A couple of weeks ago I had an experience that brought a point to the forefront regarding my preoccupation with myself. I was talking to a colleague whom I admire, about a presentation they had done where I had afterwards been rather harsh towards them and it had affected them to the extent that they hadn’t been able to sleep the following night. I was completely shocked because it had not been my intention to be harsh at all. I realized that I had been preoccupied with myself the whole time and I had not given a moment’s consideration to my colleague or being there for her. I was going to give a presentation a couple of days after her and I was feeling somewhat nervous and insecure about it. So while they were giving their presentation, my entire focus was on what I wanted to take from her presentation and what I didn’t want to take, to better improve my own. I didn’t for one minute consider that they might have wanted me to focus on her and to give her constructive feedback afterwards.
After we had the conversation where she shared with me how they had experienced the situation and I realized that I had been completely egotistical within my own insecurity, I started seeing more and more situations in which I was so focused on myself that I didn’t notice or consider other people.
Another example of this is when I am in conversations with others and I tend to speak more than I listen, and when others are speaking, I can’t wait for them to stop so that I can speak and I struggle to listen in an unconditional way because I keep feeling this urge to speak. Then another thing that I’ve noticed that happens in relation to speaking is that I sometimes can become all infatuated with hearing myself speak, kind of going “OMG, I sound so good. That was SO intelligent/well put” inside myself. What I have also noticed is that when someone is telling a story about something, what immediately comes up within me is a similar story or something I’ve experienced that I then can’t wait to tell them. Another example which is a really nasty one is where I’d be super nice to someone and experience myself all altruistic but where the whole purpose is for me to look better, look like I’m being very supportive, when in fact I am doing it to look better in my own eyes or in the eyes of others.
When looking at what is at the cause of these behavioral tendencies to be self-absorbed what I see is that it has to do with an experience of lacking and inferiority where one seeks to constantly ‘elevate’ one’s experience of oneself, both in the eyes of others and in one’s own eyes. There is also an experience of the world revolving around you, which I would say is nothing more than a misaligned worldview that somehow has been integrated through childhood. I was the child of a narcissist mother but I was also an only child, so while it wasn’t like I got spoiled, I didn’t have any experiences with siblings and I got to see first hand what narcissism is like from my mother.
So I have been looking at what is required to stop being so self-absorbed and a logical answer is that I need to see and recognize myself as valuable, so that I don’t feel the need to seek it out through others – through placing myself in the spotlight. Another point here that I have seen as sort of being the opposite of narcissism is altruism which is basically the unconditional care and support of others where one doesn’t look to gain something from supporting another. Here I looked at the sounding of the word All-True-Is-Me that I basically see as meaning that everything is already me/life, and therefore there is no need to seek extra value or fear losing value by not being seen/heard.
Over the past few years, as I have developed my own potential, I have also started to appreciate and celebrate the potential in others more and this is something I would like to continue expanding – to rest in myself and be grounded and stable within who I am, so that I can fully support another – without me having to be given any credit or shine.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to be self-absorbed and narcissist within focusing on only myself, how I feel, what I want, how I see the world and within that have disregarded and not cared about others – except for in what they could do for me or how they could benefit me
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to immerse myself in an experience of inferiority from within which I only focused on how to improve myself, to such an extent that I did not care about or see the needs of another and how another may equally be supported by me as I am supported by them and how, by only focusing on myself and what I believe I need, I deny them the support that I could have given them
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to approach a situation from within a state of inferiority where my only focus is on how I can look better, seem better, be better and where I, because of this, give little to no consideration of other people around me – what they might need, how they might be experiencing themselves or how I can support them where they are at
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to create a relationship of inequality with a person in my life, where I explicitly see them as more experienced and therefore as superior and myself as inferior and inexperienced and within that justify why I need their support and attention, without for a moment considering that they might equally benefit from my support and attention because they in fact are not superior to me, but equal to me and therefore I might equally be able to support them as they support me
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to be egotistical and selfish in only concerning myself with how I can look better, advance, improve myself in the eyes of others as well as obtain the things and the experiences that I want – where others do not even exist in my consideration as anything but ‘extras’ in the ‘Anna show’ that’s all about me – when in fact, I exist in a world with many people and beings who all are equal in reality and who all have an equal right to express and be supported and nurtured – just like I would want to be
