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Trying to fit the mold

 
 
Treya
 
Reply Tue 28 Mar, 2006 10:20 am
I remember back in high school feeling this unending desire to fit in and to be accepted. I thought that when we left high school all of that ended. Recently though I have come to realize it does not. A very big part of this world we live in is trying to fit into other people's molds. There are all kinds of molds out there. The religious ones. The work ones. The social ones. I'm sure there is a mold for just about anything. I think sometimes this is why people can come off as being so conflicted, because they are trying to fit too many molds.

One of the things I have come to realize lately is that religion itself is really nothing more than just another mold to fit into. These questions have bugged me for years: why have I been so anti-religious? How can I be anti-religious and still believe in the God of the bible? The more I see here. The more I watch people interact with each other. The more I begin to understand about myself. Because I see that as humans as much as we want to fit in sometimes, there is also a need for individuality. This is truly why I never fit in at church, and why I do not fit in to a lot of social circles.

I believe that to be able to be yourself in front of others is truly the best compliment you could ever give them. Because by doing so you are opening the door for them to be themselves as well. The desire to fit into the molds that are presented more often than not smother a persons individuality. People fall into this without even realizing it sometimes. People say that religion sets so many standards that cannot and do not need to be lived by. Maybe that true. But religion is not the only thing in this world that sets standards for others to live by. People do. Whether they believe in God or not. Whether they recognize that or not.

It is up to each person to decide if they want to spend their life trying to live up to the standards of others or if they want to live up to the standards they have set for themselves. If you choose to be someone who breaks the mold more often than not you are rejected because you don't go with the flow. You don't follow the "norm". People who try to step out are often attacked and viewed as weak because they will not bend to the way others would like them to be. To do that could easily imply to the ones not willing to step out that they are weak. But really what is it that makes a person strong or weak?

Is it someone else's opinion of you? Or your own? Is it really considered strength when you cannot and are not willing to stand on your own? I have believed for many years that the greatest strength a person can possess is not only the ability to recognize and accept their own weakness', but to recognize and accept the weakness' of others. Because we are after all just people, trying to find our way through this life. Religion has taught me much through-out the last 17 years. I don't believe anymore that it really matters whether the pretence is correct or not.

I have come to the conclusion that life is something to be lived, and part of living is gleaning important lessons from every opportunity we are given to do so. I have come to the conclusion that we as people ought to accept ourselves first before we start believing we are really accepting others. I have come to the conclusion that in the end the only thing that will have really mattered is not how many people loved or accept me as an individual, but rather that I loved myself and was not afraid to be an individual in a world that does not support it. Because when it's all said and done we go to the grave alone, and the only thing left behind is the kind of life we chose to live.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 915 • Replies: 17
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Doktor S
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Mar, 2006 10:41 am
Heph, if all god believers were such as you, there would be no need of those such as I Smile
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Mar, 2006 10:46 am
That is an excellent exposition, Miss Eppie. I think you see more clearly than do many of us. It is very easy to get mired in every day life, and lose track of the broader picture of a live to be lived. I appreciate that you have posted this.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Mar, 2006 10:51 am
Good, and the final paragraph is just perfect, heph. But if you ever do want to fit a mold, just find the right one; that is, one that already fits.
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Ashers
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Mar, 2006 05:11 pm
The only people I am myself with are my family and my very closest of friends, for everyone else I attempt to fit into a "mold" or I place a barrier in between myself and them, kinda sad really. The reason I personally do it a lot of the time or at least why I've done it in the past is to draw attention, any kind of attention, away from myself.

I wanted to fit into the mold so I'd become one of the many, not because I love the many, because I felt unwanted attention would take me down a wrong road, an unhappy one where I'd actually struggle to be myself, because of not feeling comfortable. Hard to explain but if I presented myself to people in a way that was fitting this "mold", I'd be in a better position (because I dislike being in the spotlight in a big way) to do my own thing, however subtle. I try to be myself in the background, where the pressure is off.

Your post showed a lot of thoughtful reasoning though, nice one.
0 Replies
 
Treya
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Mar, 2006 09:08 am
Dok, you asked me in the "Rational Theists" thread:

Quote:
Do you believe in a single, non corporeal god entity to the exclusion of other types of gods, or not?
If so, why?


I told you I honestly didn't know, but then sat down and wrote this thread. I did that because I have been seriously questioning a lot of things in my life. Writing out what I did helped me to see some more, and was my answer to your question. I believe that religion is one of the molds that people try to fit into. I believe that in my time here I have never seen as much individuality as well as people wanting to fit into a mold. Presenting themselves a certain so that maybe they could feel accepted. I've seen a little of both within myself, to be quite honest.

