July 30th

I started reading this book yesterday, only read about 50 pages so far but I already have this deep, profound feeling that this book will be life-changing for me. There are few books in my life like this — books that influenced and changed the way I see, understand and feel. Books like “Ulisses” by James Joyce, “Cinnamon Shops” by Bruno Schultz, “White Goddess” by Robert Graves — where from the first pages I already knew that what I am reading is very special. And now this one (I will do a full review after I finish reading).

Written in the late 1940s it reads like something from today’s blog by eminent sociologist or thinker. Every page has a passage where I need to stop and go back to reread it and reread it again and again — to be sure I understand it and to make sure it stays in my memory. I stop myself every couple of sentences to think, to analyze, to argue in my head for or against.

For example this quote:

There is no doubt that in exchanging a self-centered for a selfless life we gain enormously in self-esteem. The vanity of the selfless, even those who practice utmost humility, is boundless.

I don’t even know how to wrap my head around this quote. It seems absurd, but it isn’t. I am selfless (many times not by choice), less so now when I am more aware of myself but painfully selfless nonetheless — I put others (wellbeing and comfort) in front of my needs. And that builds up my self-esteem and my vanity. But — is having a well-developed self-esteem a bad thing? I had no self-esteem at all when I was drinking. Now, because of my hard work on my sobriety I do. And I feel fine, might fine about it. And yes, I am vain and again — I have no problem with that. Being vain helps me think and feel good about myself, and I need it. For most of my life, I loathed and hated myself and my life (and other people and living in general). Now I am fine with myself, I cannot consider it as something wrong.

And yet, sometimes when I do or think about my volunteer work with the elderly for the City Social Services, I think about myself as a better person. Better than I was but also a better person than other people… That might be slightly unhealthy.

But that’s good, I want to think about myself, my thought and actions, and feelings and emotions. I want to keep on growing as a person and that requires constantly analyzing my behavior (good or bad), challenging myself to be better, and changing what I see needs to be changed. And I know that book will change me and my thinking in a profound way.

--

--

--

“for they knew what sort of noise it was; they recognize, by now, the footsteps of the Furies”. Enjoying life on the road to recovery. Observing and writing.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Wire Your Brain Through Rituals

Shedding Light on The Fear of Success

The Struggle with Dark Web

The truth about happiness…

In a world that has endured a year of hell, joy remains.

Stop trying

What if you stopped being angry??

Is Exercise Linked to professional Performance?

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
footsteps of the Furies

footsteps of the Furies

“for they knew what sort of noise it was; they recognize, by now, the footsteps of the Furies”. Enjoying life on the road to recovery. Observing and writing.

More from Medium

Hand drawn cards by youth at DSHS’ Child Study and Treatment Center spread holiday cheer

A hand drawn scene of a child decorating gingerbread cookies, with a window and holiday tree in the background.

*TURN ON THE POWER*

Problems with Plastic: How Portsmouth University is Leading the Charge.

2021: Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps