Last Thursday after my first period class, a kid I’ll call J stayed behind and handed me a new yellow paperback.
He hesitated and said, “I’m sorry that I missed your tutorial yesterday. I know you’re here to help us and that people take advantage of you….”
Oof! Gut punch. Kids say the darnedest things.
The day before I had hosted a lunchtime tutorial, pizza provided by the school, for students who haven’t taken the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) and need to pass another government-mandated standardized test (TSI—the Texas Success Initiative) created by College Board (the entity that makes beaucoups of cash by selling both tests plus Advanced Placement). These kids have taken the test before and failed and must retest. The test deems the students college-ready, and if our school has a certain percentage of students who don’t pass this test, then we look bad. We lose some prestige. Therefore, the intervening tutorial. We discussed grammar and multiple-choice test-taking tips. Some of the kids were one question away from passing on their last attempt. Meanwhile, J, who had a lead in our all-school musical Mamma Mia last semester was giving me a book about how to stop doubting my greatness and start living an awesome life. Somehow, I know he is college ready, and I don’t need test results to tell me. If he doesn’t go to college, who the F cares? J is already living an awesome life and sharing his secret with me.
“…but I think you’re amazing,” he said, “and I hope you’ll read this book.”
I may or may not have had tears in my eyes when I gave him a speechless fist bump. I was touched by the gift. “I will absolutely read this book,” I said. Students filed through the door for my next class, J left, and I composed myself.
Yesterday, I left work at lunch. This morning, I stayed home. The struggle is real. I was supposed to tutor during my lunch again today—and I just can’t. The test is March 22. There is time to postpone. I picked up the book from J and read. Chapter 4 resonated.
“In the self-help/spiritual community, ‘Ego’ is used to refer to the shadow self, or the false self, or the self that’s acting like a weenie. It’s the part of us that’s driving the bus when we do things like sabotage our happiness by cheating on our husbands or wives because deep down we don’t feel worthy of being loved, or that refuses to follow our hearts and pursue an acting career because we are terrified to be seen for who we really are, or that goes on and on and on and on about how great we are and shows off our muscles because we’re insecure and need lots of outside validation that we’re good enough.”Jen Sincero
Ego—the self that’s acting like a weenie. That’s funny. How many of us are driven by our insecurities and the need for validation that we’re good enough…smart enough…sexy enough…rich enough…skinny enough…badass enough…just simply enough? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
“The leading cause of sucking (staying broke, dating morons, uncontrollably crying in public because we hate our lives) is that we haven’t yet woken up to how truly powerful we are or to how massively abundant our Universe is.”Jen Sincero
Speaking of the Universe, I’ve heard the part about its massive abundance before. Seeing these words again seems like a message tailored for me.
“The [ego] operates according to your limiting false beliefs. This is the garbage that was stuffed into your subconscious as a kid that doesn’t ring true for you, as well as the decisions you’ve made about yourself that are less-than flattering or empowering. It gets validation from outside sources (I’m doing this to win your love, your opinion of me is more important than my opinion of me), it’s reactive (My circumstances control my life, I am a victim), fear-based, and extremely committed to keeping you safely confined within the reality you’ve created based on those false limiting beliefs (otherwise known as your comfort zone). The [ego] lives in the past and in the future and believes you are separate from everything around you.
Your true self or your higher self or your superhero self (your non-BS self)…is the part of you that operates according to your connection to Source Energy. It gets validation from within (I love and trust myself, this feels right to me, I have a purpose, I am loved), it’s proactive (I’m in control of my life, I think I’ll head on out and kick me some ass), love based, and is committed to creating a reality based on your limitless potential…Your true self lives in the present (not stuck in your head), totally believes in miracles and is one with the Universe.Jen Sincero
The false self (based on your subconscious and limiting false beliefs) vs. the true self (connected to a higher power AKA Source Energy). The true self validates from within, takes action, seeks limitless potential, stays out of head, believes in miracles, and loves their fellow human. Suddenly, I find myself thinking of 1 Corinthians 4-8. What a lovely truth!