wow. that's the kind of person i want to be. someone who is absolutely others-centered in every area of life. because without a doubt that is the kind of person Jesus was and is.
over the past few months i've felt a strong, yet gentle, tug on my heart about how i need to just get over myself. it's not that i think i'm some hot shot, in fact often i think the opposite of myself, but that's just it, i think too much about myself in general... how i come across to people and what i do and don't feel like doing and if i look okay and how to best take care of myself and so on... in the breath that is the time we've been given on earth, there's not enough of it for considering so much how i'm doing and what so-and-so thinks about me.
basically i'm just going to spend a little time drop-kicking the beloved "treat yo self" epidemic in the face.
(**p.s. please understand i'm not suggesting we don't need to care for ourselves and our bodies well or buy ourselves a nice shirt every once in a while. i think the Spirit prompts us in what "getting over ourselves" looks like individually and will convict us of what things we are doing in the spirit of self-centeredness if we ask Him.)
for me, getting over myself has looked like this so far:
1) letting go of my white-knuckled grip to always appear a certain way on social media or in person. (skinny, happy, pretty, kind, smart, someone who can have fun but also be serious, super God-loving but not so God-loving it seems like i'm not approachable) ...really? more than two seconds of my thoughts were spent on this? on how it seems i am to other people? in our world these days, how we appear to other people is actually huge. but one way to let go of this tight grip, post less and do more! one of my favorite things about my mom is how she always says "i'm so sick of how people just sit around and talk about what they want to do or make a pinterest board of projects they're never going to try. just do it and shut up about it!" (my mom is a really nice lady, i promise, haha!) but i so agree even though i've been so bad at this is. i'm preaching to myself just as much as to you... talk less, do more. my mom does incredible, astounding things with her life (INCREDIBLE) but no one knows because she will never post her latest crazy awesome handmade home project on instagram, or tell people she tithes every week and gives to others. let's all get over how we appear to be. there's just no time left to dedicate to thinking about that anymore.
2) having a job that almost forces me to get over myself.
luckily (and unluckily) i have a job that is on the BOTTOM of the "food chain" in almost every way. i don't get paid a ton and i work with people who are sometimes very mean and entitled and some of them have apartments that reek of cigarette smoke and some of them say awkward things because they don't understand social cues and some of them don't have teeth and some of them don't listen but love to talk and complain. my role is literally to serve them, whether i want to or not. this helps me get over myself, especially when i'm tempted to think in the direction of being above them. i realize we don't all have jobs like this, but i'm 99% sure we all at least know someone who is hard to love or awkward to be around because of at least one annoying quirk. be around them anyway. spend some time with the people nobody thinks are cool.
nothing gets me out of my own head like helping someone really in need. this is really important in the goal of living and loving more like Christ as well. He was and is the servant of all servants. beware, though, of doing this for the wrong reasons, like using your volunteering as a way to show someone that you're super selfless and godly. an ugly, self-centered road disguised as an others-centered one that's easy to slip onto. volunteer and don't tell anyone.
i am convinced that the greatest, longest-lasting epidemic of humankind is forgetting. with this in mind, multiple times a day i need to say "get over yourself, alexi" and "God, help me freaking get over myself" and it actually really helps me redirect my mind. if you forget to remind yourself, bring in the sticky-notes! another benefit of this is you get better at recognizing how often you slip into self-focused thoughts throughout the day and quicker to redirect.
5) not buying that thing i really want.
money is, i think, one of the biggest ways self-centeredness can rear its ugly head. "spending money on me because i'm worth it or because it's okay to treat myself" is the motto of our day but is, in my opinion, actually a dangerous line of thinking... one we need to be careful of, because it can quickly turn into thinking we deserve something or lean towards entitlement without us even knowing it. "it's just a pedicure, and i earned this money after all" ... think i'm being extreme? but what about when Jesus' said to "sell your possessions and give to the poor" in matthew 19:21? the best cure for self-mindedness in spending? give money in a way that hurts a little, and do it regularly. don't just give your change and don't just do it once and be done. may we never believe we deserve any of what we have. all is gift.
6) reading scripture:
...to remind myself i am not the sun that the rest of the world revolves around and what Jesus is doing is bigger than just me.
...to remind myself of my worth as a created human and a daughter of God and that i am loved more than imaginable so i can be okay with playing the background, instead of the spotlight.
...so i can get into God's head instead of my own and learn about His character and what He's all about. He's way cooler to spend time thinking about anyway.
these are just a few that i've disovered as i am on a journey, filled with lots of failure, in this endeavor. and i think God is really okay with me and you being on a journey. won't you try and fail and try and fail with me?
let us tattoo it on our foreheads that we are not the main characters in the story of humanity. Jesus is. Jesus every time. may He and He alone be what replaces the self-centeredness that is so quick of our hearts and minds.