Let’s Talk About Your Elbow.
I want to talk about your elbow precisely because you’re not thinking about it right now. That is, at least until I mentioned it you weren’t thinking about your elbow, unless you just injured it, or it’s bruised or inflamed or something. If there’s something wrong with it, sure, it’s on your mind. That’s the point.
I have some kind of shoulder issue at the moment, and if I move it much at all, or something touches it, it hurts. Because of the inflammation, I’m acutely aware of my right shoulder. I’m always thinking about it, adjusting for it, even changing my plans to avoid hurting it.
This is precisely how the human ego works. It “hurts” when it’s inflamed. Sure, it’s always there— everyone’s got an ego— but when it’s oversized, it’s constantly being injured or threatened. When it’s “all about me,” I’m constantly aware of myself, bracing myself for ego injury.
Few want to hear this, but it’s true, and it can be enormously helpful in life: if you’re constantly being hurt, offended, or angered, you should honestly evaluate your inflamed ego. When you’re humble, you’re not constantly thinking, How do I look? or Am I a success? or What do they think of me? It’s just not on your radar screen.
When we choose, ahead of time— before conversations, before meetings, before our day begins— to be unoffendable, we’re simply choosing humility.
Self-forgetfulness is what happens when we’re emotionally healthy.
Hansen, Brant (2015-04-14). Unoffendable: How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better (Chapter 23). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.