Mediocre No More

Everywhere I turn lately, I hear or read the message of living life fully, following your passions and going big in following those passions. I love this message. I have spoken these very messages to friends and acquaintances numerous times. The thing is, it is completely uncomfortable to think about this same message applying to my life and me. I didn’t even think it was a possibility.

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One reason for this thinking on my part is because I don’t know what I’m passionate about or what talents I possess. Everything I’ve done or attempted in my life has, at some point, been ridiculed and/or I was told, usually with no semblance of gentleness, that I didn’t do said thing well. I was told I didn’t speak well, write well, anything creative I did was mediocre, I couldn’t sing, I wasn’t a good friend and so on. I came to understand recently that this was a method of trying to shut me down and control what I said and did. However, knowing that to be true, I still don’t know how to shut down those messages. When words are said to you throughout your life, it can, and often does, become, at the very least, an inner voice telling you that same message over and over again. I refer to them as the recordings in my head. Whatever the situation or opportunity, I have at least one, usually more, recordings I can play to “remind” me how I’m not capable of doing whatever there is to be done. It’s hard to separate reality from the words spoken only to control.

These kinds of comments were said to me so often that I came up with the mantra that I was ‘God’s example of mediocrity’. I said this to myself often and, eventually, I started to say the words out loud. I truly believed this to be true. I couldn’t tell you one thing that I did well, but I could figure out how to do most things if given the time and opportunity to do so. I have no idea if that makes any sense to anyone, but it’s the way I started to live my life. I didn’t even attempt to try to become good at anything.

To be honest, it was a protection for me because I no longer hoped to excel at anything. I just worked to do whatever I did to the best of my ability. I fully expected for something to be found wrong with everything I did or how I did it and my mantra helped me not be hurt or knocked down when it actually happened. I know this is a very negative and defeating way to look at life, but it really did help me not feel totally beaten down when someone else said it. There isn’t much excitement in living this way. I could never feel accomplishment or be fulfilled by a job well done because I would then either be setting myself up for a knock down or would be arrogant or prideful in thinking about how I did something well. It has been like living in a self-contained cell.

But God doesn’t want anyone to live in a cell of lies and hurtful, condemning words. God is trying to break through this prison in which I live. As I said at the beginning, over the past month, I have had so many stories, sayings, things I have read, passing comments come across my path, etc. that I can’t ignore. This is often how God gets me to hear things that I have closed myself off from taking in. A few of the biggest examples are:

  • My youngest has decided that he wanted us to listen to the book by the You Tube guys, Dude Perfect, called “Go Big”. It is a book about following your passions and going big in pursuing those dreams.
  • A Bible study I am doing made mention of the gifts God gives all of us and then made the statement that God gives us the gift of a talent and our gift back to Him is using that talent.
  • A book I am reading has turned out to be a book all about following your passions with the gifts God has given you to make a difference to teach and serve others.
  • The kicker one for me, though, and the one that made me sure that this definite series of “coincidences” was a message for me was when I was cutting the grass this week and a song came on my iTunes from Mercy Me called “Goodbye Ordinary”. There is a line in it that says, “We were never meant to compromise, settle for mediocrity.” That word coming through loud and clear in my ears hit me hard. I listened to it several times and my mantra began running through my mind. I knew I needed to reconsider my thoughts.

As I’ve tried to think this through, I just keep coming back to knowing that no one can be bad at absolutely everything. It just isn’t possible. God doesn’t make anything or anyone mediocre. Every person has value. There is a reason God put each and every person on this planet. He has great plans for each one of us. Every person, born or unborn, has a purpose for why they were given life and every person can make a difference.

I gave up the idea of having any dreams for myself so long ago. It is truly a foreign idea to me, but I feel it is time for that to change. I feel a glimmer of hope and a twinge of excitement at the thought of a chance at a future for myself. I realize now that by giving up my dreams so long ago I had also given up the possibility of having a future filled with joy and a passion for life. I don’t want to live life that way anymore.

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