‘If I Love Myself, Won’t I Be Selfish?’
Just read this article and I soooooo love it! How often have we bought into this? living unfulfilling lives, resigned to being unhappy, because we bought into the belief that if we love ourselves and put our own needs ahead of other’s, then we are being selfish?
The writer did a brilliant job of explaining why this is not so and you should head over here to read her full post 🙂
Here is my definition of selfish:
- Being self-centered and expecting others to give themselves up for you.
- Not caring about the effect your behavior has on others — being inconsiderate of others.
There is a huge difference between being self-centered and being self-responsible. We are being selfish and self-centered when, like my grandmother, we impose our values on others and expect others to do what we want, rather than what they want. We are being selfish and self-centered when we do not consider the effect our behavior has on others, such as my grandmother not caring about the effect her yelling and criticism had on me.
Selfishness comes from neediness, and neediness comes from self-abandonment. When we abandon ourselves — by not compassionately attending to our own feelings, by judging ourselves, by turning to various addictions and by making others responsible for our sense of worth and security — we create an inner emptiness that we then want others to fill. When we feel empty inside due to our self-abandonment, we then try to control others into filling us up. My grandmother wanted me to make her feel okay by doing what she wanted me to do, because she had never learned how to take loving care of herself. It was the same with my parents. And I did the same thing for many years, until I learned how to take loving care of myself through my Inner Bonding process.
Imagine what a wonderful world we would have if each person took responsibility for his or her own feelings and needs. When we take responsibility for ourselves — learning to take loving action in our own behalf and letting go of trying to have control over others giving us the love that we are not giving to ourselves — we can then share our love with others. We don’t have love to share when we feel empty inside, and instead need others’ love to feel that we are okay.
Our world would be a safe, happy and peaceful place if all of us were focused on taking loving care of ourselves. Far from being selfish, when we take loving care of ourselves we discover that the more we love and value ourselves, the more we care about, love and value others.