Selfishness, by definition, is a person, action, or motive lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure. Now, when I was living in my illness I, many times, was extremely selfish, but I would justify it a thousand ways, or spin it so it seemed that I was actually selfless and doing you a big favor. But my motives always were self-satisfaction. I never would have identified that within myself or even if I had, admitted it, but that was the truth. As a result, because my motives were not pure, I suffered a lot at my own hand, and it seems, when we do things with ulterior motives, even if we do get the result we wanted, we still don’t ultimately get what we wanted because we don’t have peace of mind. Even when we are unaware, there is always something that doesn’t fully allow us to enjoy it because we were only looking for self-gratification, we may feel it in the moment, but it quickly becomes empty. We may put on a big show for others, but that emptiness we feel is our truth, and the truth for me was that my selfishness led to a lot of my suffering.
When I made the decision to seek help and get well, I was told I had to get honest. That gave me an immediate anxiety attack, as I hadn’t, up until that point, been living honestly, with others, or myself. I knew there was a lot of wreckage in my past and garbage on my side of the street, and though I was constantly dancing around it, or justifying its existence. I knew, deep down, that I had been the cause of much of my suffering and it was going to take a big dose of humility to face all that I had done. The truth is though that until I was open to looking at my selfishness that the burden of carrying around the guilt or shame of what I had done was removed, and, if I needed to apologize or make amends for what I had done, I could find a way to do that. As I’ve said before, there is nothing that can’t be made right in some way, even if it’s through a living amends, making positive changes in our lives so we don’t repeat that same behavior, learning that, alleviated much of my belief that I would never be able to move forward from the life I had been living, and I would be doomed to repeat it, I am only doomed to repeat it if I make the decision to set my motivation for doing all things back to me and my needs only.
Today when I am motivated to take action I ask myself what my motivation is, and if it’s more than just something I want to do because I want to do it, without any expectation of anything in return, then I need to question my reason for wanting to do it and make sure I’m not falling back into my old selfish ways. As I’ve walked his path for the last 14 years, my motivations are mostly clear, but sometimes that old thinking can disguise itself as positive intensions but were really selfish motives. The reason to do anything is that you want to, expecting nothing in return, just because it is the right thing to do, or you know it will make someone else’s day brighter. That’s it. Anything different than that typically leads to some kind of suffering, for you, or the other person.
Keep your motivation in check and do what’s right, not only yourself but for those around you. We all rise when we are able to lift others. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: What typically is your chief motivator? Are your intentions pure or of a selfish in nature usually? Have you ever asked yourself what your motives are? Have you ever been fooled by your own motives? What can you do to keep your motives in check? Has someone done something for you and you’ve found out later it was for selfish motives? How did that make you feel? It’s important to stay on top of why we’re doing what we’re doing, and if we find we’re doing something for selfish reasons, to ask ourselves why we feel the need to do so, what is missing in our lives that is propelling us toward a selfish nature? If we want peace, we need to consider that our wants and needs only should not be the deciding factor for what we do.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you