Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Why is it always about you

Well, It's dead of winter. Lot's of time to think here in the deep freeze of the great white north. I'm  guessing posts from June to October are usually much about nature and beauty and all God is doing.  And I've not researched it, but I'm guessing there are a heck of a lot more introspective cathartic posts during the winter months from "frozen" destinations.

My last post on N.Y.Eve was pretty cathartic and I re-read it the other day to see if I'd learned anything in the last few months from myself. Geeesh ... should I really say that. HA!, it's a blog, So...  now here's a post on Narcissism. Yup, you should be laughing at that flow of thought as I'm typing.... I am. :)

Sandy Hotchkiss  wrote this great book that a therapist gave me not to long ago. And to make it better the Psychologist said with a wry smile and raised eyebrow "read this and don't think of others.. put the shoe on Your foot Craig".  So i dove in and read it that week.   Her advice to me was great because honestly, i saw the faces of most the people in my phone book as I read,  and had to constantly re-read sections and think about "me". 
Her explanations of narcissism founded by the age of two is worth the read in itself for every parent.

 Narcissism.  Wow, Wish I would have read up on the depth of this years ago.  I thought it was all about ego manics for 40yrs.

I must admit that I found my faith in Christ at a time in the early 70's when  seeing therapists was a sign of spiritual weakness and immaturity. You could get any answer and healing by just prayer and reading the Word, combined with a local pastor and a church counselor.  OMG have we learned a lot in 40 years of ministry... Long live the professional counselors.  
That's not to dismiss the potential help of a local church and pastor or church para ministry, but, I'd do a professional any day and follow it up with a good local support group..not... the other way around. 

OK, yes there are exceptions. I'm sure you are one of them and that's ok. Let's move on.

I remember entertaining and doing the opening premier  of the George and Ira Gershwin show in Charleston S.C. a few years ago with an incredible group of musicians and singers from around the country.  Sold out shows, so the ushers had a lot of work to do. 
  Well there was a grey haired man in his 70s' one night working the doors and I asked him what he did for a living.  He was the Sr. Pastor of a mega church and just loved the theatre, and loved giving back to that community.. How COOL!  So i point blank asked him. " How do you handle counseling folks from your church pastor?".  With a twinkling smile he said " I counseled the first couple in my church 40+years ago, and after it was done I knew all their secrets and they left my church in fear I'd out them. So I've never counseled another couple. They all get referred to a list of professionals.  Doesn't mean I  don't  meet with, and pray for my flock mind you, just that we refer them to professionals."  whoo hoo. Thank you Jesus.

So let me circle my thoughts now.

My NYEve post talked a bit about this book and unconditional love and what it isn't..
Today I'd add and submit this.

I would submit that good people raised around good people, who make good choices and are lifted up for this behavior, naturally tend to develop a sense of self-righteousness.  
To live a life like Jesus would be the greatest thing we could do, and in many ways living a holy life IS Jesus. Except were not Him...

As mortals if we let our righteousness become self-righteousness and then surround ourselves with people who think like us.  we have great lives in our closed communities until we are "wronged", "sinned against", "betrayed". There is a chemical reaction when Self-righteousness meets those words.  It's intoxicating, and powerful and dark.  It's called Entitlement.  Yup "dark ...a very dark .. word.

We use it a lot in the natural sense of  politics and welfare and in discussions of spoiled children and younger generations,  but I'd submit within the household of faith and all things God, that it's way darker than in it's secular definitions. 

If you let spiritual entitlement enter your being in any way, it will justify every self-righteous vile, evil, angry, depressing, hate filled thought you can think of about those that didn't live up to your expectations of them by hurting you.  You won't see your thoughts as evil, but as justified. Since you are a good (righteous) person, you didn't or don't deserve to be treated or wronged or betrayed or just plain sinned against. You are entitled to better. Your self-righteous self tells you all this in a convincing way.. Really convincing. Funny however that the world sees that personality trait of Entitlement and self-righteousness in the church and runs from it, knowing it's not Christ but using it as an excuse to run from Him.

I've been there, done that. Rode that horse on both sides of the fence. Don't like it and want to expose it for what it is. A Killer of all things good and destroyer of Unconditional love.

So that's it for today. Seek it out, look for that darkness, expose it in the light of this thought.

I don't deserve anything in life. I work for things, and yes I receive  things for my labor. But all good comes from God,  and godly principles applied to my life. Anything good I receive is a blessing. Any perceived or unperceived wrong done to me is part of my journey. (accept it!) The success in that is, am I able to either move on after every hurt and failure to victory and freedom or be paralyzed in hurt, anger, fear, bitterness, loneliness, depression all wrapped in that beautifully dark word "Entitled"?

Jesus, today,  help us to drop the " I deserve" and change it to "Father Forgive them ... "

I promise Spring is coming, and I'll begin uplifting happy blogs of life, and the outdoors, and laughter and the beauty of all God's creation!