earth-from-space-westernI love helping people just like the next person.   I serve my family daily.  I make my kids lunches, take them to school, do laundry, cleanup, pick up, help my husband with his business, donate items to the church,  etc.  I also run a business that's primary objective is helping others.   But somewhere in my head, and heart, I believe that MY Life is about Me.   I pray for things to go well for me.    God and I have 2 different definitions of what " going well" for me means.

These are examples of what would seem to us to not be going so well. (not personal examples)

1.  You don't get the job you wanted.

2 . You are sick.

3.  You are infertile.

4.  Your kids misbehave despite all the books you read, despite how patient you have been with them, despite following Super Nanny.

5.  You're husband cheats, or divorces you.

6.  You get in a car accident.

7.  Someone you love moves away, dies, or betrays you.

8. Your business venture doesn't pan out.

On my drive home from San Diego the other day, I had a chance to reflect on something my dad said to me in my late teens, and early 20s.  My dad had told me that at one point he was very depressed.  Then God gave him a special revelation, that changed his life forever, and brought him out of his depression.


Well, I was  much younger when he first told me this, and this statement sounded a bit  depressing, and maybe a tad absurd.   At the time, I'm sure I dismissed it altogether, or assumed I already knew what that meant.   But as I drove home 20 years later, I began to think about what that might mean  in practical terms for my life, or anyone else's.

1.    If My life is Not about me.....then who is it about?  Well of course it's about me!  Why else would he have created me?    Well that is partially true, but all things work together for good.  And that means even if it doesn't seem good for me at the time, it might just be good for the "overall" plan of God.  That means that it might not go according to my plan, but  it might ultimately help another.

2.  What if God's plan for my life, and my plan for my life are not the same?  Well, then you will for sure suffer.  Either you will suffer here, as you battle to have your own way, and your own comforts, as God tries to steer you back to the path He see best.  Or if you have rejected God completely and are determined to have it your way or the highway, then of course there will be suffering at some point.  People who are this selfish are usually not very happy individuals.

3.  If My life is not about me, Then what should I be doing actively?   You should be trying to discern God's will for your life.  You should be trying to see the world through God's eyes.  After all, we are the hands and feet of Jesus.   How could my life benefit others?

4.  Don't worry,  it doesn't mean that you need to over extend yourself.  Turning away from having the world revolve around you is a freeing act.   Focus on your spouse, or your children, and you will be a happier person.  Random acts of kindness will expand your world without overextending you.  Overextension is something I worry about if you couldn't tell.  You still need to get your own needs met; and that means actively figuring out exactly what those needs are,   and making a plan to make that happen. (more on that in a future article)

5.  There is a song by Matthew West that captures some of what I am expressing.  It's the story of someone who was completely self focused, and had his own little world.  Gradually he started to look around, and involve others in his life.  His realized there might be a bigger picture and he was missing out.  What if there is a greater purpose I could be living right now?   (Lyrics at the bottom)

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I'm not talking about being selfish here, but there are plenty of good people, who honestly believe that their life is mostly about them.   Somehow we have this innate sense that it IS all about us.  We are born self focused, and it is hard to break away from that thought process.  Some are never able to break away.

I find myself looking at the world through "how does this affect me lens"?  That is sometimes  my first response.  If I can just say those words.  "My Life is Not About Me,"  it will change my outlook about each experience.  For this Lent, we could take a moment, and add that to our reactions, and then tell ourselves that phrase.  I will be more patient, more encouraging,  and more generous with this in mind.  And my world won't be limited to Population ME.

dreamstime_xs_10087842My Own Little World (Lyrics)

In my own little world it hardly ever rains
I've never gone hungry, always felt safe
I got some money in my pocket, shoes on my feet
In my own little world
Population me

I try to stay awake during Sunday morning church
I throw a twenty in the plate, but I never give 'til it hurts
I turn off the news when I don't like what I see
Yeah,it's easy to do when it's
Population: me

What if there's a bigger picture?
What if I'm missing out?
What if there's a greater purpose
I could be living right now
Outside my own little world

Stopped at a red light, looked out my window
I saw a cardboard sign, said "Help this homeless widow"
Above that sign was the face of a human
I thought to myself, "God, what have I been doing?"
So I rolled down the window and I looked her in the eye
Oh how many times have I just passed her by?
So I gave her some money then I drove on through
And my own little world reached
Population two

What if there's a bigger picture?
What if I'm missing out?
What if there's a greater purpose
I could be living right now
Outside my own little world yeah, yeah
My own little world

Father break my heart for what breaks Yours
Give me open hands and open doors
Put Your Light in my eyes and let me see
That my own little world is not about me

What if there's a bigger picture?
What if I'm missing out?
What if there's a greater purpose
That I could be living right now
I dont want to miss what matters
I wanna be reaching out
Show me the greater purpose
So i can start livin right now
Outside my own little world

Copyright 2013 Marya Jauregui