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to, when I am sharing food or drinks with other people, always want the best and biggest piece for myself and to uninhibitedly take it for myself without considering the other person or their needs – to not be nice or show fake humility but in considering what’s best in the moment and in also genuinely wanting what’s best for another equally as I would want it for me
I forgive myself that I, when I am speaking with others want to hear myself speak and feel infatuated with hearing myself speak and to a great extent ignore and be disinterested in the other person and what they have to say and only want them to get on with it so that we can get back to listening to me speak
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to, in conversations with others wait for them to finish without even really listening to what they are saying, just so that I can speak, hear myself speak and hopefully impress them and receive recognition and admiration from them
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to be infatuated with hearing myself speak where I don’t even care about the conversation or the person I am speaking with but where I get so caught up in hearing myself speak and being amazed at what I see as my own brilliance and intelligence that I keep going within a form of addiction to hearing myself speak
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to become addicted to hearing myself speak and within that experience a positive energetic experience of seeing myself as this amazing and brilliant speaker and as being super intelligent and eloquent, not realizing that, yes I can enjoy speaking and hearing myself speak, but what is valuable in a conversation is the interaction and the understanding created between two or more individuals
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to resist listening to others and to experience a sensation of pressure on my chest and restlessness in my body where I feel like I want to move away from the person because listening requires me to remain stable here without generating any energy or movement within me which is something that I haven’t practiced or lived because I’ve been so preoccupied with upping my own experience of myself
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to become addicted to a positive energetic experience of getting attention and admiration from others where I get an energetic kick out of others seeing me a certain way which I realize partly has to do with the fact that I haven’t fully accepted my own worth or value as something real and valuable – and not as something that I need to chase or that I need others to constantly validate and confirm for me because I have the capacity, through self-honesty and common sense to recognize whether I am contributing with value to this world or not
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to become addicted to being infatuated with myself in and through which I created a positive energetic experience of self-infatuation that very much resembles the positive energetic experience I got as a young woman being hit on and flirted with by males
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not realize that there’s nothing wrong with being prod of myself and enjoying my own expression, but that I have taken this to a level of obsession and energetic addiction where it is no longer a pure self-expression but in fact an ego and energetic experience that is like magnifying an enlarging something that is real in its essence but that stops being real the moment I try to savor it and feed myself off on it within and as the mind
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not see, realize and understand that me having certain qualities and abilities that I see are at times heightened in comparison with others, does not make me special or more-than others, but that these are in fact merely unique aspects of me that I have developed within/as who I am, that exist equal to that which is unique in every other person
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to react within and as a stage of ego where I, as the mind, interpret seeing myself expanding myself as though I am becoming more than and better than others, as specialness and as such contaminate something that is an expansion of my expression and something I can enjoy and celebrate for a moment but that doesn’t change who I am or how I experience myself
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed inferiority and feeling less-than/not good enough to exist within me as an experience that I direct myself from and define myself according to within accepting it as real and valid and because of that not recognize/admit my own worth and value to myself as the manifestation and development of my utmost and unique potential and that I have then tried to compensate by trying to become more-than and thus distance myself even further from the potential of who I can become
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to feel and experience myself terrible when I get the sense and feeling that another doesn’t like me or is irritated with me and within that believe that I must get everyone to like me, to love me even and adore me and think I am the most amazing – and if I don’t then I have failed and it is proof that I am just not good enough
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to exist within and as a state of being where all that matters is me, how I feel, what I want and how I experience myself, where I am the center of the universe in my own eyes and other people, the rest of the world barely exists and only exists to the extent of how it affects me or reflects back on me
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not realize, see and understand that I am a part of a vast universe and that this world is inhabited by many people and beings who all exist here equally with me and how, for us to turn this ship around, everyone needs to develop and grow themselves to their utmost potential – not just me. It is not going to help anyone for me to become some kind of rockstar, guru type individual who everyone looks up to and who is untouchable (which is like the ultimate ego fantasy)
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not realize, see or understand that my value as an individual is intrinsically linked to the value of everyone else. It is in fact entirely in reverse of how I have experienced it – like to change it; I have to turn myself inside out.
