As a society we love to throw that word around when someone does something that doesn’t give us what we want. We absorb the stories we hear of other people who have behaved ‘selfishly’ and internalize the fear that we ourselves may one day be considered *gasp* selfish.
I feel this is important to discuss because so many brilliant, talented and kind people hold themselves back from amazing things simply out of fear of selfishness. What if going after what I want inconveniences someone else? Is that selfish?
We all must do what we can to make our lives as enjoyable as possible. Not just for ourselves, but for everyone who comes in contact with us.
I recently worked two 10 hour days in a row. At first I felt proud of myself for my stamina and for how much I was accomplishing. But, then I found myself irritated easily and making the people around me feel far less than loved. If I’d only stopped my work earlier or found moments in the middle of my day to seek joy than everyone in my life would have benefited.
The act of doing what is best for you is not a selfish act, it’s an act of deep love for both yourself and others. So, how do you tell the difference between selfishness and self-love?
Self-love is the act of caring for yourself first so that you can love others better.
Selfishness is the act of doing whatever you need to do for yourself and being willing to watch other people suffer as a result.
SO, what do you do with this? I suggest that if you catch yourself stalling on what you need out of fear of being selfish that you ask yourself, “will someone suffer if I do this?” If the answer is ‘no’ than you’re good. If the answer is ‘maybe’ then I suggest asking that person or a representative for that group of people. “How would it feel if I were to do this?” Use the information provided and come to a conclusion that works for both parties.
Let’s stop guilting ourselves into remaining small. You were made to create the thing that is resting in the back of your mind, to figure out what drives you, to live a joyful and inspired life!
You can rest easy in knowing that the very fear of being selfish is in itself proof that you are not inherently a selfish person. Now, go make yourself happy.
with all of my love,