This is the ninth post of a series (beginning with How The Devil Stole Your Soul) where we are looking at what becomes of someone who unconsciously absorbs the social conditioning that was authored in antiquity by the ‘father of lies.’ This conditioning revolves around two root sentences: ‘I’m unlovable,’ and ‘I’m not good enough.’
When one makes these the pillars of their self-reference, they run from God – making Him absent from them; and their life is but a hollow core of what it could have been. You can spot people who are suffering with this illusion because they display certain characteristics. We already mentioned three of them: suspended animation (stuck in the past), panic (fear of life), and wrath (self-directed anger at their self-induced plight that they project towards others). Let’s continue:
Characteristic #4: Self-absorption
When you were born, you didn’t have a self-image:
So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them. Gn. 1:27 AMP
You had a God-image. But somewhere in life, from the bumps and bruises and the berating from the voice in your head and the voices in the heads of others, you made a decision to deny your God-connection because you brought meanings to events in your life that weren’t true.
For example, let’s say someone turns you down for a date. It could have simply been that you weren’t their type, or they were afraid of intimacy, or they didn’t want a relationship at that particular time. But you make it about you – saying things to yourself like ‘How could they be so insensitive?’ Why can’t they see what a good catch I am?’
Then that voice in your head jumps in and ‘helps’ you see your situation in a new light as it says, ‘They are so mean. You shouldn’t go out with them anyway. Did you see how ugly and stupid they were?’ And, because the voice wants to keep you miserable in order to control you, it’ll then redirect the criticisms back at you: e.g. ‘How could you be such a moron as to ask them out? You are so ugly, stupid and undesirable. What will others think when they find out you were rejected? You’ll be alone for the rest of your life.’
It does that to bring you back to those two primary sentences we started this post with.
So what do you do? You combat these false meanings you’ve attached to events and to yourself with a new false image – a mask constructed of the lies from that voice in your head, who tells you how you must present yourself to please others. In other words, you try to appear as someone who doesn’t exist; and you never let your guard down because that same voice has convinced you that you have some monstrous inner parts, that if exposed, would bring you a lifetime of loneliness.
You become obsessed with the maintenance of your mask – self-absorbed, always tweaking your mask to meet what you think are the needs of the next person, trying to appear ‘flawless’ in their eyes. It’s both exhausting and unrewarding. Because these people are relating to your mask, they never get to meet the real you and your real needs are never met.
Your self-absorption becomes chronic because your number one pastime is to avoid rejection, which you feel you must do with just about everyone you meet. Thus, you have to continually promote your mask and it requires you having to build up some kind of ‘false pride’ in it so that others will be convinced it’s you.
Many of us get into this mess because we never examine how we think! We insist on being ignorant about who God made us to be and about what our ‘self-image’ has been up to. It is a purposeful case of mistaken identity because we fool ourselves into believing that our mask will bring the acceptance from others we so sorely crave – which keeps sending us that backhanded message of worthlessness.
That mask is built upon the framework of our suffering – the very thing we’re trying so hard to avoid. Thus, we keep that suffering on the center stage of our lives.
Your life never gets to be lived because the voice in your head feeds your self-image, knowing that as long as you’re obsessed with that, you’ll never see your own perfection.
You matter to God:
For just as the body is a unity and yet has many parts, and all the parts though many, form [only] one body, so it is with Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One.) For by [means of the personal agency of] one [Holy} Spirit we were all, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free, baptized [and by baptism united together] into one body, and all made to drink of one [Holy] Spirit. 1 Cor. 12:12, 13. AMP
For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. Ps. 139:13, 14. NASB
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 1 Cor. 3:16 ESV
There is nothing wrong with you. Never was. Never will be. But you have to reconnect with Him to see it.
Until then, you will continue to judge yourself for who you are not; and then you exact punishment upon yourself, hoping it will make you good. You can’t beat goodness into anyone.
There is nothing wrong with any of us. It’s just that we’ve bought into the Big Lie – the lie that says we are damaged goods…
Goodnight and God bless.