Yesterday went well. I felt stressed and a bit overwhelmed with all the things I had on my list, but I was grateful that I didn’t fold in, put things off, procrastinate, and throw a self-pity party – all things I would have done in the past, especially with the temptation to be “off work” since it’s so close to the holidays.
I started my step 4 inventory yesterday and will be working on it more today as well.
I was pleasantly surprised that I had put a lot of negative feelings and emotions on the combination of inventories I’d done.
I just finished working on my Step 4 Inventory again – day 31 – and it feels good to get things out on paper. I will be sending it to Mark at some point for him to review.
One thing I feel aware of as I go through the negative emotions is that I’ve been so self-centered and focused on ME that I become blinded to what others may be feeling.
Self-centeredness and selfishness go hand in hand.
Since it is so common, why worry about selfishness anyway? Because selfishness is really self-destruction in slow motion. No wonder the Prophet Joseph Smith urged, “Let every selfish feeling be not only buried, but annihilated” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith , 178).
Self-destruction in slow motion.
Pornography is such an obvious symptom of selfishness: it’s all about ME, a disregard for anyone or anything else.
Wow, how true this is:
Surging selfishness, for example, has shrunken some people into ciphers; they seek to erase their emptiness by sensations. But in the arithmetic of appetite, anything multiplied by zero still totals zero! Each spasm of selfishness narrows one’s universe that much more by reducing his awareness of or concern with others.
Erasing emptiness by sensations.
Arithmetic of appetite – anything multiplied by zero is still zero.
Narrows one’s universe that much more by reducing awareness of or concern with others.
This is ADDICTION in all its forms.
Unbridled appetites that lead to nowhere.
Making efforts to erase emptiness with sensations. That emptiness, I recognize today, is God hunger. It’s lack of connection with God, with other real people, and only focusing on self – where anything times 0 will still equal 0.
Long ago it took a Copernicus to tell a provincial world that this planet was not the center of the universe. Some selfish moderns need a Copernican reminder that they are not the center of the universe either!
This quote reminds me so much of the challenge I’ve faced, and continue to face, with being the only child. I am not the center of the universe; all eyes are not on me. For so long in my life, I believe I felt this was the case and that I had to perform and be seen as a certain way.
Today I don’t want that at all; today I want to be a “fellow among fellows.”
The unselfish are also more free. As G. K. Chesterton said, if we can be interested in others, even if they are not interested in us, we will find ourselves “under a freer sky, [and] in a street full of splendid strangers” (Orthodoxy , 21).
This is a really scary quote in relation to the acceptance of gay marriage:
Cultural decline is accelerated when single-interest segments of society become indifferent to general values once widely shared. This drift is facilitated by the indifferent or the indulgent as society is led carefully down to hell (see 2 Ne. 28:21). Some may not join in this drift, but instead they step aside, whereas once they might have constrained, as is their representative right. Of such circumstances Yeats lamented, “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity” (W. B. Yeats, “The Second Coming”).
I believe this also relates heavily to pornography and lust – the world has become immune to pornography in all its forms. One of the top selling books recently was all about pornography. TV is full of pornographic images of women in immodest clothing. Stores use sex as a way to sell clothing. The radio and it’s content is all about lust, sex, and selfishness.
What am I doing to fight the fight?
I am grateful to be actively involved in SAL and the ARP groups.
I look forward to helping in any way I can to promote recovery and healing.
I’m grateful for the talk I found today about selfishness.
More on today’s status with iniquity:
Today, in place of some traditionally shared values is a demanding conformity pushed, ironically, by those who eventually will not tolerate those who once tolerated them. While incremental iniquity may not cause a huge decline all at once, the same somber direction is nevertheless continued, subtly and carefully, with no arousing jolts or jars (see 2 Ne. 28:21).
And how true and relatable this is to me today:
Determined to walk in his own way, the natural man often persists to the point where he is “past feeling,” having been sedated by pleasing the carnal mind (see 1 Ne. 17:45; see also Eph. 4:19). Sadly, like the drug addict, he is always in need of a fresh fix.
Yes, I’ve been “past feeling.” Yes, I’ve been sedated by pleasing the carnal mind and appetite. And yes, just like the drug addict, I’ve been in need of the next fresh fix.
Today is different though. Today I want to live in recovery and healing. Today I want to surrender MY will to HIS.
Today I want to be present and humble and meek.
Today I want to be honest and true, in both personal endeavors and in work.
This is an interesting concept too:
No wonder we have been told, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” and this includes self-worship! (Ex. 20:3; emphasis added). One way or another, the grossly selfish will finally be shattered, whimpering, against the jagged, concrete consequences of their selfishness.
Not only is pornography and addiction committing adultery in the mind and heart, but it is breaking the commandment of having other God’s.
I’m grateful for this study today.
Now I’m off to provide for my family and do a good day’s work.