasn't even worth my time.
Going back to the things I say being misinterpreted and my motives constantly being questioned. I seem to be in constant conflict with my mother about my spirituality. I feel like she just assumes she knows what I believe or don't believe in, when in fact she's completely clueless. She's constantly making me feel like a bad person because I don't believe in going to church. And she makes little remarks that make it seem like I'm some horrible, and Godless person. My spirituality is really none of her business. I feel like faith and spirituality should be very internalized things. I don't believe in shoving ones beliefs in the faces of others. The reality is that I'm probably one of the most spiritual people you'll ever meet. Just because I don't claim one religion as my own, doesn't mean I don't have faith in anything. I believe in the purity of blind faith, and I'm against the hypocracy within organized religion. But if I tried to explain that to my mother, it would immediately be heard incorrectly. All she would hear is "I'm against religion" and then she'd start praying for my "atheistic soul." It drives me absolutely mad.
I wish I could express myself verbally half as well as I can express myself when I write. I'm a very internally focused individual, and I'm tired of being misunderstood. Just because I'm shy, I'm automatically a bitch. Just because I look at things from a different angle, I'm soulless creature in need of prayer. I hate these opinions of me! I'm sure there are all sorts of other horrible things that people assume about me too. What ever happened to not judging a book by it's cover? I really wish people would read my book! (haha or blog in this case)
I guess to sum this post up, I just wish we'd all be a bit more open minded. I wish we would stop passing judgement upon people when we know nothing about them. If you're curious about a person, ask them questions. But please, if you ask someone about themself, be open to honestly listen to what they're saying. Don't just hear what you want to hear. We all are made up of so much more than what we see on the surface.
My challenge for you: Really listen to what people have to say. And please, never judge someone based on appearances.
In the World Religion class that I'm currently taking, we had to write a paper that was loosely related to a topic we had been discussing in class. We recently started a unit on Hinduism. I had never noticed the influence this religion has had on my own personal faith until I started reading more about it and comparing it to my own life. I've always had a very unique view on religion and faith, so I figured I'd post a bit of my paper on here to give a little insight into my own beliefs. I try to view the world with an open mind, and I give respect to all faiths and opinions. I just hope all readers of this excerpt will do the same. This is only a small portion of my personal beliefs, and I invite anyone to ask me more about my spirituality. I'm not ashamed of it, and I'm honestly developing it more and more each day. So here you go:
I was raised with a semi typical Christian background. For many years my knowledge of religion and faith was solely based on what my parents told me. Around the age of fourteen I began to become very interested in other parts of the world, and other forms of faith. The more different the views were from my own, the more interested I seemed to be in them. As I got older, and my knowledge of other faiths and areas of the world grew, so did my views of religion and spirituality. I went from having very strict Christian ideals, to much more liberal views of faith. Instead of focusing on a specific religion, I started to focus more on my internal spirituality. Today, instead of claiming one particular religion as my own, I tend to draw aspects from many faiths to create my own individual kind of spirituality. Some small parts of Hinduism have ended up in my custom made spirituality.
I have long believed in the Hindu concept of karma. It is the idea that every action has a consequence. It is the belief that we shape our own lives, and we are actually shaped by our actions. I don’t believe in reincarnation, so my idea of karma is certainly different from that of traditional Hinduism, but the basic ideas of it fit well within my lifestyle. I think a part of being human is having the hope that if we do good things, we will be rewarded for them. Hindus try to live a good life to ensure a good reincarnation in their next life, with the ultimate goal of reaching Nirvana. Christians try to live a good and moral life in hopes of attaining eternal life in Heaven. Both faiths also believe that if a person lives a bad and immoral life, they will be punished. In Hinduism a person can be reincarnated as an animal or insect. If someone lives a sinful life in Christianity, they will be punished with an eternity in Hell. So even though both faiths have a lot of differences, they are also quite similar.
I have quite recently taken up meditation, which can be a large aspect of the Hindu faith. When meditating, I’m not trying to obtain an altered sense of consciousness. I am however, trying to clear my mind, and center myself. Daily stresses can get people out of alignment mentally and spiritually. I try to take ten or fifteen minutes, on as close to a daily basis as possible, to sit in silence and reflect on my day. In this short span of time, I feel like I obtain mental clarity as well as spiritual clarity. Some people to pray to feel closer to God, meditation is like a form of prayer to me. With a clear head, I feel like I’m more receptive to any divine messages that could have been missed during my hectic day.
I don't claim to be a Hindu, nor do I claim to be an expert on this form of faith. These are just two small examples of how this religion has become a little piece of my life. Like I mentioned earlier, there are so many other aspects to my personal beliefs. They certainly couldn't all be summed up in one blog post. Perhaps I'll post more about my own spirituality in the future.
I have a challenge for you: Be open to learning more about people that have different beliefs than you. You don't have to convert to a new religion, but maybe you'll learn more about yourself in the process.
Lindsey. Twenty-Five. Currently pursuing a degree in Professional Writing & Film Studies.