With the introduction of the cell phone, the last couple of generations have become the most photographed people in human history. The selfie has become a way of communicating between family, friends, and society at large. But what is the message that it sends? I'm happy. I'm fun. I'm important. I'm wealthy. I've been here or there.
And why, after they are taken do more than half of them never see the light of day again? And what of future generations? Will they understand why great-grandpa has crossed eyes and pursed lips with three other people doing the same thing?
Nine years ago, I took a selfie of sorts that I hope my grandchildren see, and every generation thereafter. It's a snap shot in time of who I really am. More importantly who, as of this writing, I was. Raw. Unedited. Brutally honest. That is how I am going to give it to you.
Who Am I Right Now!
I am a 49-year-old man who has been an emotion-based reactionary most of my life. Most of my emotional thinking I don't truly understand yet. First, how I got there. Second, how I use it to fix problems with the end result of… nothing gets fixed.
My biggest problem with that is, why does this seem to work for me, or do I just not know any better? The possible payoff could be one I had not considered, and that is a basic need for attention and acknowledgement. It seems to be a very basic and childish response that I have used so many times, that I don't want to know any different. And surprisingly enough I can justify it somehow with no apparent accountability. It all happens automatically as if it were instinctive, which becomes reaction- based, not relation-based.
For the first time in my life I am not letting a job define who I am, or my success in life. I'll admit it is uncharted waters, but by this time in my life I have learned so much about myself and how to be patent and faithful, things with an eternal prospective, not a human one.
As a leader, I am great at starting but not so good at finishing. To truly lead takes relational skills and emotional stability, both of which I haven't yet mastered but am trying to learn.
As a husband, I care too much about myself and what I want. I have a very immature view of relationships. They are for me, to get what I want, and the other person should be okay with it if they really cared about me. If not, then they must not love me and I react accordingly, emotionally-charged.
As a friend, I can be compassionate, but fear of rejection can keep me from getting too close. My fear of friendship goes deep, it seems I believe that everyone has let me down at least once or they are about to. So, I prepare for the letdown. If it doesn't happen, I tend to make it happen so I can say "See, I told you it would happen that way". (Emotional payoff: I get to be right)
As a father, I haven't made the same mistakes my father did, but I could do much better. I try so hard not to be my father that it uses up a big portion of my energy, but I make mistakes anyway. Then I get down on myself because I should know better. It just seems to be a cycle I don't know how to get myself to break away from. What could possibly be such a great payoff that I would let my wife and children suffer for it?
As an employee, I work too hard to get people to appreciate me, but they don't, and if they do, it's never enough. I tend to work extra hard to please people who don't really even care, expecting to get a payoff I'll never get. I tend to let this define me too often with the end result being me saying to myself, "See, you aren’t worth anything.”
When I'm not satisfied emotionally, I retreat to fantasy. When I was younger, my brothers and sisters and I learned how to use fantasy to avoid emotional stress, so much so that it became habit, and then a way of life.
I can be very demanding when it comes to intimacy. Intimacy makes me feel very unprotected emotionally. Mainly I believe because it has been used against me in the past to hurt me. So, I don't always trust it. And then I try to control it to feel safe.
I'm friendly when I want to be, and apparently very selfish too.I become judgmental to hide my own pain and insignificance. Judging others becomes easy when fantasy becomes your reality. If in your reality you are number one then talking bad about someone else becomes second nature, as a protective device.
I can be hurtful sometimes and then try to justify it.
I can be fun to be with, I have a dry, but good sense of humor.
I love to do things, not just watch things.
Sometimes if I don't get my way I pout, and it's not very attractive. Again, a very self-centered and self-absorbed method of control.
Nine out of ten times I am a man of my word. It seems that through all this I still have a sense of myself, even though this was something that I never had a good example of. So, from time to time I get to see a little of who I really am, and I like that.
I love my wife and children enough to do the hard work it requires to become a good father and husband. Having a father that couldn't give what he didn't have left a lot to be desired, but I am not going to use that as an excuse not to do the work that it takes- because they deserve it and so do I.
Fear sometimes rules everything I think, do, or say. It seems the more I understand how fear operates in my life, the deeper I find it in all areas of my life. Sometimes I spend too much time in the past trying to make sense of things that make no sense. My nature is to be analytical, so things that don't make sense are somewhat of a challenge for me. But things that are emotionally charged and painful are sticking points for me. It's hard for me to be ok with things like that.
I intend to write an update soon and will share it as well. (Hopefully shorter) Lol!
Now you see that there are more ways than one to take a selfie. And so, we are left with a choice: have our future generations see us as honest, developing humans, well loved by God, or with rabbit ears and fake sunglasses!
Wake Up Christian