Several conversations about emotions, habits, and coping mechanisms have taken place in and around the Retreat this week. There have been a few emergencies involved and all of it got me thinking about the perceptions that people have about how they affect the world and vice versa. While not necessarily attributed to ego or narcissism, many times we become the centers of our universe. In and of itself, this is not necessarily an issue. The challenge becomes though when this “self centered” view actually starts to affect the interactions of the person involved to a detrimental state.
We, as humans, go through the day trying to take care of the tasks we have. This many times forces us to concentrate on time schedules, plans, resources, etc. This can lead to focusing down to the point where only direct interactions are given priority. This, as said, is common. It is actually necessary for some to ensure they are not sidetracked or off schedule. Additionally, there is also the balancing of cost versus reward for many people.
Where does the shift take place though from simply planning to actually gaining the world view that everything is about “you”. Is it the point where a person becomes depressed or lonely? Is it ego? Narcissism? Alternatively, is it some disconnect from the social network that is created by a schedule that is overfilled and under timed. Whatever the case, the effect is that the affected person’s perception of the world contracts until they can only see what is happening around them. Stepping much further out from there requires a great deal of energy and is often still tinted by the lens of their own personal world.
Beyond the normal challenges that society sees alternately good and bad, this self-world definition may also create problems when coping with situations or issues that do not go exactly as planned. Lack of attention, a shift in a personal dynamic with a friend, stressors that affect both positively and negatively…all of these things can lead to trying to cope and reevaluate actions with a limited field of vision. Being able to look beyond ourselves is crucial to being able to understanding that the world is not out to get us or that everything is our fault. When this ability is stifled, it leads into a cycle of either self-abuse or outward transference.