On page 67 of Further Along the Road Less Traveled: The Unending Journey Toward Spiritual Growth, M. Scott Peck states the following:
psychiatrists talk about injuries to pride, we call them narcissistic
injuries. And on any scale of narcissistic injuries, death is the
ultimate. We suffer little narcissistic injuries all the time: a
classmate calls us stupid, for example; we're the last to be chosen for
someone's volleyball team; colleges turn us down; employers criticize
us; we get fired; our children reject us. As a result of these
narcissistic injuries, either we become embittered or we grow. But
death is the big one. Nothing threats our narcissistic attachment to
ourselves and our self-conceit more than our impending obliteration. So
it is utterly natural that we should fear death."
On page 68,
Peck says: "...the further we proceed in diminishing our narcissism, our
self-centeredness and sense of self-importance, the more we discover
ourselves becoming not only less fearful of death, but also less fearful
of life. And we become more loving. No longer burdened by the need to
protect ourselves, we are able to lift our eyes off ourselves and to
truly recognize others."
As Peck notes, we all have narcissism. I
plead guilty! I think that there are some areas of disappointment in
which I can look back and learn from what I did inappropriately. In
some areas, however, I have no idea what I could have done in place of
what I did. If I made a mistake because I didn't know how to do
something, was that my fault? Moreover, I find social situations to be a
pain because I don't know what to say, so I get ignored or forgotten,
but when I do speak up, I end up saying something inappropriate. So
should I speak or keep silent? Well, I just told you the problem that
occurs when I stay silent!
But you learn what you can. If I can
look back and identify things that I could have done better, that is
good. And maybe what would help me is not so much for me to rehash my
mistakes in the past, but rather to read about or hear about better ways
to do things. As I Thessalonians 5:21 says (in the KJV), "Prove all
things; hold fast that which is good."
I doubt that self-forgetfulness will happen, at least when it comes to my life. I doubt that it can
happen, for, of course, I think about myself and my tasks each day.
But I should work on ceasing to see myself as the center of the
universe. I shouldn't take myself so seriously. Maybe I can be more
interested in what is going on in other people's lives, whether we're
talking about people in my family, or people online, or others with whom
I come into contact. In the words of Romans 12:15, "Rejoice with them
that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep."
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