Be Selfish to Be Selfless

My rapt audience (occasionally)

My life’s main idea is personal growth and part of my practice is to be as detached as possible from expectations, preconceptions and sudden realizations, especially those I have of myself.

If someone sheds some light on a part of me that is unflattering, even though my first reaction might be defensive and upset (which is a serious hint that they’ve shed light on something that hits home), I try to let those ego-feelings go and let in the realization I’ve just found another part of myself I want to mature through.

All people act as mirrors to all others.

The contents of your conversations, when absorbed with detachment, will inevitably show you the type of person you are. The themes and patterns that keep coming up in your conversations, both good and bad, are your own themes and patterns. Pay attention and try not to take what you notice personally, just take action. In other words, don’t get all butt hurt about it. If you don’t like it, change it.

For example:

If you engage in bitch fests with co-workers on a regular basis, you are a bitcher. That’s what you do. You’ve got to admit it, because it’s true. And if you like being a bitcher, go on bitching. But if you don’t like being a bitcher, then you’ve got to stop bitching. But this doesn’t happen as soon as you decide you’d rather not bitch. No, what happens is you catch yourself doing it again and in the middle of the sentence you get that unsettled feeling and realize you’re bitching again and that makes you feel bad about yourself. So maybe this time you discontinue bitching.  But, the next time you find yourself with the same friends, you begin again to engage in the same types of conversations. These friends may not have had the same realization about how much they bitch, would prefer to continue bitching, and don’t realize that you’re trying to kill the habit.

You now have three options.

  1. Change the topic and see what happens. You need confidence and friends with depth if this is to work.  It’s hard to be the dissident and if your friends just don’t pick up on the new topics you introduce, you may be screwed.
  2. Play to the status quo. You have no one else to eat lunch with anyway, and only a week ago you were enjoying this type of conversation so maybe you don’t mind bitching after all.
  3. Get new friends.

I’m just going to be honest, if #1 doesn’t work, #3 is the only answer. It’s a cold, hard fact of life. Especially if life=growth for you, like it does for me.

Most every relationship I have is either mutually beneficial or it’s not there. I manage my time so there is only minimal exposure to the parties who detract from my being. This is because it is my job alone to make sure my being is the best it can be. When you detract from my being “the best me that I can be” then it becomes my responsibility to make sure we don’t share space. It’s really nothing against you; it’s for my own good. And along with that, the good of the world, since being my best is going to benefit others and being upset or negative is going to vibe out negativity and the world does not need that.

Point being, do what serves you for the good of the world. Be selfish to be selfless.

Surround yourself with people you like and stop hanging out with people who consistently bring out things in you that you’d rather not bring out anymore. Think about it, if you do things that serve you (in terms of friendships, personal growth, energy, good feelings, satisfaction, whatever matters to you), then you ultimately get to bring a better, happier you to all your life situations, which should, in turn, serve your environment.

I’ll say it again.

Do what serves you for the good of the world. 

Be Selfish to be Selfless.

It leads places.

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5 thoughts on “Be Selfish to Be Selfless

  1. This was a perfect read before the new school year starts for me. I wish I was half as insightful as you are, Cait. Keep writing…you’re brilliant!

  2. Kudoz for using butt-hurt so poignantly! It strikes me as a fantastic phrase for the way we hang onto our hangups and the anxiety it causes when we someone tears the curtains off.

  3. Thank you so much for this brilliant reminder. I’m working on that shift right now (YTT is seriously helping), and it’s hard sometimes to realize (and acknowledge, and allow it to happen…) that change sometimes involves the people we know and call friend. Shifting into making new friends who are like-minded and Selfish with purpose of the higher good. :)

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