I’m Not Nice

christianity

Sometimes I feel like people think I’m far nicer than I really am. And that concerns me. Because I live with myself every second of every day and I can tell you with complete assurance that I am most certainly not a nice person.

I know you’re probably thinking, “she’s being over critical” or “anyone could say the same thing.” But I’m serious. I’m not a nice person. If I could connect a loud-speaker to the part of my brain that produces thought and blast my thoughts out to the world, you would see how not nice I am.

Now, I’m not denying that everyone thinks mean thoughts at some point. What I’m saying is I don’t think people realize how much I have to filter myself on a regular basis in order not to come off as a judgmental jerk.

I just don’t want people thinking that I’m this super sweet person when I’m not. Or that I’m some goodie-two-shoes with nothing bad to say about anyone. Because that’s not true. At any given moment I can present to you a list of 10 things I don’t like about a person – and that’s before I have time to really think about it.

My complete understanding of the brokeness of my innermost character is what enables me to fully embrace the Christian faith. If an Intelligent Creator exists, I know that I have failed Him. And I continue to fail Him every day. Because with every positive step forward in my journey of humanity, I end up taking a giant leap backwards as my faulty nature takes control again. If He requires penitence and reparation, I will never redeem myself on my own. I can’t. That is why I thank God every moment of every day for sending His son to die in my place.

So, every day when I catch myself in a moment of weakness, when my sinful nature is fully exposed to me and I realize how much of a not-nice person I am, I step back and thank God that I’m not in charge of my own salvation. In spite of myself, I have been redeemed. That’s Grace. And it’s something worth believing.

The Hedgehog’s Dilemma

Everyday, Ponderings

I’ve recently discovered my new favorite animal: the hedgehog. I had no clue why I was so drawn to these creatures, so, in classic Haley manner, I decided to do some intense research (via the Wikipedia).

Hedgehogs are adorable little animals that look a lot like miniature porcupines – cute, adorable little porcupines. Just search for hedgehogs on YouTube and you’ll understand their cuteness – especially the one swimming in a bathtub.

They are pretty neat creatures. They are nocturnal and are almost complete insectivores (which means they eat a lot of bugs). They also have sharp quills on their backs that make them look more intimidating than they really are. The spines aren’t poisonous, just sharp and prickly. They have soft underbellies though (which you can see in the hedgehog bathtub video). When threatened or frightened, they roll up into tight balls, causing their spines to point outwards. Sadly, some species are endangered. And that bewilders me, because who really wants to destroy these things?

Despite their inherent cuteness, hedgehogs have a slight problem. They cannot touch each other, even when necessary. When it gets really cold, a group of hedgehogs will try to group together to share each other’s warmth, but, their sharp, spiny backs prevent them from ever touching. And so, they must remain apart.

This concept really disturbed me. And then, I realized why I have a strange fascination with the hedgehog…

I am one.

Schopenhauer and Freud used the hedgehog’s inability to touch to create a social theory called the Hedgehog’s Dilemma. They argued that human intimacy cannot occur without substantial mutual harm. They also use it to explain introversion and isolationism. I use it to explain my fear of relationships.

Since moving away and starting my own life, I’ve discovered a few things about myself. 1.) I can put on an amazingly good show of being confident in myself even though I’m often not, and, 2.) I’m really good at finding everything there is to know about someone without letting them know a single thing about me. In other words, I put up a lot of quills. And no matter how much I want to be close to someone, my quills get in the way. I think I do this because, despite my hard exterior, I have a really soft underbelly and I don’t want to get hurt. That’s why, when threatened, you’ll often find me in a tight, little ball, keeping others out.

And that is what I call, the Haley Dilemma.

And I’m trying to work on that.

Friends Happen.

Everyday, Ponderings

It always amazes me how one meets friends. Sometimes you know the instant you meet that you’ll be thick as thieves. Others times, you’re laughing milk out your noses together and you stop and you think, “I think we’re friends now.” Most times, it just happens. There’s no transition, no growth stage, no schedule. You’re friends and that’s all you need to know.

People say you can’t pick your friends and that’s only partly true. I’ve made a lot of new friends over the past six months. Some, I sought out. Others practically knocked down my door. I think that friendship is a desire to walk through life with someone. You don’t have to have everything in common. You don’t have to be from the same background. You don’t even have to like the same things. You must simply both have the shared desire to help each other grow into better people. And the willingness to get dragged through mud together. Thick, sticky, warm mud.

In the end, God made us to be in community with other people. And this was a lesson that was hard for me to learn. My nature is to hide up in my tower and close myself off to the world. Partly because I don’t like to be vulnerable, but mostly because it’s just easier to be alone. I used to think that I could do it all by myself. I had friends, of course, but I saw them as accessories, like something you were supposed to have. Now I know that they are something we, as humans, need.

Throughout my life, I’ve had friends come and go. There have been fights and misunderstandings and laughs and embarrassing homemade videos. Although some friendships ended in heartbreak and despair, I choose to believe that I’ve learned something from every one of them, whether that be about relationships in general or about myself. Really, I think friendships, true friendships, are God’s way of showing us glimpses of himself.

Me Against The World

Rant

THE WORLD:
If I haven’t found The One, I’m not trying hard enough.
If I don’t have a boyfriend, I’m running out of time.
If I’m not interested in a guy, I must not be interested in guys.
If I’ve never been on a date, my standards are too high.
If no one asks me out, I’m not putting myself out there.
If I like being single, I must be antisocial.
If I’ve never been in love, I must be heartless.
If I’m not looking, I must be crazy.

MY WORLD:
If I’m not looking, it’s because I want to be pursued.
If I’ve never been in love, it’s because I know what true love is.
If I like being single, it’s because I know I don’t need a man to be happy.
If no one asks me out, it’s because God is protecting my heart.
If I’m not interested in a guy, it’s because I’m waiting for a man of God.
If I have high standards, it’s because they are God’s standards.
If I don’t have a boyfriend, it’s because God has something better planned.
If I haven’t found The One, it’s because He’s not of this world.