Self-absorption is all around us.  It is making me feel bitter and twisted.  It really is. I can’t get away from it.

I look on facebook and it is there in people’s status comments.  And then when people comment on other people’s status, some manage to somehow bring it back to themselves again. No matter what the subject matter.

I look on my twitter feed and it is there in people’s tweets.  Somehow people feel obliged to comment about their lives non-stop, and often retweeting tweets that mention themselves.  I find it the new form of online bragging.  I’ve asked people to explain it to me, cos I thought maybe I’m just missing some kind of twitter etiquette, but so far I haven’t had a response.

I don’t know why this self-absorption irks me so.  Maybe because I see it as a failure to reach out to others.  Maybe it is so far from what God would have us do – to put others first. Maybe it is because I thought that more than two years down this road, in this neck of the woods I would be more established, have a better network of people around me. But I don’t.  And I know that self-absorption has a lot to answer for this.

So what can I do to change my world, to overcome this self-absorption around me?  Well I’m going to be a little more pro-active…..cos I’ve been grumpy and sad and a grumpy and sad Mum is no good for anyone.

Step One.  I’m going to hide some people’s things from me on facebook – people that I still consider my friend, but people that bring me down with their constant self self self.

Step Two.  I’m going to continue to question people’s motives.  Ask myself, ask them, and ask the Holy Spirit to guide me to listen/read/ watch the right kinda stuff – to help me become more outward focussed. Because it starts with me.

Step Three.  I’m going to be generous with my words of affirmation – I’m going to love on people.  And show them there is more to my world, than myself and my my my.  Via the forms of social media that I use and in real face to face conversations.

Step Four.  We’re leaving the church we that we currently go to.  We’re not church hoppers – we like the whole being planted and rooted in a church and believe it is important but we’ve been there for two years, and we still feel unconnected, unloved and unfamiliar.  And we can say we’ve tried – we’ve initiated, we’ve been regular attendees and we’ve been committed.  But it hasn’t worked and I had the realization last week that we are actually doing ourselves a dis-service by not having people around us to support us and love on us.  Especially with being in ministry – we need those people.  I know it’s not a bad thing to rely on others for prayer support and for a friendly shoulder – after all God sent the disciples out in teams of two didn’t he?  It works both ways – you need input as you give out….otherwise you become stagnant.  So, hopefully, we can find a body of fellowship that becomes more than a ‘we should’ that never happens.

So that’s my four step process to overcoming the self-absorption that is all around me.  Am I the only one that is facing this?  Does it irk you too?  

Use Your Noodle

Scientists say we only use a certain amount of our brains.  They say that the brain is capable of so much more, and we under-utilize it.  I know I go through lots of days without learning anything new, without having to remember much and without actually having to think too hard about most stuff. But there are times when I know that I need to arm myself with some new knowledge, I need to research something and figure something out and come to my own conclusion.

Recently a family member asked us to pray for another family member who was facing a medical issue.  Yes.  Of course we will pray and we did pray.  But I also got onto the old google machine.  You see as much as I know there is power in prayer, I also know that God gives us a brain to use – a brain to find out what the real issues are, to not ponder on the worst case ill-informed scenario,  and in this particular circumstance what the potential future issues were  -so then we could target our prayer even better.  And knowledge takes away so much unnecessary worry and concern.

So, armed with my knowledge that I gained from reliable sources – note the word reliable,  I knew that what this family member was facing.  I was knowledgeable about various potential outcomes.  More so than the family member that was quietly freaking out.

Use your noodle.  God gave us brains.  Let’s use them.  Knowledge is power.  Why spend time worrying, when knowledge of an issue can take that worry away, and give accurate focus for prayer.