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July 30 • Egotiscally Speaking

Day 752

I have preached and made presentations on faith issues in many different churches and organizations on four continents. Each time, before I would take the pulpit or stage, I would pause and whisper some version of this prayer:

"Your words, not mine; Your thoughts, not my theories; Your increase, my decrease."

As genuine as that plea always was, I was not asking for help in being a great orator; I was asking to be used for a purpose beyond my understanding. Sometimes, it was pure and coming from a place or sense of anticipation that I was walking into something that had the potential to impact someone's life. Other times, I must confess, it was more about checking my ego and leaving it behind. My speaking opportunities were never supposed to be about me, and I had to fight that inclination constantly.

Perhaps I need to start saying that prayer before 12 Step meetings where I often must resist the temptation to say the smartest things, be the funniest addict, or demonstrate how hard I'm working my recovery. None of those are the reason I'm there, but I also think there's nothing wrong with a good chuckle in these meetings that can sometimes be so sullen. If I have a word of experience that can speak to another addict, then my motive-questioning self needs to feel comfortable sharing. And if demonstrating hard work can encourage someone else to work their program, that doesn't seem like a bad thing.

But I am an addict in desperate need of continued sobriety, recovery, and affirmation so it is a very slippery slope back into my image-building addictions once I start being the star again.

That pre-speaking prayer of my past was always very centering for me. I'd like to think that the same God who answered those pleas would be delighted to help me in the same way in the role of my Higher Power. In fact, I'd bet my life on it.




Inflate my ego gently

Go tell them heaven sent me

Oh cause I'm, I'm so expressive

And I'm so obsessed

With my ego, my ego

And it's message.

–Elton John, “Ego”



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