“Egotism is pathological self-obsession, a reaction to anxiety about whether one really does count. It is a form of acute self-consciousness and can be prevented and healed only by the experience of being adequately loved. It is, indeed, a desperate response to frustration of the need we all have to count for something and be held to be irreplaceable, with price.” Dallas Willard – The Divine Conspiracy
When I was a child I remember making up these grand ideas of how I was so great at something in order to make myself feel like I was someone. The stories I came up with were absolutely ridiculous and now thinking back on them I find them quite funny, yet sad all at the same time. For example, I use to like to tape movies, being that DVDs were not invented yet. I would be able to get 3 movies per tape and I would take such pride in the order and organization of them. I remember going on and on dreaming about how people would stumble upon my tapes and would be just blown away at how good I was at taping them. I would dream about hero moments of being hoisted up on shoulders and wondrous chants being said in name of Shawn the amazing taper. Silly I know and looking back on this I am almost embarrassed to even confess it, being how stupid it is in light of real achievement. But the truth is I wanted to just feel important. I wanted to be loved. I wanted to just know that someone thought I was all right.
I grew up with my grand parents and even though I know they loved me very much, they didn’t love me the way I needed to be loved. I needed Parents that cared about my heart and while mine were off somewhere mostly likely getting high I never knew what that was like. I grew up affirming myself. I grew up dreaming grand Ideas of who I wish I were. I was never good at anything, never the kid who made it, never the athlete, never the straight A student, I was never cool, never funny, I wasn’t even a good nerd, I just was. And so I would make up these, to me, glorious achievements, of how I was someone. You see I felt so unloved, or even a better way of putting it is that I felt unlovable. That was the definition I came up with to explain my parent’s departure. And so I lived a bigger part of my life living in a fantasyland that took me to a place of deep self-obsession. I even to this day struggle with thoughts of self-worth. I am trying to learn how to reprogram my mind and heart. Hoping that someday that when the storms of “self-worth” flood in, the rock of “true-worth” will out weigh and I will be able to stand firm in the fact that I am uniquely made and deeply loved void of fantasy. It is one thing to say you believe these things, like being loved, but it is another to actually live in a way that proves it. I say I believe god loves me and my, oh so small life issues, but the fact I didn’t have a father makes relating to “God the father” a very hard thing for me to grasp.
I have been reading “The Divine Conspiracy – By Dallas Willard”. A really deep and slow read but very profound. That being said I wanted to state another quote that I think goes along the lines of reprogramming our hearts.
“So any significant change can come only by breaking the stranglehold of the ideas and concepts that automatically shunt aside Jesus, “the Prince of Life” when questions of concrete mastery of our life arise.” Dallas Willard
I am finding I have lots of strangleholds. That I have grown up believing life is one way but I am finding that my believe system to quickly falling apart. That the survival modes that I used to pull my self through the pains of childhood are the very things that are killing my life and the ones I love around me today. The self-centeredness that saved my heart from dieing as a child is now my greatest enemy. I think the only hope for life is on the movement of our father to bring us out of the shell of self. It is only there that flesh and blood separate and it is by the blood that we have life.