We are being self-responsible rather than selfish when we take loving care of ourselves. We are being selfish when we do not take care of ourselves and then expect others to give us what we are not giving to ourselves.
We are being selfish when we expect others to give themselves up for us. We are being selfish when we are angry and demanding of others because we are not taking care of ourselves.
We are being selfish when we impose our irritated, withdrawn, sullen, anxious and tense energy onto others instead of doing whatever we need to do to be peaceful and joyful.
We are being selfish when we are “taking care of ourselves” from a wounded place and ignoring the needs of others or ignoring the effect our behavior has on others.
Whatever we do that is truly loving to ourselves – that is in the highest good of our soul’s journey on the planet – is also loving to others. It is never in our highest good to be mean to others or to disregard others’ feelings and needs. But it is in our highest good to follow our Guidance and do what really brings us joy and fulfillment.
Our actions do not benefit anyone when our behavior comes from fear, guilt and obligation. Others feel the lack of love in our energy, even if the action itself looks loving. Our honest and authentic actions – actions which are loving to ourselves – are also loving to others. Living our truth gives others an opportunity to take care of themselves. If June goes back to school, her family will need to learn to rely more on themselves instead of turning to her for everything. If Raymond takes time for himself, maybe his children will learn to take more responsibility around the house. By taking care of ourselves, we give others the chance to step up to the plate. Maybe they will and maybe they won’t, but our loving behavior toward ourselves always gives others an opportunity to grow in their own personal responsibility and loving-ness as well.
Written by Margaret Paul, PhD
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