Narcissus was a youth that was full of pride in himself. He was so prideful that the Gods cursed him. The curse was one that caused him to fall in love with that which was unattainable – his own reflection. He pined away, staring into his own eyes.
The lesson in this legend is that neither should you be too proud, thinking yourself better than others; and that you should not blindly seek to attain love from those that will not return it to you. Both are damaging, and will result in nothing but pain.
I had part of this lesson opened up to me today.
I believe that I wrote about being asked to officiate at another wedding, this one to take place on Halloween/Samhain. I was, and last night, I was scheduled to meet with the couple to talk about the ceremony, and get all the particulars.
Well, the evening didn’t go as planned at all.
I went to the restaurant to meet with them, and waited. And waited. For 20 minutes, I sat there. I tried to contact them by the phone number that I’d been given, but it had been disconnected. And they didn’t contact me by the e-mail address that I’d given, either. I was angry, and slightly embarrassed. After all, here I’d sat in the entryway of the restaurant for 20 minutes, by myself, didn’t get seated, and ended up walking out, again, by myself.
Stood up. Jilted. Disrespected.
Me. An ordained minister, a professional (cause, you know, I’ve already done 2 official weddings and a handfasting, for Pete’s sake!)
I had plenty of help in this prideful notion today, too, when I told the women in my office how I’d been stood up by the couple that wanted to get married. And they better have a damn good reason for it if they still wanted me to do this wedding. The women nodded in sympathy, and told me flat out to refuse the couple. There was no excuse for that level of disrespect.
Which made me stop.
Yeah, there are reasons. And I don’t know them. And it’s only disrespectful if I let it reflect on who I see myself as.
Am I some holier-than-them special high-muckity Grand Poobah?
I’m human. I hate mornings. I growl at people until I’ve had my Diet Coke caffeine fix. I run late sometimes, and sometimes I don’t live up to my own, or other people’s expectations.
So how can I sit on my big Judging-Otter chair (for you Laura) and pass sentence on people that I’ve never even met?
Well, I can’t.
So, tonight, when the prospective Groom called me, apologetic and wanting to try again for a meeting on Saturday, I told him it was alright, and I was still willing.
Because really, without compassion and forgiveness, how can I call myself a member of the clergy of any faith, and still look myself in the mirror? My head would be too swollen with my own reflection to see anything, or anyone else.
At what point do Self-Esteem and Pride become harmful? When you let it get in the way of life, and when it stops allowing you to be a useful and contributing member of society.
In other words, Check Yourself – Before You Wreck Yourself.
Lesson learned. Thanks.