If I made “me” the star of my show, it would be a detonating bomb of a life.
I’ve made it about me several times before. Held a tight grip on establishing my image, my presence, my accomplishments.
What I found every time, was that it never worked. I’d fizzle out and end up frustrated with myself. Self-confidence abandoned, I’d no longer believe in my ability or level of discipline.
Our own ego is an unsustainable motivator. It also has the effect of a dangerous drug: riding feel-good highs with a short fuel supply that quickly sends you plummeting with nothing substantial to grasp onto.
I see it (and the destruction) in the lives of those around me as well. In this selfie-culture we live in where everyone’s self-esteem runs as a short fuse waiting to burst at any ounce of possible offense. Our psyche’s now trained by the programs and algorithms of these monetizing businesses that is “social media”. Geared to only focus on self, specifically, ourselves that take priority over others.
If you don’t believe me, just scroll through your platforms and try to find people still celebrating others, complimenting others, or uplifting others as the focus of their own posts. I’m not saying it’s not out there entirely. But what’s most promoted are the posts focused on the person that posted it, because that’s the structure of social media. I’m not saying that I’m any exception.
Developing this mindset doesn’t just harm you, but it eventually starts to make you hyper-defensive, quick to retaliate against loved-ones, sometimes even through aggression. It cultivates the lie that says “all my problems are everyone else’s fault,” because blaming others becomes the only sensical purpose that others fulfill in your life.
I’ve been a huge Will Smith fan my whole life, and seeing his latest negative publicity makes me sad. As a fan, I’m biased to have his back but also…
I can’t help but wonder if all the (self-created or external) accolades he’s recently received with his new autobiography, pride looking back over his life, and Oscar-winning films has caused him to behave more aggressively than he would’ve in previous stages of his life. After all, he was defending an image connected to himself, ie his wife.
I know for myself, I had to turn from this focus of self-centered thinking if I wanted to truly get healthy.
My “good” days:
I wake up, stretch, walk with God, go for a run, and read/watch something uplifting (therapeutic, scriptural, humorous). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to have a good day and do those things just because I knew I needed to for myself.
Rather, the only way it gets done: I have to think about how everyone around me would benefit from it if I did those things. How future children, family, clients, teams would need the version of me that’s healthy (physical and mental). The “me” that’s able to show up and be productive in this world.
It shocked me at first, that this perspective was the true motivation to get me to actually achieve these habits. It’s because I have to care about something outside of myself in order to do the action.
And if we don’t have that kind of compassion, we have nothing.
I have to check myself daily, letting God intervene, to effectively take care of myself as well as those around me from a place of pure love (and responsibility). No judgements, no ulterior motives, no selfishness. Just love. With the world we live in, we have to be that intentional about it.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no greater commandment than these.” Mark 12:30-31