Healthy Self Forgetting

Because of the conquest of humanity by the spirit of the self, the self-will and self pleasing, we end up in one degree or another wanting an advantage over our sister and brother, so we all go in suspicion and fear of one another.
It’s popular to talk about ourselves and what we can do make us better. After all, we have self checkout, self-government, self confidence, self esteem and in abundant supply: self care.
How did we end up focusing so much on ourselves that we forgot the whole.  Often it starts early:
If we think badly about ourselves…
If we pick up the opinions of other people have of us,
If we had parents disapprove of us, or we just didn’t fulfill their expectations
If we grew up with conflicting images of who we are,
If we were not affirmed
All of this makes it hard to accept who we are.
Our reaction is to develop defenses against these unrealistic expectations and false identities,
Our reactions come in a form of comparison or “they think they are better than me,” and we spend our whole lives countering a lack of self esteem by doing something totally inappropriate or time consuming just to prove the opposite of what we were mistreated or bullied for.
To be sure a lot of achievement in this world is because of this – to prove to others that we are not the opinion we’ve allowed them to give us.
But what if our identity can be enhanced and strengthened by being other centered. By a healthy self-forgetting. By focusing on the community and their needs and not just our own?
We are created for more than ourselves and more than safety and more than comparison. We are active participants in this world and this kingdom, and the next. We are here to help one another. The Hebrew word for that is tzedakah. Generally this is a term for helping the poor, but at the root it means justice and fairness. It’s a lot to think about, but worth the effort.

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