Being Positively Selfish

We spread what we have within.

One of the questions that most got my attention these past few days is:
“Can being more selfish in the right way restore rather than reduce the soul?”

One of the most difficult tasks for us all is learning to be self-ish in a balanced way. I call this spiritual selfishness…. being more selfish; attentive to myself.

Selfishness that centers around, attunes to, acknowledges and honours the needs of the self is what we all need. Not the selfish, neurotic, childish demands of the ego.

We all grew up learning that when we do something for our self, to promote our own needs, we should feel guilty for the happiness we are pursuing. “Don’t be greedy”, is the refrain.

Let us look at greed, first… Greed, like lust and gluttony, is traditionally considered a sin of excess. It is about never being satisfied with what one has…it is an insatiable hunger like an addiction. We all have our personal addictions - workaholism, shopaholism, perfectionism, sex, drugs, gambling to fill the emptiness within - to numb some festering psychological wound.

We live in a society that worships success and money, so it’s easy and convenient to condemn the selfish greed we see all around us. But are we not all greedy in some way? We all have greed for something. It is human nature we say. As I define it, greed is about the manipulation of avarice at the cost of another… that always backfires.

Commonly we know a selfish person to be one who doesn’t value others, or isn’t fair or just. If one misidentifies what selfishness is one can experience unearned guilt or live a life that is not as good as one could have.

As I see it, there are two meanings of selfishness; one, when you are unkind and inconsiderate of others and the other when you take responsibility for getting your personal, emotional and physical needs met which is when you travel the road towards becoming an adult. So being self-focused instead of being self-involved simply means more “me time”.

I have known many truly “selfish” people who I admire a lot. I find that they are more confident and less likely to give up on their goals. They go after what they want unapologetically and they’re not afraid to ask for a raise in salary or a promotion either!

Even in relationships, if you are looking to a partner to fill your emotional needs your relationship is vulnerable. The best relationships are those where two adults partner and enjoy each other, focusing on what they bring to the relationship not what they will get from it. When you have a well developed sense of who you are, what you enjoy and the ability to communicate to another, you’re a happier person, you’re self-aware, you’re able to focus within and you are more authentic.

So how does one become spiritually rather than greedily self-ish?

What does it even mean to live for yourself?

First, we must seek out the self, which means we must listen to our own inner thoughts, feelings, impulses and needs; non-judgmentally explore your intentions.

Pay attention to your dreams, through which the self speaks directly to you. This helps to get more grounded, mature, meaningful and we begin to live a life informed and guided by the self.

Be the hero of your own movie. Stand proud beside your achievements instead of apologizing for them. We are all worthy of pleasure!

Exploring the statement, Love Yourself and Live for Yourself, can determine the course of your life. It is the essential ingredient for what we’re all really after,

Self-Value and Self-Esteem.

Until next time!
Ritu Malhotra.