Let me test this idea:
So at the moment I feel like I as a personality am at the center of the universe and the world exists to cater to my needs. At the same time I also feel like I am worth nothing and that my value can only come from other people valuing me. This is what I see is entirely in reverse. I can only value myself and understand my own value OR actually BE valuable in a practical sense, which doesn’t have anything to do with people saying it or showing it to me. You can have someone who is a super valuable human to humanity but that everyone hates because they don’t understand them – and so value has to do with the value I actually create in reality, and even then it is not about me because once it is created it is out of my hands. But I am valuable because I can contribute with creating value. I actually don’t understand the point of having intrinsic value as in “You’re valuable just because you are you” – I don’t buy it. But that’s because value is a real word, a real physical proof. The question is then why I take value so personal, like it would destroy me to not have value. Because see, maybe it is all one grand delusion. Maybe I don’t need value or have value – but maybe I never did. Maybe value is really just this practical assessment of contribution and not some existential quality that says anything about your right to exist or not. If that is so – then I can let go of the whole point of trying to value myself. I don’t have to be valuable – BUT I would definitely like to contribute with something valuable to this earth and why else exist? And I would be proud of myself if I made a difference.
Back to the other point of being the center of the universe: so if we look at that totally in reverse, the universe is then at the center of me and I am here to cater to its needs. But is that so? Isn’t that just a martyred version of the same egotistical personality? I would rather say it like this: that we’re all here equally and we have to work together to change this world and for the first time in the history of existence establish a world that is best for all – and to do that, we need every single individual part to contribute – and to do that, I cannot be solely focused on myself, because it is equally important that everyone else are a part of it – and so the mistake I’ve made is to see the world as a reality game show where we’re all fighting and competing with each other to get a place in the spotlight, a space that is perceived as a ‘nirvana/heaven’ type place where you can’t be touched and where you’d forever bask in the glory of your name.
In the past, when I have looked at this point I have looked at how I wanted to become this altruistic being who rested so much in themselves that they could just lean back and let everyone else take the stage. I imagined the calm and satisfaction I’d feel by not feeling the need to be at the center of attention and how relieved I would be to be at peace with myself. What is interesting is that there, even in this image is a point of narcissism, because of how I’ve glorified such beings in my mind – so it is essentially about wanting to be a saint.
But if I look at it now more commonsensically, I can see that the point is much more about letting go of false beliefs, for example the belief that I lack value and that I must get others validation to feel valuable. I don’t need to feel valuable; I don’t even need to be valuable, except for in a practical sense of our survival being dependent on how we each contribute with valuable skills to changing this world. So in that sense, we can take value out of the equation as an intrinsic self-experience, because that isn’t at all what it is.
What I can on the other hand do, is to recognize where I CAN create value or have the potential to create value, to not be blind or ignorant towards that due to self-judgment and to not go into inferiority when it comes to value and thereby sabotage my opportunity to contribute. Value is thus about that which benefits the greater good and is not something that can stand alone in an individual context.
Then, with the narcissism, something I see I can do is to deliberately establish/develop a viewing point of having the bigger picture with me in my considerations as I move and act in the world – where me being part of the world as a whole, and of the world as one, I stop existing within the limited focus of just thinking about myself.
I don’t have any relevance or value on my own. This doesn’t mean that I am not an individual, because obviously I am here as a singular human being, a specified entity, but the value I have or contribute with is always relative to the world as a whole. And the puzzle of sorting myself out is thus about becoming equal with all that exists – becoming an expression of life.
Self-Worth is therefore nothing more than the recognition of the value that one is contributing to reality – to not sell oneself short or miss out on the opportunity to being valuable to the world/existence as a whole. But for example a child who hasn’t made an impact on the world does not exist in a ‘minus value’ state where it is then less-than a person that has accomplished a lot throughout their life, like this is what I am realizing: there is value and there is not yet having created value. Then there is sabotaging the value there is or the potential for it, but neither defines who we are as human beings. So what I am realizing through this introspection is that value is something practical and tangible and not something intrinsic, moral or existential in the sense of it defining our right to exist. This means that if I am not producing anything of value to this world, it doesn’t mean that I am a ‘bad’ person. I see how I have taken value personal as something that defined me.
So, a lack of self-worth is really a misalignment, a misunderstanding of terms where one hasn’t yet recognized or is somehow sabotaging oneself from seeing the value one is contributing with or the potential of that. One is deliberately decreasing the value one contributes with by for example suppressing self or holding oneself back or by being insecure. So in that sense there are only these two points when it comes to value/worth: the potential and manifestation of it or the sabotage and denial of it or the potential of it.
