So right to answering my question from yesterday: who comes first? You, or others?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Friday Question: Who Comes First? (deepthinkings.wordpress.com)
- To Not Be Selfish Is To Lose Yourself (dorfmanhealing.com)
- It has nothing to do with me (clawingcrows.wordpress.com)
- Why You Should Be Selfish. (elephantjournal.com)
- You’re The Hero of Your Own Life (deepthinkings.wordpress.com)