6.07.2014

Have You Met My Alter Ego? Ms. More Highly

It's possible that you two have met before. She's a fun-loving, confident, self-assured woman. She's knows her worth and is confident that her answer is the one you are looking for. She usually comes around when everything is going smoothly, but she's known for her ability to stir up dissension and dissatisfaction with the status quo. She's quick to whisper about others, and she's often found with her best friends, Pride and Selfishness. When the three of them get together, you want to stay out of their line of sight because they will quickly take you places you do not want to go.

Did you know my alter ego is found in the Bible? She loves to point out that the apostle Paul talks about her, and she refuses to listen when I explain that what he has to say is not flattering.
Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
This week she came around for a visit. At first I tried to ignore her. I was too busy working to listen to the lies she was spreading. But after a few hours, her lies sounded more appealing - I mean, she did make some valid points. Maybe I wasn't appreciated enough. Perhaps I could do better. Was it possible that I was being edged out - the very nerve! Before I knew it, Ms. More Highly was sitting next to me in my office, commiserating with me about all kinds of injustices in my life.

When someone else pointed out areas that could use improvement, Ms. More Highly jumped to my defense. From my right and my left I heard, "You've got this!" "You've worked hard to get to where you are..." What? Oh, Pride and Selfishness joined the party. You know the party I'm talking about, right? The Pity Party? It's a lot of fun at first, talking about how great you are and how no one appreciates you. But after a while, it feels rather lonely in the room, and your praise of yourself starts echoing hollowly off the walls.
Whoever stubbornly refuses to accept criticism will suddenly be broken beyond repair. Proverbs 29:1 (NLT)
 "Ignore them," they whispered, and cheerfully passed me a tissue to wipe my eyes. While I would love to be able to tell you that I quoted Scripture to them (a pity-party antidote if you ever need it), I did not. At least, not right away. Instead I reached out to my husband and told him that I was in a hole and I needed to snap out of it. Although my alter ego did her worst, she couldn't take over the INTJ personality that told me I was being irrational.

When my husband wrote back, he told me to STOP. IT., which, of course, made me laugh. And laughter, as we all know, is the best medicine and a terrific reminder that it's only when we start taking ourselves too seriously that we open the door for Ms. More Highly. And so I made this reminder (below). And I stopped it. And Ms. More Highly and her friends threw disgusted looks over their shoulders and left, with a fair warning that they would be back. And I don't doubt it, but in the meantime, I'm loading up on scriptures about pride and stubbornness that I can call to mind when she returns.


Do you have an alter ego like Ms. More Highly? 
And... anyone here grow up watching Bob Newhart?

4 comments:

  1. This is a beautifully honest and encouraging post, Carrie. Thanks for sharing it!

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    1. Glad you were encouraged by it, Amy. :)

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  2. No matter what prompted this, it took you a short time to STOP IT - and that's the main thing, Carrie. Not only that, you turned on the laughter so there was no room for pity. The trouble with pity parties is that nobody wants to go. Some of us accept criticism well, but are then reluctant to stride outside our comfort zone. Fear of letting someone down is a real fear. Maybe I need to examine that like you have examined your alter ego. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jane. We are all works in progress!

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There are more than 400,000 words in the English language. My only request of you is this: Use them wisely.

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