April 2018
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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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Comments
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talkingpotato ══╣╠══
I'm scared of being stupid too mostly because a lot of men don't find me attractive since I'm not their 'type', and I'm so odd that I feel like eccentricity is the only way to explain my not fitting in.

I guess deep down I could be just a stupid socially awkward person and not smart at all but I'm just going to keep fooling myself :-D
jedibubbles ══╣╠══
There are alot of different ways of being "smart"--actually, there was a recent study that concluded there are a full nine different "intelligences."

And if the men around you are too idiotic to find you attractive, then forget about them. It's a fully valid fear, but eventually someone who sees you for the wondrousness that you are will show up. ^_^
talkingpotato ══╣╠══
jedibubbles ══╣╠══
talkingpotato ══╣╠══
nikare ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣╠══
talkingpotato ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣╠══
crushtviolet ══╣╠══
I used to try to hide, too. I was always the first person finished with my test, but I would pretend to still be thinking/checking until other people had turned theirs in. The night I was supposed to be given an award for scoring above whatever percentage on the PSAT, I went out to dinner with my family so I wouldn't have to go up on a stage and have people look at me. All my female friends were mad at me the next day, because apparently I was the only girl to get it, and I wasn't there to accept. But calling attention to myself, especially for academics, makes me really uncomfortable.
garrulous
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
I did the same thing with tests -- checked and re-checked until at least a few other people had turned theirs in.
fairy
sunshinepill ══╣fairy╠══
I get called smart all the time... and whil it annoys me, i couldn't imagine not being "that smart girl". the talented one. the gifted one. it takes so much out of me, but i think it'd be like losing a limb if i suddenly weren't anymore.

I under estimate a lot of the people around me. Or rather, my peers. if someone is as old as me, I won't think them to be on the same level intelletually. It's mainly because I've given up trying to find someone like me in that respect.

I think it's wonderful that you can begin to change. I can't. Not right now. I don't have that faith in God. I don't have anything but my reason right now.

gentle
belenen ══╣gentle╠══
I hurt for you.... I know what it feels like to have nothing but your reason. Logic is a very thin blanket. *hugs you*
shespoke ══╣╠══
I think I have the same problem. I know that I'm smart and that I can take care of myself. I don't brag about my grades and stuff, because I don't want to come off as being a snob. (By the way PROPS on the SAT. I wish I'd broken 1200, but alas I was an 1190.)I don't want people to shun me for being smart, and I don't want to make people feel lesser than me. Cuz they're not. I think they have more obstacles than me and I was blessed with good skills for school.

I know your relationship with God is important to you. I hope that you are able to let go of this idol and truly walk in the path that he chooses for you. I myself have not reached that point yet. My relationship with God is kinda jaded because of stuff that happened in my church that I witnessed at an early age. It's kinda this town that has me nervous because me attending church where I am feels wrong after I saw some of the inner workings (my dad worked for the Bishop of Austin for 6 years). I haven't really forgiven them taking away our insurance when my mom got breast cancer or sending us checks late almost purposely (everyone else would get a check on time...) so that we'd have problems with rent. And also the way money seemed more important than really helping people. I know that all the Catholic churches are not bad, but I'm just sick of what I saw and all the priest were tied into it, even if it was just by association. I'm hoping that when I get to Denton, a fresh slate will let me try again. I like the Catholic church but do not feel comfortable worshiping here. In the meantime my relationship with God is something of a conversational type of nature. I thank him for his blessings and ask when I need things. Though I do the asking part more than the blessing part and I should try to work on that.
gentle
belenen ══╣gentle╠══
I understand what you mean, not being comfortable with God because of the way the church can be... I've been there. Except with me it was more that I wasn't comfortable with God because of how EVERYONE acted and the fact that God didn't strike people dead for doing things that I think cross the line (rape, molestation).

But I don't think it's a bad thing to have a conversational type relationship with God. What he wants more than anything is to bond with you, and the best way for him to do that is for you to talk with him... For a while I was talking to him every night, just talking like I would to a friend on the phone. and I've never felt closer to him. I would do that now, but I feel like I need a 'sanctuary,' a place that's just mine, that I can feel safe in... I'll either turn the bedroom into my sanctuary or I'll suck it up and do it in a place that doesn't feel as safe... Anyway, I think if you just keep the lines of communication open, that's the most important thing. Church is important too, but not as important as talking to him yourself (in my opinion anyway).
shespoke ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣╠══
vineofcrescendo ══╣╠══
No, you certainly don't sound like a snob at all. This post was very open and thoughtful. I'm proud of you, for what it's worth.
shimmering
belenen ══╣shimmering╠══
thank you. ;-)
trenchmeister ══╣╠══
Intellect and relying on God
It's really easy to let intellect bring you "above" the need for God. It's a cinch to think that Christianity can be stupid too. It's the easiest thing in the world to insult your own beliefs and say that it's all based on a bunch of fables, half-truths and word-of-mouth. It is transparent and idiotic to hide behind a veil of blind faith.

