It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself and make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.
In my growing up years, I was taught and instructed by my parents and my school to not be ‘selfish’. I still remember the 13 years of Catechism classes that propagated the idea of being ‘selfless’ rather than selfish. Being an obedient student, an obedient daughter and aiming to reach epitome levels of obedience, I too was trained to think that ‘selfish’ is negative.
I see a lot of people around me who claim to call themselves selfless, putting others’ interest on a pedestal, being always available and many other shenanigans which hold little or no relevance in the world of today. I figured out that it primarily stems from the fact that most of us have a very skewed interpretation of selfish.
As per the Oxford dictionary, the definition of the word is-
“Selfish: lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.”
This definition only validates the negative connotations of hate, greed, disrespect that originate from the word selfish.
Do we dare to look at the good side of selfishness ??
The best kind of love is self love!!!
We have been trained to believe that by putting ourselves first, we are being ruthless to the people whom we are meant to care for and as a result being a bad person. It comes from a place of having too much of a conscience. Our scriptures have also taught us that we must sacrifice a piece of ourselves in order to be considered good people. But if we are constantly pleasing others, what good do we bring to ourselves??
“Sometimes you have to be selfish to be selfless.” — Edward Albert
A couple of days ago, I was reading an article which quoted “The other side, the “good” side of selfishness, is that you take care of yourself enough to be in top form for doing whatever you want to spend energy on — taking care of your kids, excelling at your job, and maintaining great relationships. In fact, even staying alive requires a certain amount of “selfishness.” You have to eat. You have to sleep. You have to get yourself some kind of shelter. These are examples of a necessary and healthy selfishness. So why should you ditch the guilt and feel good about putting yourself first?”
What most of us have to learn is that to be truly happy, you need to put yourself on a pedestal. What most of us need to unlearn which is a bigger task in hand, is that by putting ‘you’ as a prerogative,you typically do not become ruthless. Self-esteem, Self Love & Self Worth are a non negotiable to any individual and we owe it to ourselves. When we treat ourselves to the best, we leave others with no option to reciprocate in the same manner. Because, if you can’t put yourself first, you can’t expect anyone else to.
Make your happiness a priority, and if you are able to do that, you will be better equipped to make a difference in the world around you.