I think that I still believe in God, but how I believe and what I believe has changed drastically, and is still changing as we speak. That's about the most specific answer you will get out of me at this point because even I am not sure where this is going or how it's going to end up. Razz
0 Replies
 
Treya
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Mar, 2006 10:05 am
setanta wrote:
That is an excellent exposition, Miss Eppie. I think you see more clearly than do many of us. It is very easy to get mired in every day life, and lose track of the broader picture of a live to be lived. I appreciate that you have posted this.
roger wrote:
Good, and the final paragraph is just perfect, heph. But if you ever do want to fit a mold, just find the right one; that is, one that already fits.


Roger, Thank you. I have yet to find a mold that would hold me very long. LOL And to be perfectly honest, I don't know if I really want to fit any mold. Razz I can't explain this really, as hard as I might try. Maybe some day I will be able to put it into words.

Ashers wrote:
The only people I am myself with are my family and my very closest of friends, for everyone else I attempt to fit into a "mold" or I place a barrier in between myself and them, kinda sad really. The reason I personally do it a lot of the time or at least why I've done it in the past is to draw attention, any kind of attention, away from myself.

I wanted to fit into the mold so I'd become one of the many, not because I love the many, because I felt unwanted attention would take me down a wrong road, an unhappy one where I'd actually struggle to be myself, because of not feeling comfortable. Hard to explain but if I presented myself to people in a way that was fitting this "mold", I'd be in a better position (because I dislike being in the spotlight in a big way) to do my own thing, however subtle. I try to be myself in the background, where the pressure is off.

Your post showed a lot of thoughtful reasoning though, nice one.


Ashers, thank you for your honesty. I don't necessarily believe that who we are has to be shaped by whether or not we try to fit into a mold. I have come to the conclusion that the importance lies within the ability to recognize our individuality and not lose that while trying to fit into someone else's mold for us. If that is what we choose to do. Each individual has to have a sense of individuality otherwise they will never really know who they are because who they are will be defined by those around around them.

There are all kinds of barriers in life as well. My striving to not fit any molds could be considered a barrier also, if you really think about it. It is not sad to place barriers in our lives. It is very natural. When we place barriers in our lives we decide who we let in, as everyone has the right to do. We don't have to allow others to tread on us. Though sometimes we choose to without even realizing it. The tragedy comes when those barriers keep us from being who we really are. From being an individual and growing as a person because we block too many people out. It's all a very fine balance that each person has to come to terms with on their own.
0 Replies
 
Wolf ODonnell
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Mar, 2006 10:35 am
I know. This thing about moulds is pretty annoying. I don't fit the stereotypical mould of a homosexual male. Don't like the pub or club scene that tends to be frequented by the majority of homosexuals. (Too loud and overpriced).
0 Replies
 
Treya
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Mar, 2006 10:44 am
The nice thing is wolf, you don't have to. If you don't fit the mold, I can tell you from experience, it is a vain thing, and a huge waste of time to try to fit yourself into it. I think that in life there are people who cross our paths who will appreciate the uniqueness in us rather than judge or criticize it. Those people might be few and far between sometimes. However, to be happy with yourself for who you are, the way you are is something that no one can take from you, unless you choose to give it up.
0 Replies
 
Doktor S
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Mar, 2006 10:56 am
Ya...molds should fit what you are already, if not, create your own.
Not to say fitting a mold or affiliating yourself with an idea is necessarily bad, it can be very useful in my eyes, as structure does help to get things done in life.
Just don't bend away from your existing nature and you'll do fine Smile
You are a gem among coal.
0 Replies
 
Wolf ODonnell
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Mar, 2006 11:03 am
Heph, Dok, thanks guys. Your words are really encouraging and inspiring.

More so than what my friend said when I said I thought I was ugly...

"You suck, yet are attractive!"

What kind of guy starts off his rant of encouraging words with "You suck"?
0 Replies
 
Treya
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Mar, 2006 11:22 am
Doktor S wrote:
Ya...molds should fit what you are already, if not, create your own.
Not to say fitting a mold or affiliating yourself with an idea is necessarily bad, it can be very useful in my eyes, as structure does help to get things done in life.
Just don't bend away from your existing nature and you'll do fine Smile
You are a gem among coal.


Dok, mold... shmold... I don't need no stinking mold... LOL Kidding... I agree, structure is important, and can help us to define better who we are. I think you nailed this one right the head. You have so much more to offer than I think people sometimes realize.

Wolf_ODonnell wrote:
Heph, Dok, thanks guys. Your words are really encouraging and inspiring.

More so than what my friend said when I said I thought I was ugly...

"You suck, yet are attractive!"

What kind of guy starts off his rant of encouraging words with "You suck"?


