My pastor had a very interesting sermon this weekend about how, in life, we sometimes become self-absorbed. I'm certainly guilty of this in many ways, and on some level I suppose I can blame it on being an only child. But I think in a larger sense, we all see the world from our own perspective, and can't help that point-of-view, at least not without some conscious effort. The priest spoke of various examples of people being so self-absorbed that they miss their surroundings. A woman in traffic(which he quickly changed to a a “man” mid-story so he wouldn't get in trouble, even though it really was a woman) needed to change lanes, and stopped right in the middle of the road, nearly causing an accident. People at mass, seeing friends they haven't seen in a while, sometimes strike up conversations, competing with the services. In a movie theater, someone might answer a cell phone. Ultimately, the priest didn't see these actions as evil, but they were all examples of being self-absorbed. It was a nice lead-in to the problems Haiti is facing, and how people might ask “What about us?” and not see where the need for help is greatest.

In an ironically self-absorbed manner, it all helped put my own recent ”woes” in perspective, even if I was already coming to terms with it. I guess everyone could see that it wasn't that big a deal, and I thank you for wading through my melodrama. I was so caught up in the “what's wrong with me?” or “Where did I go wrong?” aspect of the situation, that I missed one crucial detail:

I'm not the only variable in the equation.

I wasn't really thinking about her, and what might be going on in her life or her mind. She might be just as wary of a long distance thing as I am, might have some past experience that makes her cautious. Maybe she's already on the verge of being involved with someone else. Maybe she's just not into me, which doesn't mean I suck so much as I simply wasn't what she was looking for. Instead of beating myself up, I should have been looking for answers outside myself, actually listening, or rather reading, what she had to say on her page. And there has been the occasional public comment from her that something I wrote was funny, even if she never answered the private message. So I guess I did make a new friend, and that's cool. There were points in the past week in which I considered “unfriending” her and breaking all contact, but I think that would have been foolish and extreme. She's an interesting person worth knowing, and I'm not the type of person to kick over my blocks and go home. Okay, I am that person, but I'm working on that this year, along with my self-confidence. Just as I need to run six miles a day to maintain my physical health, so too do I need to make an effort for my mental health.

Part of that health process is typing out my thoughts, so I apologize if this seems like beating a dead horse. Once I stopped worrying about my own feelings, I felt pretty good. A true friend isn't someone who roots for himself, but for the person he cares about. I'm happy if past crushes end up with decent guys who treat them right. I'm glad my ex is married with twins; always thought she'd make a great mother. “When are you gonna make stuff happen for yourself?” asked one of my more self-absorbed friends when I told him that last bit about my ex a few months ago. In talking with another buddy last night about my current situation, he told me all women are a little nuts. Honestly, I think we're all nuts. We all have fears and doubts and insecurities. We do things to make each other crazy, and we're all a little crazy to begin with. And we're all made in God's image, so let that implication sink in. Crazy.

I think I can sum this all up with two quotes:

”Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen. I'm telling you. Amazing things will happen. I'm telling you. It's just true.”-Conan O'Brien

”Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”-Ferris Bueller

Look outside yourself for enlightenment, and look often.


Anonymous Krispy said...

I already kinda liked Conan, but I became a full-on fan over the past two weeks. And that final show closer that you quoted was really something special.

I've never thought of you as a self absorbed person. In fact, I never think about you at all... too busy thinking about myself. ;)

1/26/2010 1:10 AM  
Anonymous MCF said...

LOL. I just find the notion that low self-esteem is in fact a form of self-absorption to be fascinating. That kind of thinking can help me flip off the wallowing.

Meanwhile, she was having some conversation with her friend last night about doing something with the "book" her friend made her buy, and then they took the conversation to a private inbox and I got my hopes up because book was in quotes. Been checking my inbox all morning but after nearly 10 days, I need to accept this and stop getting my hopes up. Not healthy to keep going to this girl's page because I'm going to read into everything. :/

1/26/2010 12:12 PM  

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