Being able to see creation and God as a thinking adult and no longer as a child can be difficult in this world of confusion. You don't believe in Santa or the Easter bunny anymore. It's very easy to put God in that same trash bin.

You do not have to be stupid to believe in God. You don't have to sacrifice your intellect to accept the truth. God asks for you, but he never asks you to stop thinking. Needing a reason for what you are doing is logical. Keep following the logic through. If you do, you will find your faith is stronger at the end of this path. God will not let you down when you ask him for something. He also won't let you down if you ask him WHY.
honesty
belenen ══╣honesty╠══
Re: Intellect and relying on God
Well, I never believed in Santa or the Easter Bunny, so I didn't have that problem. I've never really doubted the existance or truth of God -- I've just doubted his love for me.

There is a fine line we have to tread -- God gave us our minds so that we could use them, but we are tempted to rely on the known rather than God's love, and that is where we miss out. I can't trust God because I nearly never let him prove himself, I think my way through everything and control everything. I need to trust God, I need to stop trying to think my path through healing and just let him lead me. This is one thing that is beyond my own powers, and I need to recognize that and lean on God's love.
trenchmeister ══╣╠══
Re: Intellect and relying on God
belenen ══╣╠══
Re: Intellect and relying on God
ex_alariya46 ══╣╠══
*HUG*

It is always difficut to realize that there is anything that could compete with God in your life, you know? Just Trust. If you Trust, then God will go about the changing himself, I think. Though this will definately deserve more thorough conversation face to face.

I love you!
gentle
belenen ══╣gentle╠══
thank you.
mabels ══╣╠══
Just a comment on SAT scores...in my school there were two tied for highest. Both got a perfect 1600. ugh! It was SO hard to be in the top ten in my school. We had about 400 students in my class alone (although in my previous school it was closer to 700 in just my grade).

My sister was 8th in her class (roughly 450 students) and she got a 1450 on the SATs. She was #1 for her freshman and sophomore years and then in her junior and senior she had a bad boyfriend who messed with her and she was under so much stress she sliped out of 1st place. Our parents never told her how close she was to being validictorian because they were afraid of the extra pressure it would have put on her when she was already so upset about other thing in her life (long story).


"1430 out of 1600 isn't even an A" Um it doesnt work that way. 1430 is very good. Last i looked the adverage was closer to 1050 or 1100.


I dont think your a snob. Ive also hidden my intellegence. Well, maybe not hidden it, but I dont bring it up. I dont mention my grades or scores or, more importantly, how easy it was for me to achieve them even though I didnt study like I should (thinking back i know I could have achieved even more if I HAD actualy studied for things). Its just that I always felt like its too "prideful" to flant them...so instead i talk about my sister's achievements.


i dont know what to tell you about God and your intellect, but at least I can offer that there are others who know some of the reasons why intellegence is important to you and yet you hide it.
garrulous
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. ;-)
chillychilly22 ══╣╠══
It would be ridiculous if you lost friends over this entry. It's not like you're rubbing it anyone's face that your smart (rather the opposite). I think people will actually appreciate your entry because you share with them one of your "flaws"... although I think it's not a flaw.

We will all make mistakes and do stupid things from time to time... we're human right? Anyway I don't think you could make yourself look stupid even if you tried really really hard. So if you are stupid at anything... I guess your stupid at being stupid. :)
giggling
belenen ══╣giggling╠══
hee hee, thank you. That was encouraging to read. ;-)
jedibubbles ══╣╠══
Society values intellect--though at the same time it insults it--and belittles other things. And we do absorb this lesson as children; even if your parents hadn't been so narrow, I'm sure you would have picked it up.

I've always been afraid of being percieved as stupid, too. (And the fact that I so often don't verbally express myself well and tend stick my foot square in my mouth just feeds into that fear.) Possibly because I used to define myself to myself as "smart," because my supposed talent was just a gift.

(Now I've swung WAY the other way, and now instead of people being surprized that I'm artsy, they're all surprized to find that I'm halfway intelligent. *rolls eyes* Hurrah for pidgeon-holing.)

