Our egos serve an important purpose. They help us navigate this world and deal with its slings and arrows. But we can identify too much with them. And when we do, we lose touch with our more authentic self. To see the bigger picture, be more fully alive, and treat each other justly, we must eventually surrender our egos. Narcissistic ego inflation interferes with that.
Self-esteem is about our sense of what we have going for us. Self-respect is more about what we have done with our gifts. And both reflect the kind of relationship we have with a “higher power.”
It’s hard to develop a balanced sense of self-worth in a culture that promotes and rewards egomaniacal thinking and a sense of entitlement.
Covert narcissism is narcissism under cover. Covert narcissists can be quite lovable and charming. So, beware. What you can’t readily see can hurt you.
Because we live in an era of unprecedented narcissistic entitlement, it’s harder than ever to see this precious life we enjoy for what it fundamentally is: an unearned gift.
The takers and users among us aren’t just arrested in their character development. They’re spiritually arrested, too. Humble gratitude for the gift of life is a linchpin of healthy character.
To be genuinely open, we have to accept the inevitability of pain. And if we don’t transform any pain we do experience, we’re certain to transmit it.
Waking up can take many forms. For some, it’s a sudden event. For others, it’s more of a process. And it can happen in various ways. Sometimes, it’s born of intense joy and passion. We’re truly jolted into awareness. But more often, it comes on the heels of great emotional pain. In either case, we lose our smaller, false self. And in the process, we discover our true self, our soul.
I must say, I’ve fallen in love with Puerto Rico. I’ve come to love the beauty of the land and the indomitable character of its people. Largely poor by our economic standards, Puerto Ricans are truly rich in spirit. In the midst of hardship, life still flourishes – a testament to both its resilience and preciousness.
Sound character requires that we outgrow our innate egocentricity. And it’s more than an emotional or psychological exercise. It’s a profound spiritual undertaking.