A cell that becomes selfish becomes a cancer cell that mass produces itself for no other purpose than to make more of itself – and in turn destroy its world. Either I contribute with creating a life that’s best for all (i.e become the cell that supports the whole) or I do not and then I have delegitimized my own existence. So really, the EMOTION of feeling a lack of self-worth is a total deception – because it is hiding the fact that one isn’t contributing AS life, or with the potential of life that one actually could be. So basically: If you sabotage life, you already delegitimize your own existence, because then you are not life. So, self-worth is actually important in being able to recognize one’s contribution and the potential of such. That also means that we don’t have to feel bad about not creating worth/value – we can simply correct it, find solutions.
Actively seeking out admiration
When and as I see that I am actively searching for admiration and attention by deliberately speaking/sharing from a starting-point of ego, or in retrospect go back and see how someone has reacted to what I wrote, I stop and I breathe.
I realize that I have become addicted to the energetic experience I generate when I feel admired and get attention as a form of ‘getting off’, similar to how I would experience it in the past when guys would look at me or flirt with me.
I realize that I can instead rejoice in myself and what I share and contribute with and be satisfied with myself when I have for example broken through a veil and have had a cool insight that I can share with others.
I realize that I do not need other people’s confirmation or validation any longer that what I say/write/share is cool because I can see in self-honesty whether it is effective or not – though I can still cross-reference with the responses I am getting, to see how I can best reach out to people – but without it being something that changes or heightens my experience of myself on an energetic level.
I commit myself to stop seeking out admiration and attention through what I say/share/write – and to in those moments instead bring myself back to myself and recognize for myself that it was cool – and then let it go.
Hearing myself speak/not listening to others
When and as I am speaking with another person or several people and I see that I am experiencing that pressure on my chest and even have these bursts of speech coming up while the other person is speaking and where I am not listening to them because I want to say something, I stop and I breathe. I
I realize that I have been resisting listening to others speaking partly because I have been so preoccupied with chasing after this experience of admiration and admiring myself and then also using it to feed my energetic addiction but also focusing more on speaking myself because I have felt a need to ’up’ myself in my mind’s eyes and through admiration from others because I have defined myself through the energetic experience I feel based on my perception of how others respond to me.
I also realize that I’ve been resisting listening to people because it means that I have to be still, calm and stable inside myself which are expressions that I have not yet mastered or integrated as a natural part of me and that I have resisted on its own.
So I commit myself to practice and support myself to remain stable and breathing while another is speaking and to not preemt what I am going to say or feel rushed to get to the point where I can speak. I commit myself to practice unconditional listening and hearing of what another is saying and while doing so, breathe and remain stable here.
Being egotistical in wanting more/what’s better for myself – and the failsafe of being benevolent out of narcissism
When and as I see that I am accepting and allowing myself to feel greedy and want to take what’s best for myself in a sneaky and secret way, I stop and I breathe. I realize that I’ve been egotistical and greedy and that this is actually a survival and fear based pattern and I realize that the more I accept and allow myself to do this, the more egotistical I become.
So therefore I commit myself to first of all use common sense in seeing what’s best for all in the moment, but to also challenge this part of myself by deliberately gifting another person with what is best in showing myself that I do not loose out by doing this – however I also commit myself to keep myself in check in not doing so with a false sense of humility where I do it to raise my ego in being benevolent – but instead rejoice in gifting another with what is best as I equally would for myself.
Being inferior and insecure without cause – and thereby focus unnecessarily on raising myself from this experience
When and as I see that I am experiencing myself as inferior, less-than or feeling insecure and I see that I am obsessing about this and becoming preoccipied with improving myself, I stop and I breathe. I realize that accepting and allowing myself to go into inferiority and allowing myself to get caught up in it – and in pitying myself is an egotistical thing to do and that when I do this, I disregard the world around me – but I also disregard my own value and what I can contribute with and I am not being self-honest about who I am or what I am capable of and therefore focus my attention on emotions instead of looking at how I can correct and improve myself in pracrical ways when needed and to also remember everyone around me and how I can support them where they are at.
So, I commit myself to push myself to stop accepting and allowing myself to go into a state of inferiority and feeling less than because I realize that this state is in no way valid or an accurate reflection of who I am – and that yes, I may be insecure about things I haven’t done before, but all that requires is practice and dedication.
Artwork: Selfish Man by Molood Mazaheri