Addendum – “Are You Worthy?”

Not too long ago I posted a piece called, “Are You . . . ?” where I discussed a question we often ask ourselves about our own self-worth. 

It still amazes me how we are programed to dislike, discredit, and disparage ourselves.

Well there is, of course, an opposite corollary to this self-depreciation. 

Narcissism.

I’ve seen a lot of posts on social media recently about narcissism.  And it’s quite understandable in today’s climate where it seems that many people seem to believe that “it,” meaning everything, is all about them and them only. 

We even have so-called “leaders” modeling and sanctioning this grotesque behavior.

In the past people may have called this selfishness, but at a certain point this crosses over into pathology and so we have narcissistic personality disorder.   The dictionary defines this trait as, “selfishness, involving a sense of entitlement, a lack of empathy, and a need for admiration.”

That’s putting it mildly.

And the reason I’m pondering this today is because I was paid a rather nice compliment by a friend the other day.  She told me that I “mattered.”  That I make, or have made, a difference for others.  A positive difference. 

I am quite flattered. Humbly so, as I often question my own value or the value of my contribution to this vast Universe. 

But the compliment also made me remember an insult I once received.  At least a comment I took as an insult.  The worst insult I believe I had ever been given.  And it came from a person who was supposed to love me.  What she said was that I was “useful.”

Useful.

In the context in which this was uttered, I was a utilitarian object.  Something to keep around to do this person’s bidding.  To keep the household running. Bring in the green and maintain the homestead. 

She thought it was a compliment.

It’s not that I was needed.  Or liked, loved, or respected.  I was just nice to have around when it suited her.  When it was convenient.  To take out the trash. 

This word came from that pathological realm. A place where all that mattered was herself. And her view that any entity around her was merely there to serve her own reflection of herself.

Words contain a powerful magic.  They can motivate, create, empower, and translate.  They can erect a vision in your mind of places you have never seen or experienced. 

Or they can destroy. 

We should all choose our words wisely. 

Of course, for a narcissist, vocabulary is limited to the image in their mirror.  Someday, maybe there will be a cure for this disease of pathological self-indulgence.

In Metta

Photo: I struggled a bit to pick a pic for this one. The topic of narcissism isn’t a pleasant reflection. Not like the one you see in this image. But reflections is sort of the theme of the post. Self-reflection. But from two different directions.

In one mirror’s view, we critically examine, always seeking ways to refine and improve.

In the other’s mirror’s view, they chastise the mirror for failing to reflect their grandiose notions of themselves.

In this case we have a beautiful reflection of a bridge in the Merced River. It creates a doubling effect. Turning the archway into an oval. The side passageway into, humm, some odd shape. An infinite corridor through time and space? Or maybe a window into the soul? Imaginatively speaking, that is. Depending on your point of view. 🙂

30 thoughts on “Addendum – “Are You Worthy?””

  1. Good post. I’ve suspected social media as a propagator of narcissistic behavior. Even people I wouldn’t expect sometimes narrow their scope on social media. Living a digital life is an odd situation. Right now, as I type, the world around me is closed off. I’m in my mind. Things I read, images I see join with my mind and make me a sort of universe. When I stop, I hear the human made music on the stereo, hammers pounding across the street of real people working side by side as a team, playing their own music while shouting and hooting (seriously. it sounds like such a quality job). People driving cars and trucks on errands, working, visiting, exploring. Social media exaggerates emotions. When it comes to negativity, that’s a horrible thing. It puts many more on the defensive, because we read these things from our friends that are now living in our universes. If you were to ask me, one general cure for some of the self centered qualities is merely having face to face, shoulder to shoulder togetherness, acceptance. FYI Oh! And you are a work of fine art, even the least conspicuous of us is. It’s odd that so much energy is used to categorize people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks ! And thanks for sharing your insight. I agree. Real human interaction would definitely eliminate some of this behavior. I see some people so totally absorbed in SM. They have their imaginary audience following their every movement – in their minds only . . .

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I live with someone possessing a “narcissistic personality disorder.” I’ve gotten over it, because they never will. Narcissists, and Empaths (of whom I am one) are drawn to each other like a lock and key. Of course, the Empath is completely unaware until it’s too late. For the ultimate expression of Narcissistic personality disorder (crossing over into psychosis) and how they are drawn to Empaths, tune into “Hannibal” on Nextflix. Not the movie. The series. If you can get past the gruesome bodies, it’s a fascinating psychological study.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks George ! I’ll check it out. And I agree about the pairing of narcissists and empaths. If it gets too unhealthy though, it’s time to get out. At a certain point, there’s no amount of money or property or convenience that is worth remaining in that person’s company

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  3. Love the post Harold! I have many thoughts on the subject yet also many questions. Like, are narcissists born? Or made? Is it say, a passed-on ancient human trait from an inherent evolutionary gene pool? After all, who’s more narcissistic than a new born baby? Or, is it a product of environmental circumstance, parenting, or social influence?

    And is narcissism more prevalent today as it seems? Do we really have more narcissistic people today than back in the days of yore, or has social media (and orange tinted leaders) just made it look that way? Yet, most of us have run across someone in our lifetime who we deem as at least a little narcissistic.

    But that would either mean narcissism has run amok or its inherent in most of us? YIKES!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t know if the rise in Narssisim has anything to do with the ways parents focused on their children trying to make up for both working. (I am generalizing) It does seem that more people have not been raised to care about others and consider themselves entitled. Somehow we have to work to change this trend. My daughter who is a nurse case manager suffers from too much caring while those who work with her actually bully her because of it. It makes them look bad. Things have to change!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed, I hope they do change. I’m not really sure of the state of parenthood today. I learned by example. And our society then had more of a focus on public service. Just go to LinkedIn and read the comments of the posts if you want to get a sense of today’s society. Everything, absolutely everything, is focused on self and money. And anyway you can get ahead, lie, cheat, steal – it’s all fair game. It is rabid capitalism.

      Liked by 1 person

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