Friday, September 08, 2006

the curse of self-absorption

an entry from my journal on August 3: (and a fulfillment of my promise of a Lewis poem to burningalive!)

I can not sleep this morning so I’m sitting in front of a fan at my computer (4:30am being the only time I can get the computer from the children these days!) I have just started reading through some old journals and found this poem and quote I recorded from C.S. Lewis’ book, Surprised by Joy.
I think the connection to our conversations yesterday is fairly obvious….

"All this is flashy rhetoric about loving you.
I never had a selfless thought since I was born.
I am mercenary and self-seeking through and through;
I want God, you, all friends merely to serve my turn.
Peace, reassurance, pleasure are the goals I seek,
I cannot crawl one inch outside my proper skin;
I talk of love – a scholar’s parrot may talk Greek –
But, self-imprisoned, always end where I begin."

"The overwhelming majority of time I spend thinking abut myself, pleasing myself, reassuring myself, and when I am done there is nothing to spare for the needy. Six billion people live in this world, and I can only muster thoughts for one. Me."

"…I imagined life outside of narcissism. I wondered how beautiful it might be to think of others as more important than myself. I wondered at how peaceful it might be not to be pestered by that childish voice that wants for pleasure and attention. I wondered what it would be like not to live in a house of mirrors everywhere I go reminded of myself."

"I don’t like being reminded about how self-absorbed I was. I wanted to be over this, done with this. I didn’t want to live in a broken world or a broken me. I wasn’t trying to weasel out of anything, I just wasn’t in the mood to be on earth that night. (I get like that sometimes when it rains, or when I see certain sad movies.)"

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