The term 'Self-Centered' is misleading because the use of the word 'centered' implies some modicum of balance. To be self-centered is to in fact, have a skewed view of life, stemming from a dangerous perspective...me. I would definitely not characterize myself as self-centered, but I encounter, on a daily basis, all that I do or think or believe that centers around me. I'm more than a 'half bead off the bubble' when it comes to being 'level' in this way.
I don't think I want to achieve balance; I believe that balance is the journey, not the goal. I want my life to reflect the life of the One who made my life possible, and to live with an Others-Based lens. I also want to give credence to people in my circle, be they family, friends, co-workers, fellow-worshipers, strangers - whomever. I feel like each life has value and has something to teach me about us. And most of all...I believe that if we factor in those around us...even the thoughtless driver on the road, we become less me-based and more pliable and less likely to break or fissure from life's traumas - big and small. My problem...my very big problem...is that I find myself wanting others to live this way also as an affirmation of my journey. Again, a peek at a core expectation of wanting special treatment so my life will be easier and affirmed.
I am often humbled when I read my wonderful friend, Linda Grant's, blog (linked in the margin: updatefromsderot.blogspot.com) explaining her steadfast and powerful life in Sderot Israel. I don't have to worry about bombs raining down on my head every day. And because of that, I forget that we all live at the mercy of one another and a Great God who pities...longs...and provides...for us all. Ahhhh...can you feel the shift of focus off of yourself, and onto Him? He who is able.
In a hurry and in a long line? So what. A difference in political, economical, or religious beliefs? Really listen with a desire to learn - our own beliefs will either be reinforced upon hearing the values of others or be influenced to be enlarged, brimming with new perspective.
As for me...I don't need the weight of being in the center of my life. I give that, which was never within my control, over to One more capable than I.