Truthfully, though, we all have the choice to either develop our gifts or leave them in their initial state. Alot of smart people don't bother challenging their intellect, but you do. Plus, there are apparently nine different "intelligences," and you strongly display at least three--emotional, "book-smart," and artistic/spacial--so just rock on, girlfriend. ^_^
shimmering
belenen ══╣shimmering╠══
That nine different intelligences thing sounds fascinating -- I think you I will have to look for more info on that. ;-)

oh and this: "I so often don't verbally express myself well and tend stick my foot square in my mouth just feeds into that fear" I think you have backwards. I think it's more that you are afraid of being percieved as stupid, and that ties up your natural gifting. I am convinced that you have a natural gift of communication, it's just not free right now. The enemy is not dumb -- he strikes at our greatest giftings. Do you know how closed off I used to be? You met me when I had just experienced the destruction of my shell and thought I was reserved -- you should have met me before! A more solidly-closed-off person there never was. Fortunately God started workin' on me early. Now I'm one of the most open people I've ever met.
*sph1
juansrx ══╣*sph1╠══
It`s something you can barely evade!!, look at me, my selfsteem is a roller coaster!!, when I do something "artistic", "unique", and "charming", I want everybody to know it, to know ME, to test myself like the biggest champion on the world.

But, when I fail, I feel like the worst crap on the world, I feel sick, I want to dissapear I want to forget everything...It wasn`t, and It (isn`t yet) easy for me realizing that there are people more intelligent, rich, freiendly...BETTER THAN ME!!

I cannot give you annother solution except the one you have discovered...bu I`m still fighting to prove myself worthy...because I think that my worth depends on the success I achieve!!

SHALOM an goodbye.
garrulous
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
Thank you for sharing -- I hope that you find worth in yourself beyond your achievements. ;-)
abstractfish ══╣╠══
"It's like I mummify myself with reason."

that's me right there. I can't take a step without there being a reason for it. even if the reason is to try and be spontaneous in order to prove I don't need reason, I actualy am taking another step with my foot planted in reason.

so what next? where is the next foothold if reason isn't so reasonable anymore? I suppose "faith" is in order, but I feel like my ability to have faith is gone. maybe I feel like this for the same reason why I didn't want to sing after my voice changed.

so what now?
shimmering
belenen ══╣shimmering╠══
I feel ya. Faith seems so the opposite of reason... yet it's really all about depending on someone else's reason instead of your own. Thinking about it like that, it should be easy to trust an omnipotent being -- he knows everything so of course he knows better than me...

But it isn't easy. And there doesn't seem to be any middle ground... right now I feel like I am just gathering my courage to make the leap to faith. That gulf between depending on myself and depending on God is pretty scary. All those times that I thought I jumped the gap, I had really just moved a little bit closer to the edge.... but this time there's no going back for me.
musicbaybee ══╣╠══
Well intellect isnt all that you have. From your photo i can see you have the beauty to :-). Ok im the one you winked at to wait to see if im real or not. That was pretty wise to lol. Now i guess i have to go find a camera and get some more friends to prove myself heh.

Hope its still ok to comment to your entries. I guess it is as these ones are public :-)

I think there are many forms of intelligence. Im very poor at maths and things like that. But i think i have great common sense and am rather astute to people.

I had a friend that got A's in every subject she did every single year.

vivacious
belenen ══╣vivacious╠══
Oh, nearly all my entries are public and anybody is free to comment. ;-)

And thank you for the compliment!
lorelei_sakti ══╣╠══
I don't think intelligence is something that goes away. Don't worry about becoming stupid, or that people will view you as stupid. People will think what they will.

When I was a kid, everybody thought I was so smart cause I would get A's. I wasn't a good student; I just had a good memory. I would've given up my intelligence to become a normal kid and socialize the way they did. If I had children, I would ALMOST wish them to be average and happy.

But.....I think there is something to be gained from being naturally intelligent. It's a gift from God, so it must be good, and so we don't have to hide it. I try to have a balance in my life between reasoning and intuition now.
shimmering
belenen ══╣shimmering╠══
You seem to have a good balance -- at least, that's the vibe I get from reading your journal. ;-)
mimimandy ══╣╠══
I understand somewhat where your coming from or rather I grasp it. I myself have a low IQ something I tried to hide for years having grown up with people similar in style to your intellect. I've always been terrified of being stupid. Growing up my motto was "I may be retarded but I'm not stupid". I don't think you should have ever have felt like you needed to be a shamed of it, intelligence imo is one of the more sexy and sought after attributes a person in general can have. Even now at twenty and being proud of who I've become and what I've achieved intellect-wise, I still tend to surround myself with people that are beautifully intelligent and use their intellect on a daily basis. I've never had a "stupid" friend, not once in my lifetime. I don't think I'd "unfriend" you because of that because I don't see you as being a snob at all much less with your intelligence. I read your livejournal several times before I "friended" you, so I already figured you were of atleast, above average intelligence. I see nothing wrong with that and I don't see how one could fault you for it because it is what it is. You can't change your intellect anymore than I could change mine, and believe me I tried. I think I read the entire dictionary by the time I had completed grade 4. There are all different types of intellect and intelligence. Booksmarts, people smarts, common sensesmart, intutionsmart, sportssmart. It doesn't matter every person excells at their own pace and their own unique areas.
garrulous
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
You explained your thoughts really well, thanks for sharing. I really liked your point about the different types of intelligence -- very true.
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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.