Are You Selfish Enough?

 Let’s re-frame the word “selfish”

When I was about 20 years old, I read a book titled, “When I Say “No”, I Feel Guilty”. That book was an eye-opener for me.  As a shy college student, I wanted to be liked, I wanted to think of myself as a nice person, and I was afraid to deal with conflict.  I thought saying “Yes” was the nice thing to do.  Eventually, I got the hang of saying “No”, but I must admit the temptation to feel guilty can still rear it’s ugly head. Loving myself enough to be “selfish” is an ongoing process.

DON'T BE SELFISH.framedA lot of us were taught to believe that it’s “selfish” to ask for what you want, or say “No” to what you don’t want. But stop and think about it: Who was the first person to accuse you of being “selfish”?  It was probably a parent or maybe a sibling. As very young children, we learn that we’re supposed to play nice, share our toys, and let Johnny go first.  These are important lessons for a 3 year old. But as an adult, if you ignore your own needs in order to play Mr. Nice Guy, you lose.  You lose your self-respect, your power, and your autonomy.  It might make everyone around you happy, but are you happy?

Here are five clues that you may not be selfish enough:

1) You’re more concerned with what’s fair to others than what’s fair to you.

2) You attract people who are very focused on themselves.

3) You’re afraid to ask for what you want.

4) You’re not sure what you want.

5) When you say “No”, you feel guilty.

Let’s turn it around.

  • Give yourself permission to be selfish.  Give yourself permission to be self-loving.
  • Listen to your gut feelings. Is your gut saying “Yes” or “No”?  If someone asks you to do something, check in with how you feel. Does the thought of doing it make you feel heavy or light?
  • Know that if you say “No”, the other person is free to react however they choose, but you don’t need to feel guilty about being true to yourself.
  • Take time in solitude to listen deeply to the prayer of your heart. What is your heart’s desire?  Then, have the courage to ask for what you want.
  • Take some steps, however big or small, to create a life that makes your soul sing.

As Jeshua says, in The Way of Mastery, “Self love is the love of the Creator. You cannot love the Creator while rejecting the Creator’s creation.”  Self love.WOM.lily

So, it turns out that loving yourself is actually the spiritual thing to do!  Who knew?

Leave a comment and let me know an act of self-loving-kindness that you did today.

 


Who is the Authority on You?

Confused

Consider these scenarios:

  • When a student said “No” to the sexual advances of her teacher, the teacher responded, “You need to learn about spiritual surrender.”
  • After a young woman told her ex-husband that she didn’t want him to come by the house, he yelled, “You’re just reacting out of fear, and fear is an illusion.”
  • A man received an unexpected letter from an angry friend who pointed out all the mistakes the man made in raising his son, and blamed the man for the problems in his son’t life.

As you read these scenarios, it’s probably obvious that there’s a lot of manipulation going on here,  But, in real life, when you’re in the heat of an argument or you need to confront an authority figure, the emotional charge of the situation can cloud your thinking. It can be difficult to see yourself clearly, when someone tries to convince you that they are RIGHT about you…when they claim to be right about everything you’re doing wrong.

Who is the authority on you?  You are!  As Wayne Dyer says, “What other people think of me is none of my business.”

pointing fingerBut what if you get thrown off balance by other people’s judgment or criticism of you?  You might feel especially vulnerable when dealing with someone in a position of authority. For example, if a spiritual leader, a teacher, parent, or someone you consider to be an expert has a negative opinion about you, you might be tempted to value their point of view more than your own. This can also happen with friends, your spouse or partner, or even an enemy.  You might get “hooked” by how they feel about you and how they see you.

If you find yourself going into confusion or self-doubt, and you’re wondering if maybe the other person is

right about their negative perception of you, here are some red flags to watch out for:

Does the person…

  • Use spiritual ideas to make you wrong, shame you, or put you down
  • Analyze your actions and tell you exactly how messed up you are
  • Tell you, directly or indirectly, that you don’t know what you’re talking about
  • Say you shouldn’t be setting the boundaries you’re setting
  • Deny your feelings
  • Claim to know, better than you do, what is best for you
  • Blame you for the pain they are feeling

All of the above are tactics for undermining your sense of your own integrity and inner authority.  Don’t get hooked!

No one can tell you who you should be, what you should believe, or how you should be feeling.

*Please leave a comment and let me know how you keep yourself from getting sucked in to other people’s judgments about you.