I remember once at a new church I decided to attend, I was told I was special and then I replied saying I wasn’t special. Everyone seemed surprised like I just cursed in church. It just seemed normal to me to correct them. I don’t still know why my reply was received with such surprise. To me special people do great things and accomplish more than the mediocre lifestyle most people have. Idk maybe I was just being too real. During the next service I had to volunteer to give out pamphlets. I had to do something to clear the air because I felt they treated me different after that. Now I am glad I left that church but I still have a strange feeling when church people come too close to me.
I am very sorry that that had happened. Nobody has the right to make anyone feel out-of-place or uncomfortable. Though we haven’t met in person, I believe your honesty, helpfulness, and vulnerability make you special. Not many could share their feelings so openly. And not many can walk away from those who treat them wrong. I hope the community youre with now treat you with welcome.
Special and great do not mean the same things. Special means unique. As much as you may think you blend in, you are not like any other person around you. You have your own opinions, insights, talents, and abilities, and those make you special by definition. To that end, everyone is special.
Also, mediocre lifestyle is relative. Some of the happiest people I’ve met are poor, some of the unhappiest people I’ve ever met are wealthy leaders in their fields, and some of the most jaded people I know have lives that are the envy of both their rich and poor counterparts. What is the benchmark for mediocrity? Mediocre is a comparative term. I know it sounds trite and is easier said than done, but quit comparing yourself to others. Meet yourself where you are, and from there you can move in any direction you please and do what satisfies you.
Maybe check the dictionary for the meaning of special. If you never use these opinions, insight, talents and abilities to do great things and shine you’re basically just like everybody else (the majority) which means you’re not really that special, it means you’re mediocre af. You basically have the potential to be special but you’re not. Wisdom is proved right by her deeds. You have to call a spade a spade.
Thank you for sharing your experience here.
Everyone seemed surprised like I just cursed in church.
To echo @SheetMetalHead, the people at this church were probably surprised because from their own standpoint saying that someone is special is very similar to emphasizing the fact that they are a unique individual. It’s kind of a compliment. But it was in contradiction with how you perceive yourself. For what it’s worth, I felt that kind of frustration when close friends told me that I was strong. My first inner reaction was: “what the hell? do you know how many breakdowns I have in a week?”. It made me feel like whether no one really knew me, or I was really bad at communicating. But then I also had to remind myself that what’s going on inside of me, the perception that I have of myself, the thoughts that I have, can’t be the same as others - and that’s okay. It’s a matter of personal perspective here.
If I understand well, from your standpoint there’s a handful of people who do great things… and the others, who don’t, so by extension they are mediocre - and should I say, unworthy (if I consider the self-worth tag on your topic)? It is indeed very judgmental and based on a comparision, but if you struggle with seeing your own worth, it makes sense to think like this. It helps to justify the way you think about yourself. There is some comfort in discomfort. Though, I want to echo @SheetMetalHead with an other thing: comparision, especially based on self-worth, might be a dangerous trap, for how you’d see yourself and others. It creates walls and self-fulfilling prophecies. Though you probably have in your life examples of people who would contradict this division between being “special” or “mediocre”. Just because human life is full of circumstances. Ignoring the reasons why someone isn’t living the life they desire would be unfair to them. We’re not just made of accomplishments, we also hold stories. You have yours too. There is something that was said sometimes during HS Twitch streams that I really like: you can’t hate/judge someone when you know their story.
This kind of interaction that you had at church is interesting though. There’s a contradiction here between two perceptions of what makes someone worthy or not. If you push a bit aside how you perceive yourself, you can meditate on questions such as: how did you feel about being told that you were special? What makes someone special to you, from a very practical standpoint - and not a dictionary - aka, what are your standards of success? What are the things that you would like to accomplish in this life to make it meaningful to you? Just some suggestions.
Also, the subject you bring here makes me think about the following exercise on the Support Wall:
If you’re interested one day by diving into those questions, I’d like to encourage you to have a look at it. I personally think that there is a lot of value to take a short break sometimes to reflect on ourselves and challenge our thoughts, especially if it can help us move towards what is meaningful to us. But it’s not an obligation, only a door to open whenever you’d like to.
Thank you all for the replies, I’m really grateful. I was going to describe a full picture of my relationship with being special but I feel like I’m gonna bleed out too much with that one (because it’s like reopening old wounds). Hopefully in the future I can be special but for now, I’m just getting by. I’m glad I left that church because it was such a big deal to me and I felt they probably only wanted my money at the end. Now I don’t really go to church though.
I’ve known a lot of people who have had really toxic experiences with churches, and I think that’s really sad and anti-Christian. I like my church pretty well, but I don’t want to get too involved for that reason. The Freedom of Religion part of the First Amendment, and basic self-respect, say you don’t have to subjugate yourself to the church. You are free to find another church, take a break, or just not go back. I didn’t go for about 8 years.
I understand the conflicted relationship with being “special.” With everything I’ve overcome I don’t think I’m mediocre, but I don’t feel “special.” I know that, relatively speaking, there aren’t many non-degreed product development engineers, and that makes me “special” in my own way; but I feel like that’s just me going about my day. I also suck at art, I don’t have any really interesting hobbies, I’m not a philanthropist or activist of any sort, etc etc, and in those ways I also think I’m not special. I’m trying to find value in myself though. I can turn my pain into help here on HS; I can be a good husband, brother, and son; and I can take care of money. I have a conflicted relationship with the word “special,” but I’m trying to recognize that I have value. Think for awhile, then answer this: what are your intrinsic values? Saying “I have none” doesn’t count
Hi! I’m a Christian. I am not judging or criticizing!
I think it’s wrong that they treated you differently. Personally, I have stopped going to church for a different reasons. I have a mental illness and I feel very very judged and rejected by a lot of people. I have been hurt by many, many Christians. It’s heartbreaking, because Christians are supposed to be Christ like.
With that being said, Jesus is kind. He loves.
I know people can be extremely hateful & unaccepting.
However, you ARE special. And it’s because He made you. Yes, you have a lot of different likes, dislikes, etc. but you are special simply because He made you.
Just remember that!
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