On Self-Absorption

In this particular phase of my quest to find myself, I hibernate as much as possible, only coming out to go to work, spend time with my boyfriend, go to church or other self-help-related events, and hike or bike. I don’t want to talk to people. I don’t want to do the things I’ve been taught to do, which is to be helpful to others, to give of my time. Already I’m nervous about the plans I made to spend a few days with my best friend’s parents in Florida, and a couple weeks later to spend a few days with my sister and stepfather in North Carolina, and then after that to spend a few days with my other sister and her kids in New Mexico. I love them all so much, and want to be with them, but I crave alone time.

In Wayne Dyer’s book Your Sacred Self, he writes that the ego is driven by self-absorption, and if we want to grow we need to get outside of ourselves and spend time with others, being helpful by giving of our time and being active listeners. One example he gives is to reduce the use of the word “I.” One thing I learned a long time ago in creative writing classes was to avoid starting too many sentences with “I,” advice that I pay little attention to these days in this blog, along with other rules such as ending sentences with prepositions, mainly because I want to write uninhibited without concern about the outcome, because if I worried about all the details and spent too much time editing and perfecting I’d never post anything.

My default feeling is to be self-absorbed, but lately I’m finding it easier not to be. I am beginning to realize I can spend time helping customers at work without stressing out about everything else that needs to be done, because customer service is what the bosses want us to make our top priority. My boss, who does not believe in God, and who has confided that she has anxiety issues, has the utmost patience with customers. When I’m feeling spiritually superior to others, I get these reminders that my teachers are people who may be on a different spiritual path than I am, that everyone has their own path.

When my boyfriend’s kids came to visit last month, it was nice to let them talk about themselves, and to realize I’m one of the adults now. I didn’t think they were insensitive for not asking about my mom, because they’re kids, and don’t have enough life experience to know what to say in this situation, nor does anyone who hasn’t experienced it.

I’m not sure how Dyer’s viewpoint on self-absorption translates to my need for alone time and my tendency towards introversion. Nor do I know what to do about the fact that I want to write, yet I’m only motivated to write about myself. Meanwhile wars are being fought, children are going hungry, natural disasters are happening, animals are being abused… I don’t want to judge myself for my pain when I live a privileged life compared to most people in the world, and I want to acknowledge that I’m having a human experience like all other human beings out there. But at the same time, it’s time to practice being helpful to others. I hope that my writing can in some way be an inspiration, and I feel honored when I see someone else out there who lives, for example, in a war-torn country, and has such a different life experience from me, but yet likes my post. My post. Little old me! Or when someone likes my post who is 20 years younger, or older, or a different race, or has different political or religious beliefs. Because the truth is we’re all human, or rather, as Dyer believed, and I also believe, that we’re all souls sharing a human experience.

This song came on my Spotify “Discover Weekly” playlist, which plays songs similar to others I’ve listened to with the idea that I’d like this one too, and indeed, this is a gorgeous song with beautiful lyrics here. I’ve never heard this band before, but this song is so poetic.

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