Most people are so selfish that they are “other-oriented.” The “Selfie” with which the narcissists are so enamored is blazing evidence of this. After all, we don’t gaze lovingly at the selfies ourselves – it’s all for others to see what we did, where we were, what we ate, whom we were with.
We buy stuff we don’t need and don’t even particularly want with money we don’t have to impress others whom we don’t even like – who don’t notice and really couldn’t care less. We buy houses for what they look like on the outside, but we live inside them. We care more about the opinions of others than we do about what our families and our God thinks of us and even less about what we think of ourselves. And the pain of subconsciously knowing this drives us to addictions and frenetic action. After all, if we’re too busy and drugged to think, we won’t have to; we can simply suppress the pain of recognizing our weakness and hypocrisy.
We dress to please others. Women teeter around in pain on stiletto heels they can ill afford, men buy watches the size of alarm clocks, and the latest smartphones, and of course the ubiquitous iPhones are a must in order to keep up with the Joneses. And to pay for all this junk, they work harder and longer in jobs they hate and sacrifice what they would really like to be doing with the people who truly matter to them.
The most important person you need to know and accept and like is yourself. That’s your most important relationship. Because if you can’t get along with yourself and enjoy time alone, if you’re not, in fact, your own best friend, you’ll fail at a genuine friendship with anyone else. You need to be kind and loyal to yourself, first, if you are to be of any authentic value to anyone else. Your personal goals and values and beliefs should be clear, measurable, congruent, and flexible.
You need to be the Howard Roark in Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead.” You are answerable to yourself and your God first. And to nobody else except your spouse. The only opinions that count are your own, your God’s, and your spouse’s. The prison of the opinions of others is what makes the “Politically Correct” cancer of Cultural Marxism flourish in a materialist, false, hypocritical and suicidal Western world. This will give you courage and focus, and you can achieve great things with courage and focus and the ability to discard the unnecessary and superfluous, chief of which is the assessments of others, no matter who they are, outside of this holy circle.
Neglecting your own health and your family to serve your church, for example, is not a sign of holiness but imbalance, selfishness, and idiocy. The only sacrifice you’re making is the wrong one; you’re serving the wrong god. You have misinterpreted the Bible.
“The acceptance of oneself is the essence of the whole moral problem and the epitome of a whole outlook on life. That I feed the hungry, that I forgive an insult, that I love my enemy in the name of Christ — all these are undoubtedly great virtues. What I do unto the least of my brethren, that I do unto Christ.
But what if I should discover that the least among them all, the poorest of all the beggars, the most impudent of all the offenders, the very enemy himself — that these are within me, and that I myself stand in need of the alms of my own kindness — that I myself am the enemy who must be loved — what then?
As a rule, the Christian’s attitude is then reversed; there is no longer any question of love or long-suffering; we say to the brother within us “Raca,” and condemn and rage against ourselves. We hide it from the world; we refuse to admit ever having met this least among the lowly in ourselves.” ― C.G. Jung,
We need to reintroduce ourselves to ourselves and to apologize profusely for so much neglect.