The number one thing that I've been dealing with the past two months or so is the unfathomable amount to which it is not about me. We call this in human terms, "pride," and in Greek (and recently, since I read TFIOS, John Green) terms, "hamartia." Hamartia Think: Achilles' undipped heel. Think: Sybil's ill-wished immortality Think: American politics' politicians (bazinga)
"Pride" is about the most general sweep ever, so let me narrow it down a bit.
I do not mean pride in my country I do not mean pride in my work I do not mean pride in my friends' accomplishments I do not mean pride in my sister's string of earned auditions or my brother's paintings
I mean hubris. I mean when my incessant desire to be right blinds me to somebody else's more pressing need to be heard. I mean when I find myself thinking that people are interested in what I do because it's me, and why wouldn't they? I mean when people start telling me something that they're struggling with and I respond with: "I understand. When I..." I mean when somebody does something well and I start obsessing over how well I do that particular thing in comparison. I mean when the majority of my conversations use the word "I", "me", "my", or the phrases "This looks like that time I", "that reminds me of when I", and "When I used to do that...".
I mean when I stopped listening to beautiful music because it was beautiful and rather because I wanted to do it better. I mean when I stopped reading other thought because it was great and rather because I wanted to think better. I mean when I stopped cheering my own friends' successes because I wanted to succeed better.
I began to get frustrated when I saw other people's pride (be it in the form of vanity, obsessive self-promotion, "selfies," or whatever) and I never realized that I was getting frustrated because it reminded me of myself and my own obsessive self-promotion. My chasing after beautiful words not because they're beautiful but because they made me look good. My "intellectual" selfies.
I didn't want to see that every time I got frustrated with somebody else for something they were doing, it wasn't because what they were doing bothered me, it was that it reminded me too much of something that I didn't like about myself. I just couldn't see my own house getting robbed because I was too focused on looking out the window judging your color choice of petunias next to your mailbox. I'm sorry that I haven't posted things in a long time, but these are what I've been dealing with. I had a thousand wonderful reasons in my head for writing words, but upon examination, they were all just excuses to flex in the mirror and put it on the internet. It wasn't at all about the new shoes the caption claimed, but rather that my legs looked great in that shot (so to speak).
I've retooled some motivations and reworked a few of the things that will go on here, but I'm not going to give you a prescription or any of that, because I want the Giver of words to be what shows, not a schedule or measly, crotchety old Hamilton. It's not pride to use a gift, nor is it pride to acknowledge it. It is, however, when that gift is used to build your tower higher than the foundation will support. It's not pride to show a gift off, but it is to call it "mine."