Getting over yourself is a tough one, it’s like peeling away the layers of an onion, and it ebbs and flows like the tide. Some days we are more full of ourselves than others.
In Christianity it’s called dying to self, laying down your own ego, your will, your perceived grievances and desires. It is about taking the “You” out of the equation so you can really hear that Still Quiet Voice and draw closer to Him. To do so brings clarity, peace of mind, guidance.
It also relieves 95% of our own suffering. Pride, ego, they actually hurt! Pride can be like a walled off infection that keeps love away and also prevents healing. We do that when we’re wounded, when we fear surrender, when we have shame. Shame is a huge stumbling block….which is why we have redemption, mercy, the Blood of the Lamb. In Christ there is no condemnation. Make yourself right in that relationship and there is nothing people can do to hurt you anymore. Pride is not strength, it is a weak and defensive stance. What are you usually protecting and defending? Shame.
“Get over yourself,” just those words are sure to cause offense. We sometimes use those words to attack and shame each other, to imply you should get over yourself and start thinking exclusively about me instead, me, me. That’s not what I speak of at all. I’m not suggesting setting yourself aside or humbling yourself to other people, but rather to God. In fact, laying your pride down at His feet is where you really find the source of your strength and power. That would be Him, rather than you.
In the Western world it’s tough because our culture darn near teaches narcissism as a way of life. We are the Selfie generation and it is all about our own I-dentities. Things become very subjective and personalized. This behavior gets really blatant on the internet because random strangers will come along and take offense, assuming your words are all about them and you have now deliberately given them feel-bad.
There are huge benefits to getting over yourself. For one you can’t be made to feel bad. You cannot be shamed where there is no shame to trigger. You tend to not take things personally. Your eyes open up a bit and you can see farther. Your response is no longer subjective and emotional. You are no longer a collection of afflictions and offenses, but rather a somewhat detached witness capable of experiencing what is going on around you without suffering from it yourself.
You ain’t special! There’s an interesting paradox woven in that one, but you aren’t special, so get over yourself. Get over yourself, your pride, your wounding, your self-pity and feelings of persecution. You share the experiences of hundreds of thousands of other people who through no fault of their own, also suffered. “You ain’t special” however, is also followed up by, you have such amazing value and worth, Christ died for you. The closer you lean into that relationship, the more worth and value you have, because it is Him that you are filled with, rather than your own self.
Victimhood is huge in the Western world, it can be darn near a competition, a race to the bottom. I have suffered, I have really suffered, and my ancestors suffered, so look at me, pay attention to me, accommodate me, compensate me. In its manipulative form that is actually narcissism, something often seen in alcoholics and addicts. My wounding is so special, no one else has ever suffered like I have! The problem with that is that people cling to their wounding rather than heal, because it benefits them, they get a reward from it, a payoff. An alcoholic for example, now has an excuse to drink.
Those of us who find ourselves in relationships with these kinds of narcs, often develop co-dependancy. Their needs often become more important than our own or indistinguishable from our own. We rally around these wounded birds, thinking if we just pour enough empathy on them, they’ll eventually be healed. Ravenous beasts, I tell you. It simply doesn’t work that way. They need to get over their own selves.
Victimization is also a tough one, because in order to fully heal, we also have to get over our own selves. It is not all about us. That is a tricky one because if it was an attack, it sure felt personal. The wisest words someone ever said to me was, “suck it up buttercup, it’s not all about you.” That is extremely counter-intuitive, but once you truly come to terms with that, it is no longer personal. You may well have just gotten hit by a random sneaker wave at the beach. Bad behavior isn’t about you at all, it’s about someone else. To personalize it, to internalize it, to make it your identity, is to hand them more power.
One reason I stopped working with victims is because within the system there is often this mentality that insists they remain victims, remain in a state of learned helplessness, powerlessness. You sure don’t tell a victim, “suck it up buttercup, it’s not all about you,” because that is a Very Bad, No Good thing called “victim blaming” and it’s politically incorrect. Just the same, love compels us to point these things out. Little secret there, but whoever claims the blame, claims the power.
We know this with children, when they get bonked in softball, we tell them to walk it off. The way you rob that child of their power is to rush out there full of endless pity and compassion.
Of course, if there are bones sticking out or they’re unconscious, go ahead and render assistance 😉
This is not a lecture. I am not sitting in the pink forest relentlessly chanting and dying to self. Heck, I throw teacups when I get frustrated. (Or I used to anyway, none of my targets will cooperate anymore.) I’m just saying that getting over yourself, dying to self, can bring you much healing, peace, and clarity.