Recently I found myself somewhat preoccupied as I was getting ready to go out to a meeting or party, or event… “gee I’m not sure I really want to go…no one will notice if I go or not…I’m pretty tired….maybe I should just stay home…bla,bla,bla.” Well, I usually go ahead and go and have a good time, but it takes me some time to “get into the flow”. I don’t know if this has ever happened to you.
Well, I thought I should take some time to pray and think why this seems to be happening more frequently. Certainly there are a number of externals I can point to as possible causes… e.g. our recent quarantine with Covid, the crazy daily news reports, deaths of several friends, and the ongoing attacks of the “world, flesh, and the devil”.
Nevertheless, I also decided to ask the advice of a good priest friend during a recent confession. He mentioned “self- absorption”. Yikes, I don’t like the sound of that. This is an old enemy that has harassed me in the past, often under other names such as pride and self-concern, and self-centeredness. Rats, I thought I had dealt with that issue. But like pealing an onion, there’s always another layer… always the need to go deeper.
So, I did look up self-absorption to try and understand it a bit more. I saw an article entitled “15 Signs of Self-Absorbed People”. (ref.Casey Imafidon) The author mentioned “ always being on the defensive, feeling insecure, thinking you’re superior to others, tending to devalue others, extremely opinionated, hiding insecurities behind a cloak of success, I’m great and the world is wrong, etc.” The author ended with “ When you recognize the above signs, consider that you may be dealing with a self-absorbed person – or you may be one yourself. And if you realize that you’re actually one, it’s never too late to change.”
Well, I’m not sure even Adolf Hitler exhibited all 15 traits of these traits all the time and I don’t think I do…yet, it’s not a bad exam to take during Advent. When convicted of some of these signs, we can change. Even the secular world reminds us that we can change. The good news for us is that we have the Holy Spirit to help us.
One key things that can help is “looking to love and serve someone else”. Serving others takes the focus off of myself. Holy Spirit, show me how to serve my spouse or my children, or a friend who is in need. Lord, how can I help that person… pray for them, fast for them, give alms. Lord give me empathy for them and their needs. So many are suffering. Lord help me to help them. It’s amazing how when the focus shifts to my neighbor, I become less self-absorbed. And when I’m less self- absorbed, I’m happier.
Advent is a good time for some healthy self examination and some change. If we do this, I predict that we will have a wonderful Advent and Christmas season. And that is very good news.
Hey, I’m looking forward to seeing you at the next event.