Selfish? What Does that Mean, Really?

by | Dec 8, 2020 | Beth's Voice, Observations

The word selfish is such a loaded word. Every time I hear the word, there is something inside of me that immediately, without a skipped beat, says “I’m not selfish!” with such an emotional kick I can almost feel the punch in my chest.

It’s an automatic response I have that’s been years in the making. I’m sure as a young kid it didn’t have the immediate punch it does today, but it speaks directly to the power the word has for many of us as we navigate life into adulthood.

Often the word selfish means more about how I treat others than how I treat myself. When I think of selfish people, I think about how they disrespect and maybe even hurt others.

I realized I can shift the perspective from others to myself.

By being selfish, I care about me. I acknowledge my hopes, my dreams, and what is important to me. It doesn’t mean I ignore or dismiss what other people want. Just because I see myself as important doesn’t necessarily mean others aren’t important.

There is plenty of room in the world for everyone to be important.

You are the only one who can recognize your value. And, being selfish – with this new definition – is a way to do it.

So, if you think about yourself before you rush out to help someone or if you take a pause before volunteering your time or money, don’t think of yourself as selfish. Instead, acknowledge yourself for taking care of you first and for making sure what you do with your time and attention is what’s important to you.

Remember, you don’t help anyone when your actions come from a place of guilt or obligation. It’s always your choice to make.

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