Being Selfish Rules
I am so happy to have discovered a life of unmitigated selfishness. It’s not a recent discovery, and in fact I raised my kids to be completely selfish too … although honestly we never talked about it quite that way.
Living selfishly is pure bliss and everyone around you benefits from it. Contrary to what we have been culturally taught about being selfish, I’ve learned that it’s actually a secret to life. In fact it might even be the meaning to life. Some of you know just what I mean. For the rest of you, here is some insight on the magical, glorious selfish life.
Everyone seeks happiness, right? Everyone wants what they want, right? Everyone has a right to get what they want, right? Ok, even if you have been conditioned to believe that we don’t have a right to get everything we want, you can at least fantasize how great this might be. So here’s the deal: my happiness, my fulfillment, does not take away from your happiness or your potential for fulfillment, however you define that. There is no limited resource when it comes to happiness or fulfillment. We all have access to the WHOLE PIE of happiness, not just one slice so that there is enough for everyone. We all have access to our OWN whole pie. How much of the pie do you want?
I am in charge of defining, seeking and fulfilling my ever changing needs and desires for happiness. No one else can do this for me! My husband is not responsible for making me happy, my children are not responsible for making me feel good about my mothering, the world does not owe me a single solitary thing. I am responsible for this. I am accountable to myself for this. I live day in and day out with the awareness that I am solely responsible for creating my universe: the friends I choose, the things I think about, the foods I eat and the way they make me feel, the altered states that resonate with me, the physical exercise I engage in, the spiritual beliefs I connect with, the actions I take to create income and more, everything.
I raised my kids the same way and they are all grown adults now. As a family, each person behaving selfishly all the time as a way of life, our home was rich and busy with everyone pursuing thoughts and action that suited them.
We almost never had a family dinner together, for example, as each person is hungry at a different time and often preferring to eat foods that varied from what I cooked. Is this a problem? No! It’s actually wonderful, and feels wonderful. People are happy when they can eat when they want and not on someone else’s timetable. They love choosing their own foods instead of having to eat what someone else decided was to be eaten.
When I feel happy and in charge of my life, it’s easy, so easy, to nurture everyone around me. I love giving and being generous always feels like the best gift – to myself! When kids feel happy and in charge of their lives, a.k.a. selfish, they love sharing that – it’s just natural – with everyone around them. Living selfishly works. Make sense?
Hee. Hee. We’re playing with words again, Barb! People don’t like the word ‘selfish’ because it connotes a disregard for the needs of others. What we’re really talking about is a big shift in mentality for many. I know a great many people personally who a) don’t feel entitled or able to be happy (see our previous blog post on ‘struggling’) or b) have been enculturated to believe that if they are feeling or seeking joy, they are not working hard enough… at life. So these two perspectives need to be scrapped straight away. Everyone IS entitled and DOES have the ability to be fully and truly, blissfully happy. We do this by the thoughts we choose, the actions we take, and how WE CHOOSE to perceive every single moment, interaction, and action in our lives. For those who are gratified by carrying the burden of life, taking the long way around, wearing their misery as a badge of their constant grind, drop the martyrdom. It doesn’t impress, persuade, or serve anyone- least of all… you. A life well lived creates a ripple effect. So does misery, resentment, and co-dependence. Guess what? You choose!
There is definitely a common misperception that our happiness hinges on that of those around us. We can’t be too happy if our neighbor, friend, or family member is on rough times. We are here to ‘make’ other people happy or expect others to ‘make’ us happy. Brace yourselves for a triumphant breakthrough, friends. We are all only responsible for ourselves. We can’t make anyone else anything. Nor can we expect the actions or mood of others to alter our own. We can give from our hearts, love completely and truly, and seek personal fulfillment. In the end, linking our happiness in any way to those around us is detrimental and co-dependent. We can hold others in the highest regard and make it known to ourselves and to them that we wish only the best for them but we cannot create it. Only they can do that. It is truly an empowering and life altering revelation.
We’ve made note in the lively comments section of another recent post the difference between being ‘selfish’ and ‘self-centered.’ When I am selfish, I operate my world according to my needs and desires to achieve personal fulfillment. When I am self-centered, I do this with disregard for how my decisions negatively impact your experience. The two are not the same. This is where responsibility comes in and the awareness that we are not truly feeling good when we are consciously treading on others. Therefore, if we’re really only doing what feels good then there’s no more concern for casualties than normal, right? It is possible, desirable, and downright important for all of us to fully realize that we can (and I would assert that we should) live our perfect life. Now, whether everyone around you agrees is another post altogether.
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