You Come First

Hello,

So right to answering my question from yesterday: who comes first? You, or others?

Selfish

Selfishness is shown as an evil thing, when in fact it can be a really healthy part of you. (Photo credit: wonderferret)

I guess the logical place to start is with selfishness. I’ve written about this subject before, and I think it’s a recurring theme in my writing because I struggle with it a lot in my life. If I am to be perfectly honest, I am a self-involved person, and at times, I hate that about myself. But there has to be a point where you stand up for yourself, for your needs, and not let everyone else’s rules run your life. As I’ve said before, you’ll go crazy. After all, this is your life, you have to take care of you.

But as thelupinne interestingly put it, “there’s no such thing as a ‘selfless’ person,” which, when I think about it, is true in an intriguing way. Even our actions that are “virtuous” and “good” as still selfish in a way, as they make the person performing the actions feel good, thus making the action ultimately be about themselves. It’s hard to avoid the label ‘selfish’ in the first place (unless you’re always selling yourself away, in which case you’re not taking enough care of yourself guaranteed), and maybe is shouldn’t be something to avoid.

That isn’t to say you can’t help others out. I think it’s an important part of living a positive healthy life as a human. It’s not a duty, (as is blatantly apparent in the world we live in) it is a privilege. One must have the means to be able to help those in need, means that not all have access to. That entails helping one’s self first, among other things. It’s a difficult matter and one we all see in a different way. Only you know if you’re in a place to help others.

Chocolate Cookies with Chocolate and Peanut Bu...

Chocolate Cookies with Chocolate and Peanut Butter Swirled Chips. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another interesting thought came to me yesterday – what if there are different kinds of selfishness? I think it’s all dependent on the energy behind the actions. Surely it isn’t the same thing to help others (selfishly feeling good about being “good”) and to hold onto something so that another may not have it (your best friend wants just a tiny bite of the cookie you’re eating, and you won’t share). Of course, I’m giving you a black and white scenario, but it puts into perspective that not all selfishness is the same selfishness. Society has unfortunately grouped them all together and thrown it all into the “bad” pile.

But being selfish isn’t necessarily bad at all. It can be really healthy. You have to take care of yourself first, so that you may be able to others. Of course, I say ‘can’ because selfishness can go too far and we all know what happens them.

Balancing Act

It’s a balance (Photo credit: Digitalnative)

So I think it’s all about a balance, one that you find for yourself. One that you have to discover. It’s different for everyone, as we’re all in different spots on our spiritual journeys. But only you know when to take care of yourself, and when to take care of others. You can’t give yourself away, and yet you’re not the only person on this planet. It should be said that to take care of the planet is to take care of yourself, too.

The most interesting thing I kept hearing yesterday, though, was a very intriguing, spiritual answer to this dilemma, this question. To be honest, it is a belief that I have and hold for myself, and yet it was a thought I had not connected to this subject. But it makes perfect sense.

Yellow Flower

That flower may seem like it is nothing but a flower. But within it is truly everything. (Photo credit: PhotoLab XL)

We are all one. We are all connected, whether you see it on just a human level, a mental level, or a spiritual level, we are very connected beings. It is truly an illusion that we are all disconnected entities, isolated, separate. At our deepest level, our purest form, we are all one. I am everything, as everything is what makes me (‘I’ is the term I would prefer to use, to represent the purest form of what I am). When I take care of myself, I take care of everything that is a reflection of I – the world, the universe, the people. All of those things are a part of I, as I am a part of them. So essentially, when I take care of others, I take care of myself. As I and them.

–mrprose

Thanks to all that replied yesterday with their answers to my question. I thank you for the support, much of what many of you astutely said translated in my writing.

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26 thoughts on “You Come First

  1. The way you describe it is super. The “selfish” I can’t deal with is people who ONLY know themselves and bore you to death with every fine detail of their lives without as much as asking how your day is.

      • How interesting. I often wonder why people do that, as I interpret it as they don’t feel I’m important. I feel like saying, “Do I play a part in this friendship?” :)

      • Well maybe you do, by feeding into it. People that can’t look beyond their own lives don’t have the awareness yet to start thinking about other things. It’s a long process that takes a lot of exploration.

  2. Maybe it has to do with having the right motives. Like it’s ok to be ‘selfish’ if our motives are others-centred but not ok to be ‘selfless’ if our motives are self-serving… Hehe

  3. Yes, Dear Deep, this is a healthy train of thought you are on: “Wheeee! Wheeeeee! All aboard! This train is leaving the station! We have places to go and people to see! Let’s get this super show on the road!

  4. Very powerful words, it’s so true we are all connected…we need more people to realize that. “That flower may seem like it is nothing but a flower. But within it is truly everything,” very deep and beautiful to grasp. Thanks for checking out my post and glad you enjoyed it!

  5. I love your reasoning. I think a good combination to possess would be selfishness and empathy. If a human being practices the two, he can serve his own interests without hurting others. glad to have come across your blog. here to stay!

    • I’m really glad you liked it. It’s a bit of a delicate topic, and as I’ve said before, the truth is we all approach it differently. But I like the balance that you described.

  6. I am late here so I’ll just say something quick. I think whatever we do is selfish, even when on surface it does not look selfish. Case in point: as a mother I would give my life for my child. Why? Because to live without my child would be unbearable. Would I give my life out of altruism? No! Out of selfishness! I’d rather my child live and I die than to have to carry on without my child. Thus, in my opinion, all is selfishness, even if it looks like altruism. And it is OK to admit it.

    • Yeah, I totally see what you mean, and if you have time to read other comments, you’ll see some others say the same thing – selfishness is a large part of being human.

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