Why I'm selfish
When you learn to put your needs first, rather than constantly putting the needs of others before your own, you give them an opportunity to learn to take care of themselves.
It's so easy for us to keep telling other to "Love yourself" but it’s very difficult to actually describe how to do it. So in all sincerity how does one learn to love themselves?
For years I struggled with understanding how to actually love myself; where to start and how to actually do it. However, for me, the breakthrough come one morning during a meditation session about 2 years ago when it hit me that “I need to learn to be selfish.” I know, you probably thinking ‘what a strange thought to have during a meditation session.” And I am well aware that some of you Christians in the house are already about to pull out the scriptures and start condemning me or give me a lecture on how being selfish is a sin. But bare with me as I share my journey.
I, like almost everybody else, was brought up to believe that putting yourself first is selfish. I was taught that in order to be a good person I had to be "selfless" and take care of others just as Mother Theresa did. Which, of course, all of that was usually at the expense of my own personal well-being. But for some reason the more I put the needs of others before my own the more i felt alone, empty, angry, depressed and resentful. And maybe I might be alone on this one but it was a really personal struggle for years.
You see, the thing is when you ignore your own feelings and needs you’re basically abandoning yourself. Think of it this way, imagine that you have an adorable baby girl and instead of giving her love and attention you choose to give that love and attention to the child next door. Wouldn't your child feel alone, depressed, angry and resentful? Well, that's the same thing that happens to your inner self when you choose to prioritize taking care of others over yourself.
Taking care of yourself is actually the opposite of being selfish. The moment I started learning to take care of myself, to recognize my own feelings and needs and deal with them in the present moment, that's when I fully started understanding self love and the energy that exudes due to expressing it. That's when I unconsciously started sharing love with others. As a result, this kind of love was authentic, from the heart and beautiful. I started loving others not because of being recognized as a "good person or a good christian" but it happened organically and naturally. It’s love without expectation, that pure love that comes from the heart.
It takes courage to learn to love yourself and to put your needs first. Then and only then will you be able to empower others.