It’s a game we play in this home. The Versus Game
Authentic V Original
BS V Lie
Agreement V Conformity
Conformity V Fear
You see, it makes you dig down and discover all sorts of things and leads to the most amazing conversations.
To me being authentic means being unapologetic about who you are, Original has the feel of being forced to come up with something new, which there rarely is.
You get the drift.
So Selfish V Selfless
It is always my hope when I write, and you read these posts it nudges you into slowing down for 5 minutes and spending time with self.
Anyway here we go….
Selfish first ?
As in every aspect of our language there are shades and echos and tones….
So how the word selfish makes you feel depends on how it's been used against you, or in defence of you or the other infinite contexts.
Personally I find the word, a little manipulative, so clearly its been used against me at some stage.
(of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for other people; concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure.
But when does an act become selfish.
If you want to spend your time walking alone on the beach and your partner wants to go shopping… is that selfish? Is not wanting to part with half of that donut you have been waiting for all day and your starving, is that selfish? Is wanting to leave a relationship because you have nothing left to give, your miserable on a daily basis, or have fallen in love with someone else selfish?
Or Is selfish more often than not, just a weapon that can be thrown out there like a grenade to induce guilt by the person that isn’t getting their own way? Doesn't their demand make them selfish? Is there a natural pecking order as to who should get their own way?
Yes there are acts of actual selfishness, but there is a difference, it’s like black and white. One calls to the discernment of the soul, that is true selfishness, and one is just manipulation. We all do know that selfish person, not the one that won’t give us what we want but is genuinley and consitently just lacking in a generous spirit and just needs to be avoided rather than labelled.
But for the rest, really, why cant we be concerned chiefly with our own personal pleasure, or profit for that matter. What is wrong with living in the way we feel is right for us.
Spiritually we are here for the personal journey, we are here to learn and grow and experience according to our highest self. How do we do that if we are constantly having to only live within the expectations of others.
Most people naturally have a generous spirit, one that genuinely cares for the wellbeing of others and wants to do the good thing, but manipulation of that generous spirit is way too prevalent I feel.
We all aspire to be that word, in fact when we aren’t the guilt thing comes to visit. We feel we have let the world down in some way. I have so many come to see me with stories of how they give to their families, their bosses, their community from the time they wake until the time they close their eyes at night…. And for the most part they look washed out, unhappy and resentful.. very resentful.
I am not sure we were sent here to spend our life in sacrifice, forsaking our entire existence for the sake of everyone but ourselves, and if we are then why is resentment so much a part of it for so many. Because naturally if resentment is present then its not a selfless act is it?
Life has to be about self, about learning to love you, discover you, being you… and when you have that firmly nailed down, being selfless becomes more common, more comfortable, more viable and sustainable. It becomes Easy, it becomes a desire. You have the discernment to say no as well as yes.
Consider the word selfish and what it means to you and then ponder this.
Johns utmost personal desire, in seeking his own pleasure is to spend all day every day helping other people . John will seek out people to help, he will advertise to offer to help others, he has a network of people that ensures he has people to help all day everyday to fill his hearts desire, he loves it.
Because of this Johns Mum thinks that he selfishly doesn't spend time with her because he is so busy doing what he wants to do.
Now consider Jane
Janes utmost desire is to spend as much of her life as she can in her own solitude. She has a job where she has to interact with people but her absolute preference is to not. Jane has friends, but she would rather be on her own most, if not all of the time if she could. Her greatest desire is to be alone to read, to be curious, to dream, to write in silence alone. She is following her greatest passion, the thing that makes her happy. Janes dad thinks Jane is selfish as she doesn't want to spend time with her family, her parents and siblings, uncles aunts, She doesn't attend family events as she wants that time alone, as that is what makes her happy.
Are either of these people selfish? Or are they only selfish in the eyes of the beholder?
We do know that John would be seen as altruistic, charitable, SELFLESS . All positive words
We would also know that Jane would be seen as Introvert, antisocial, SELFISH , all the negative words
But in truth they were both just following their passion, their pleasure, they were being what we are lead to believe is Selfish.
So Is substituting your happiness for someone else’s a selfless or a selfish act.
We are all in service in some form, and yes some more than others, but I beleive we are all selfless when we desire or need to be.
We all commit acts for different reasons and sometimes they are the same acts but under the different banner of Selfless or Selfish depending on who's commenting and labelling and the intent of the person committing the act.
Life is perception.
Just something to ponder on a Saturday afternoon.
Much love Penny x