People are funny creatures, I have decided. Who knows really what motivates people to say the things they say sometimes. I have a feeling though he wasn't trying to say, "You suck" in a negative way. I think what he may have meant is that your perspective at the time of thinking you were ugly is actually what sucked.
0 Replies
 
Doktor S
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Mar, 2006 12:47 pm
Wolf_ODonnell wrote:
Heph, Dok, thanks guys. Your words are really encouraging and inspiring.

Hi Wolf.
I calls 'em like I sees 'em.


Quote:

"You suck, yet are attractive!"
What kind of guy starts off his rant of encouraging words with "You suck"?

Given the nature of your sexual preference, he may have just been speaking literally? Razz
0 Replies
 
Treya
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Mar, 2006 12:49 pm
OMG Bwaaaaaaaaaa hahaha!
0 Replies
 
Ashers
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Mar, 2006 01:57 pm
Laughing ^

---------------

Yeah I know someone who seemed to go through a period of a few years were I always just had that feeling that he was in a shell of sorts. I guess he was just working through things at the time because he started to become more and more outgoing and comfortable with himself and I thought and still think, great for him, I really do.
0 Replies
 
Treya
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Mar, 2006 10:02 pm
Honestly speaking Ashers, I think to a certain extent we are all in a shell of some sort. Some people just choose to stick their necks out a little further than others, and I think that's ok. Even the fact that you said you do try to fit certain molds, it's ok. It's a part of life. I'm talking more about maturity here than just fitting into certain "social" molds or whatever. If I were going to a nice restaurant I would would wear a nice dress because that is the environment I am in. Some restaurants won't even let you in if you tried to show up in jeans. I don't feel that's necessarily trying to fit a mold, because I'm still me, I'm just being respectful of the environment I am in.

I'm talking more about people deciding there are certain boundaries you must fit in to be "acceptable" to them. That's why I talked about high school. That is how things were done. If you wanted to fit into certain "groups" you behaved a certain way. Same with church. If you want to be accepted you behave a certain way, or else be labeled a "sinner". To behave a certain way in order to gain someone's acceptance is childish. Once again, let me say that I know I have done this at times. We are all human and want to be liked. It is a crime against no one besides yourself to act a certain way in order to get people to like you.

If someone can't like you for who you are they don't really like you at all. They like who THEY want you to be. That is how someone loses their individuality. I will respect my environment. For example, if someone tells me they don't like smileys I won't use them when I respond to that person out of respect for them. To do otherwise would be blatant disrespect for their feelings. However I will still use them with people who don't mind them, because I like them too. I haven't changed who I am for that person. I am just being respectful of their wishes.

However, if that other person never says, "Hey, I don't like smileys." but instead just chooses to sit back and get irritated every time I use them and make snide little comments about it, that person is indirectly trying to shape my behavior. That is the kind of thing that used to be done in high school. That is what I will not bend to, nor will I feel bad for doing something that irritates someone else if they don't have enough respect for me to say, "Hey, I don't like that." People shouldn't be able to shape who we are as an individual. We can be respectful of their likes and dislikes though without changing who we are. Do you see what I'm saying?
0 Replies
 
Ashers
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Mar, 2006 05:08 pm
Yeah I know what you're saying, I agree completely. I'm talking about these boundaries that you need to operate within too. I guess I'm talking about a specific case of this "fitting into a mold" which is high school though because there were so many examples of it. Much of what I'll say sometimes will be based indirectly/directly on my own experiences of high school because to be honest, it was a real eye opener for me. I was quite naive going into that period of my life, I guess it set me on a new path as it were.

Personally speaking I really appreciate individuality, uniqueness and quirkiness, I often tend to gravitate more towards very happy, bubbly, jokey people. I dread to think how these people would act if they changed their persona to suit my perceived needs/feelings. I like your religion example (being labelled a sinner etc) because, to me, it's simply a way of interpreting the world and life in as black and white a way as possible. People are so diverse, again to me, that should create a diversity of living standards, beliefs and opinions. There's always more than one way to do something, it seems backwards to lay down "God's" laws (note I'm not calling God into question here but man's interpretation) to shape everyone's actions to fit into a desired framework. Life is diverse and we should embrace life.

The most important thing in my mind is when I see two people who may in some ways be quite different, they may hold opposing views on a variety of subjects but these two people treat each other with respect and decency. When these two people become two thousand and when two thousand becomes two million etc then we'll be getting somewhere. I think this whole paragraph ties back in with embracing diversity, becoming comfortable with opposing views etc. Actually arguing, not to recruit someone to your own beliefs, not to brainwash someone or to stamp on someones ideas just enough that they'll be so shattered that they'll never bother you again...but to further said persons knowledge of both sides of the argument.
0 Replies
 
Treya
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Mar, 2006 07:27 pm
Wow Ashers that was awesome. I agree 100%
0 Replies
 
 

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