Faith

Selfish to Selfless

I’ve had something on my mind that I just cant seem to shake…You know that sinking feeling after you’ve said or done something you wish you hadn’t; could be stupid, tmi, unnecessary or simply misunderstood? This inner monologue is exhausting; “I hate the mistakes I’ve made. You talk too much. Crap! That came out wrong. They must think i’m (fill in the blank). Do they know im different now?” Then you wrestle with the embarrassment or guilt following the inconsiderate banter, apologizing, then feeling dumb for apologizing (because they really don’t care).

Taste something funny? It’s your foot…you just put it in your mouth.

I can’t say that everyone has this struggle festering within their conscience; I know a hand-full of people who didn’t learn things the hard way and would rather change the subject than divulge opinions on controversial topics. The funny thing is…don’t we all LOVE these people? The ones who validate every feeling you’ve ever had and save you from the struggle of remembering what you want to say-while you wait for them to finish their story (don’t act like you haven’t done this).

We regret the things we say more often than the things we don’t.

Ironically, this entire post is a result of a ridiculous condition I call “nervous chatter”. You know, when you keep talking in hopes that the next thing you say will make up for the previous word-vomit. Aye yai yai! Writing verses reading, talking-about verses talking-with, and sharing instead of asking…sounds kind of self-centered, right? Right!

I digress…

Its only natural to over analyse ourselves; “We are our worse critic”. But what is the cause of the neurosis?  I figured the best way to get a grip was to shut-up and read. Not by accident, my bookmark was placed right where I needed it:

Heb 9:14 “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”

I instantly felt much better! As easy as it is for us to over analyse ourselves, we also expect some kind of consequence or punishment for being stupid.  There are things I do and say that are less than perfect, however, if He said “My mercy is renewed every morning,” He must have known we would need it every-day. Shame, regret or trying to be perfect make it hard to feel transformed, but is the objective of living a forgiven life demonstrating perfection?  Thank God the answer to that question is “no”.

Andy Mineo – Superhuman
I am not a superhuman though
I am a man
so the grace that I talk about on all my records
I need it for myself
cause really I’m just a mess
finding rest from the pressures of perfection
as I stand up on this platform they expectin’
me to be a man without flaws
that’s false

The more we read and listen, we find a common calling…complete and total selflessness: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” My father-in-law furthered this conviction with a timely email summarizing Dale Carnegie’s advice in the best selling book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People“:

Don’t criticize, condemn or complain
Give honest and sincere appreciation
Arouse in the other person an eager want
Become genuinely interested in people
SMILE

A person’s name is the most important word in the English language
Be a good listener, encourage people to talk about themselves.
Talk in terms of the other persons interests
Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely

So, after a metaphorical swift-kick, I found closure in the obvious…get over yourself!Habitual selflessness leads to renewed thinking and comes with benefits; freedom from self-inflicted anxiety, fewer metaphorical swift-kicks, learning from & getting to know the hearts of others. So, please –oh please- tell me about yourself, because you are far more interesting than this broken-record.

 What’s Next?
We’re going back to Florida!

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Erin (@herheartland)
    August 29, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    I love this! Thanks so much for sharing. I’m working on being more selfless. It’s hard!

  • Reply
    neodyssey
    August 30, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    I think that thinking of yourself properly is a challenge – to not be too proud or falsely humble. I definitely hope that I speak kindness and truth!

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