This is the way my heart works...when I think I look good....I feel good. And I am always evaluating if I look good. Not just physically (obviously) but all aspects of me...who I am and my place in the world, how important or profound what I do is, even how un-self-centered I aim to be is a hugely self-centered activity itself. The bottom line is that I am always looking for something good to come FROM me that validates or affirms something positive IN me.
Ron Burgundy is so blatantly consumed with himself that it is hilarious...nobody would be that crass and narcissistic in such an open way, it's hysterical...that and the mustache.
But my heart is not so dumb as to shout "Hey everyone, come and see how good I look"...or is it? This blog, my facebook, the books I have on display on the coffee table, the words I use in speaking to someone, the way I feel magnanimous when I let someone in front of me in traffic or have a wave of compassion for the homeless guy I just passed by the highway...a whole lot of conscious and unconscious decision making connected to how I feel about myself based on what the world will see from me. It isn't a trait that I choose to move away from or somehow change in myself...it is a condition that my heart is in that cannot be eradicated by self-effort....that would simply be attacking narcissism with personal willpower...a delusion at best. It is simply my nature to be self-centered...to be at the center of my deepest motivations, even and especially when I am totally unaware of it. I think that I am looking at the world when I am living my life, but I am only looking for the reaction to me that will give me the validation, identity and things that my heart cannot live without.
The only validation (which is love, acceptance and value) has to come from an outside source which means it is completely disconnected from what I do in my life. The only thing that pulls my heart away from looking at myself and what I do is when I see what I need being given to me from a source other than myself. And it is very difficult to do when I am looking at my own performance in life as the source of meaning, profundity and affirmation. "What I do" is then very often the thing that keeps my eyes and heart focused on myself even when the outward activity seems directed towards something else. That is the way my heart works because that is the way you EARN love....but love is only ever given as a gift and it must never be earned but only accepted.
I don't do this very well, by the way, in fact I feel pretty proud right now in myself for writing all of this...so there really is never a time when I don't need reminding of this. And that is what my life is...a dead person...whose greatest need is to be deader...to exist less...to not do but to believe...to lose my life in the hope of finding it...in order to be loved as I truly am and not as I should be.
Feel the burn....