July 2017
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my intellect has been my idol, my identity, and my shield.
Counseling this week was powerful, in a way that made me very uncomfortable. One of those "truths that you don't want to see" type things. So of course, I've been putting off writing it down... Bah.

I realized that I have idolized my intellect, used it as my identity and my protection. Yet consciously, I've never been proud of my intellect. The reason I'm pretty sure that I've never been proud is that I have never ever looked down on anyone for being less intelligent than I. I respect them, usually, because they have to try harder to achieve the same things, and that shows a lot about their inner strength. Also, it has never made sense to me to be proud of something that I did nothing to achieve. God was the one who made me smart, not I. And I have never bragged -- it actually is like a dirty secret to me. I never told anyone what I made on a test or anything unless they asked, and then I was embarrassed to say. I tied with someone for the highest SAT score in my school -- and didn't tell anyone. When they announced the names over the intercom in the morning, everyone was shocked. I had so many people say to me outright, "I didn't realize you were so smart!" I wasn't that impressed with my score because it wasn't perfect or even that close (1430 out of 1600 isn't even an A).

My parents unknowingly fed into that by only showing me approval when I achieved in school, and never anything else -- if I showed them my art they'd glance, then ask me if I had done my homework. They unintentionally taught me that only my intellect was worthy -- everything else about me wasn't important. That's part of why I usually try to hide my 'brains' -- I want people to see worth in me that isn't just because of my intelligence.

Um. And now I am wondering -- how are people going to take this? Are people going to think I'm a snob and unfriend me? Oh well, what happens happens.

Back to the point -- why this is a problem. I have always been desperately afraid of being stupid. Losing a limb, dying -- so what. But the idea of being aware without being able to reason terrifies me. I can't imagine it. And I can't stand the idea of being seen as stupid. All the time I hold back, curb myself, don't chase after that which matters, because I have been afraid of being seen as stupid. When Patricia and I prayed about this, I saw an image of myself standing stiff, with my arms straight down by my sides and a dull expression on my face, all greyed out. That's how I seem a lot of times, and it is made all the more horrible by the fact that my natural self is dancy, laughing, free, wild, and unafraid. It's like I mummify myself with reason.

I define an idol as something that I have to have that is not God. My intellect has been that. I was seriously considering whether God or my intellect was more important to me -- scary. No wonder I haven't been able to live, to be free. I have needed a reason for every step. No wonder I haven't been able to trust God -- I was already trusting my mind to take care of me and guide me.

I don't know what to do. Patricia and I prayed, and I gave my intellect to God, but I'm still not sure what that means and it is making me very nervous. I don't want to have anything be more important to me than God, and I certainly don't want to continue to be trapped by fear of stupidity, but I'm just not sure how to change. Patricia was confident that God would show/tell me.


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Re: Wow! Ah Hah! Oh my God!
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.