You Are Not Special

In a recent article by David Brooks he spoke of the “Good Person Syndrome.”  This ‘syndrome’ stems from our common cultural assumption that we are all good people and that our flaws are aberrations occuring at the edges.   What that assumption creates is a culture unable to engage in spiritual work of much depth.  It may likewise explain why some of the most spiritual people one will meet are those who have traveled the 12 Step path out of addiction.  An addict appears to be advantaged through the knowledge that the problem is them – it is their ego, their self centeredness, their selfishness that is most in need of addressing.

What if, as adults, we started with the same set of assumptions?  What if we were clear on the idea that “I am selfish?”  That is actually not bad news but a critical portal to growth.  From there – no more need to pretend or dress it up.  From there, we can exercise rigorous honesty and humility.    Held as I think God would have us hold it, it is freeing not damming because it leaves us with options vs. leaving us in a numb sleep where everything is narcotized with the hypnotic words that everything is “fine.”   We can then truly pray to become a vehicle of God’s life-giving will.

And in praying for God’s will, our true selves, created in His image and likeness, comes alive!  We can learn more deeply that we are not special but that in that “not specialness” lies heaven because in that place lies self-LESS service and connection and peace.  “Heavenly peace enters in when the desires that spring from self–love and love of the world are removed.”  (Secrets of Heaven, 5662).  A pretty good place to be.

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