I can’t tell if I’m selfish or wise. I think I’m wise because I am, after all,I’m the one invested in my well-being, my self-expression, my safety, my self-love. There is much work to do on me alone. So am I selfish if I take care of myself first?
What is my responsibility to my life?
I feel it’s my job to be the best “me” I can be. That means learning the lessons that come my way in the course of my life. It means gaining enough self-awareness to know what I need and want. My responsibility is to cultivate my gifts and talents to the best of my ability so that I can share them with people who are called to receive them. I must continually make choices that help me meet those goals.
If I don’t take care of me, who will?
If I don’t do the work that grows me, who will?
If I don’t do the service only I can do, who will?
Self-awareness is not being self-centered
Self-awareness is about understanding yourself and making the best use of who you are and why you are in the world. That takes some self-focused introspection. That takes self-cultivation and aligned choices. That takes finding how you and you alone can come alongside others to be of service in their journey.
And you can’t help others if you can’t stand tall yourself.
How do you care for yourself?
First you need to care for your body and your soul. As your body houses your soul on this part of your journey, the two live together and are deeply interconnected. Think of your body as a temple for your soul and see how that changes how you care for it. You need to cultivate a spiritual practice, whatever that means to you. Explore your own essence. That’s your job, to know yourself, to figure out how to be a part of the natural world and how to take your gifts into deeper service.
There is no one here but you
Some philosophies say there is no one here but you, or me, or them. That we are living in a dream of our own making. If that is so, we have work to do to change our own dream. We must expect the best and not settle for second best. We must identify our gifts, cultivate them and offer them to the world.
Am I self-focused? Yes, for I want to understand my essence. Am I selfish? I have only myself to change. When I change myself, I change the outcome. So yes, I focus on my responses, my beliefs, my words and my actions, for that’s what I have control over.
Know yourself. Cultivate your gifts, and share them with the world. That’s how you give of yourself to others.
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