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But Enough About Me, What Do You Think About Me?

March 1, 2006

I’ve been convicted lately about my “Narcissistic Personality Disorder.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissistic_personality_disorder

Anybody want to start a recovery group? Not only is it sin, but it seems to be the major cause of sadness. Exaggerated needs for affirmation, difficulties in empathizing, worry about what others think of ME, worry about how every contingency might adversely affect MY personal comfort.

Here’s some verses with which I’ve been busted lately…

Romans 12:15-16 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be conceited.

Proverbs 3:7-8 Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

Romans 15:1-3 We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.”

Meditating on that last verse especially can lead us out of ourselves and into worshipping Christ, which is the ultimate cure. O that I might more steadfastly know this joy of self-forgetfulness!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 1, 2006 9:25 am

    It’s a good question: Why are we so afraid?

    According to the wikipedia article, it is often caused by childhood trauma or abuse, a defense mechanism to hide the true self from the ravages of the pain outside.

    If I understand all this correctly, it would seem that having superhuman expectations of oneself would require an exhausting diligence to maintain. Because we are not, in fact, superhuman, but merely human, any situation that threatens to reveal this truth must be vigorously defended against. And because we are merely human, we will fail in this task again and again.

    This is a great mercy, I think, at least for us who are not too far gone. To really believe the superhuman lie, to really take it to heart, would require doing a terrible violence to the mind, heart, and conscience. It can be done; we really are capable of damaging ourselves to the point of believing insane things. But I’m thankful that reality keeps pushing back.

    Again, the question that I find most interesting is this: What am I afraid of?

    I have in the past found it useful to journal copiously in the pursuit of an answer. I deliberately draw out the insanity by describing to myself in detail what might happen if this or that or the other thing happened, and why I would be so unhappy about this. It was quite revealing, and it also had a cathartic effect; when I repeatedly forced it out into the open, it stopped simmering in the background all the time.

  2. March 1, 2006 9:50 am

    “I have in the past found it useful to journal copiously in the pursuit of an answer. I deliberately draw out the insanity by describing to myself in detail what might happen if this or that or the other thing happened,”

    hmm.. thank you for bringing this up, (if you are who I think you are) you encouraged me in the pursuit of this wrt time, only the context of insanity wasn’t present, or was it?

    this discussion of superhuman expectations smells of nietzche to me, although it’s been a long time.

    after skimming the wikipedia article (this may be more autobiographical than anything else) the diagnostic criteria all seemed to describe the ‘human condition’ in sin. At least that is my impression of “modern man” (hold the snickering)

    I think this underscores the relevance of the external Word that cuts through all our nonsense.

  3. March 1, 2006 9:58 am

    So I see some of you actually checked out the wikipedia entry. I think it would be funny to use that picture of the guy in the loincloth as my avatar. Don’t worry, not gonna do it.

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