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Being Selfish Rules

selfishness
Barb:

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?

Sarah:

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.šŸ™‚

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8 Comments Post a comment
  1. michael mendizza #

    The root of selfish and self-centered is self. Very few question the fundamental nature of this thing we call self-image, who we think and feel we are. Are we separate from the environment, from the food we eat, the people we bump into, the thoughts we and others think? Looking deeply. Most of what we think and feel are common, shared, like virus, spread. Are we really independent from our language and culture? Are the sensations and most of the emotions we feel different from our pets?

    We have a mental image that creates the impression (and implicit assumptions) that we are individuals, separate. Not true. You are the air, you are the oceans, not as a metaphor. As a fact. Your body is mostly water with the same basic qualities of the sea. You are the sunlight. What if that was the image you had of yourself? How would you meet your neighbor? If that was who you know yourself to be would selfish and self-centered even exist?

    It is time we grew up and set aside our make-believe images of self being me, the individual and replace it with a river, flowing, life, billions and trillions of relationships colliding simultaneously, co-creating the sentient miracle that we are. With this expanded, limitless image of self, selfish and self-centered disappear.

    Michael Mendizza

    January 6, 2012
    • this is a beautiful utopia Michael and I approve! moving to a unified understanding and acceptance of oneness requires a powerful natural acceptance of oneself, a deeply comfortable and confident awareness of love for one’s self. I don’t believe that a leap to oneness can simply occur because we want it to, but occurs through this beautiful organic process of moving through the world, from birth, confidently discovering how to be resourceful in all ways – physically, emotionally, psychologically, metaphysically. This process and the knowledge/awareness that results, teaches us that we are all equal, we are all connected, we are all one, we each effect and affect everything and everyone.

      January 6, 2012
  2. Dena #

    I can’t help but think my comments on the last blog helped come up with the subject of this blog.šŸ™‚ I totally agree that you are in charge of your own happiness. I think when I say happiness and you say selfishness, we are meaning the same thing. People hear happiness and agree that it is important. I think that most people equate selfishness with a lack of altruism. I found it interesting that Wikipedia has in its definition of selfishness that it is the opposite of altruism. I wonder how many people would truly be happy (selfish) without concern for others.

    January 6, 2012
    • I agree with you Dena, although this post was written a long time ago and just awaiting posting! We’ll do post on happiness soon.

      January 6, 2012
  3. Stacey #

    I want to read what you’re reading. I want to delve deeper into this. Can you recommend some books? I’m a mom of 2 small kids (3 and 6) and I would love to immerse myself in this direction of thinking!

    January 7, 2012
    • Hi Stacey! What kinds of rethinking are you seeking? We often refer to bloggers and books in our posts but can certainly make additional recommendations. LOVE!

      January 7, 2012
    • Stacey, as for me, I have spent the better part of my life thinking and rethinking. My big changes occurred when my children were born and I stepped back from the traditional managing/controlling/directing role of mom and observed them, learning how life should be lived, watching with rapt attention how joyful and rich and meaningful every single day can be on almost every level. I did not learn this “selfish” way by reading a book but by learning from the natural intelligence of my children. As the years have gone by, the closest I have come to seeing any sort of written support for this has come from the channelings of Abraham, done by Esther Hicks. There are also several books that have come from these channelings and even though I’ve not read them, I would recommend them as I enjoy the channelings so much.

      January 8, 2012
      • Agreed. While I started rethinking with books like Connection Parenting by Pam Leo and books by John Holt and Alfie Kohn, those helped to kick start a place in me that knew what felt good and made sense. Questioning how I parented and the education of my children led to the questioning and evaluating of everything. It starts in different places for different people. Food, education, parenting, work, healthcare, etc. Think about what doesn’t feel right in your life right now and start researching and rethinking!

        January 8, 2012

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