The belief that unhappiness is selfless and happiness is selfish is misguided. It’s more selfless to act happy. It takes energy, generosity, and discipline to be unfailingly lighthearted, yet everyone takes the happy person for granted.― Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project
What does the word selfish mean to you? It’s not a positive word, right? According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, selfish is: “concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself: seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others”
In my opinion, it’s extremely important taking care of yourself first so that you can cultivate more and more love for others in your heart. I think that, as soon as you let go of trying to keep others happy, and put your happiness first, you become a real giver. You see how much you have to share, your heart truly opens, and people start to see a more relaxed, fun, kind, humble person when they look at you.
I know that we all brought up by our families with the idea of putting others first. That’s what a good person would and should do. But you can put others first for a limited time until you hit your limit. After that point, things start to make you feel frustrated, pissed off, angry, bitter, resentful.
So, maybe we shouldn’t think of this as being selfish or selfless and maybe say we are selfful. This dialogue between an eight years old girl and her mother explains it better than I can with many words:
Mom: “Jenny, you’re so full of your self!”
Jenny: “Who else would I be full of?”
Yes, it is that simple. I wish we would be able to look at things from a child’s perspective all through our lives. By truly being your authentic and connected self, you would do more service to the planet. You would shine a luminous example of joy, freedom and love. You would become a more caring person, a better listener. Speak kindly and positively to and of others, without criticizing, judging or complaining.
Penelope Quest, in her Reiki for Life: A Complete Guide to Reiki Practice book summarizes brilliantly what I try to say with this quote: “Giving yourself some loving attention is not selfish. It is sensible. If you feel loved and cherished – even if it is only by yourself – then you will have more love to give to others, too.”
So, my friends, I dare you to be a little bit more selfish. To love and take care of yourself first and foremost.