The Look at Me Syndrome

May 25, 2012Archive

I had a revelation last week. Not the sort that comes with bells, whistles and fireworks. It was a quiet knowing, a holy realization.

I’ve had the Look at Me Syndrome all my life. Even as a child, I needed/craved attention. If you’ve read the book, Thin Places, you have an idea of why I might be this way. 

When you’ve been overlooked or ignored, something rises up within you–a hunger–that needs to be satisfied.

The problem is, I’m an adult now, and I’m not in a place of deprivation. My life is full. Folks love me. I have fulfilling work. And yet, I still want others to look at me.

So I stumbled across these scriptures in the midst of my realization:

“Jesus’ brothers said to him, ‘Leave here and go to Judea, where your followers can see your miracles! You can’t become famous if you hide like this! If you can do such wonderful things, show yourself to the world!’ ” John 7:3-4 NLT


“Those who speak for themselves want glory only for themselves, but a person who seeks to honor the one who sent him speaks truth, not lies.” John 7:18

Jesus didn’t court fame. He didn’t have the Look at Me Syndrome. He longed for His Father to get glory, not Himself.

In contrast (confession alert), I’ve spent a LIFETIME needing others to recognize me. “Look at me,” my life screams. My need to be seen makes rejection even harder, more painful than it should.

It’s time to settle my worth.

That it’s not centered on looking for others to fill me, see me, herald me. It’s centered on the settled work of Jesus on the cross. His love, His sacrifice, His ultimate noticing of me should give me the courage to stop the treadmill of longing for approval.

God is moving in me, not only opening my eyes, but showing me that this pattern of Look at Me Now needs to stop. By His grace, I’ll learn the art of becoming Look at Him Now.

How about you? Have you suffered from the Look at Me Now Syndrome? Why? How? What helped you run from that?