Sunday, October 14, 2012

Excuses and Self-Possession

I've noticed that it does seem to be true that as we get older, we seem to get more stuck in our ways.  In particular, I've noticed how assumptions I make about myself provide me excuses for not being better about something or gives me a pass to not work at self-improvement.  For example:
  • Assumption: I'm just not good at keeping in touch with people.
    • This is my excuse for letting myself fall out of touch with friends.  Out of sight, out of mind.

  • Assumption: I'm not good with names (but really, who is?).
    • This is my excuse for not spending any energy to really remember someone's name.

  • Assumption: If someone snaps at me, I will hold a grudge.
    • This is my excuse for allowing myself to become inward facing and to lick my wounds.

  • Assumption: I'm not really a phone person.
    • This is my excuse for not making a phone call (and instead, sending an email or a text) in order to avoid awkward moments on the phone.

I'm sure there are many more.  I'm sure there must also be a balance between the predisposition to these qualities and finding occasions to die to yourself. Sure, some of these things may seem small (as opposed to breaking a pornography addiction or something), but as Matthew Kelly says, each time we deny ourselves, no matter how small, we create an ounce of self-possession.

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