Are you a pebble on the beach?

People struggle with self in so many forms. Self-absorption, self-hatred, self-centeredness, self-justification, self-reliance, self-esteem, self-aggrandizement, self-pity, self-respect, self-control, self-consciousness, self-destruction, self-denial, self-delusion, self-image, self-indulgence, self-awareness. Self, self, self. Geez louise.

In fragile times we may experience a vacillating self-concept, comically described in its extreme form as being “an egomaniac with an inferiority complex.” (I may not think much of myself, but I think about myself all the time…) One minute I’m smugly standing tall with confidence bordering on cockiness; then something happens and suddenly I’m self-consciously crawling back into a hole.

Yesterday I heard someone share a simple piece of wisdom regarding this phenomenon: why not try to be a pebble on the beach? No better, no worse. One among many, a worker among workers. A blessed escape from that endless, exhausting effort required to try and prove self-worth. Freedom for our energies to be focused elsewhere, like on healthy self-sacrifice – the giving of ourselves to serve God and help others. I especially like the Welcome Wagon’s musical meditation of the point.

Are you a pebble on the beach?