Yes, you read it correctly. Be utterly selfish! You've been listening to others all your life, now it's time to listen to your own heart. You have been singing to others' tunes, now it's time to write your own lyrics and your own music. You have done your best to please others even when it was against your own wishes and values. You have tried not to disappoint those who have placed their hopes and dreams on you, whether or not you wanted them. You have cried enough when things didn't cross over the high bar that someone else established for you. You have doubted your abilities; you have cursed your luck; you have hated God at times and even lost faith; you have accepted too many rejections with far too many sighs that few have noticed or cared about; you have lost in love and swallowed the pain in your own loneliness; you have given of yourself far too much without receiving the credit that you deserved; you have had enough! Now, it's time to be selfish and recover much of what you have lost - your soul.
I am not talking about the kind of selfishness that people despise and look down upon. I am not referring to the kind of selfishness that disregards others' feelings. This is not the selfishness that will make you feel even worse about yourself. This selfishness is not going to make you the black sheep of your family, group of friends or community. What I am proposing is that you become utterly selfish about self-love; that you seek absolute selfishness in self-worth; that you build a strong wall of self-compassion around you, utterly selfishly; that you selfishly begin to fill yourself with so much love that it has no place else to go but to flow outwards to others. But only after your soul has been healed.
If you don't, the costs are far too high. If you try to love without being completely in love with yourself first, your relationships likely won't have any depth to them. If you hope to please people without first building your own self-esteem, the results will likely be disappointing. If you try to enjoy the dream job that you finally landed, chances are that you will soon lose interest because your passion will not find any roots. If you hope to break from the addictions that entrapped you during your dark and weak hours, the chances of relapse will be high because your will-power will not be as strong. If you desire a deep sense of joy when engaged in activities you love, you will find only shallow waves of happiness that will disappear just as quickly as the ripples in a pond.
This selfishness will feel uncomfortable at first. It has to and it should. Because you have been seeking validation from outside all your life. Now, it has to come from within. Your roots have been looking for water and nourishment from your caretakers. Now, it's time for your roots to grow deep and find their own source of life. This will require work. A lot of work. But the rewards will be far beyond your expectations. The exhilaration stoked by this selfish happiness will be like nothing you've ever experienced before.
A little spark of selfishness will light a fire in your soul whose warmth and light will bring unbound joy to your being. Those around you will also benefit from this warmth and brightness in your personality - its benefits will flow directly to them in the most selfless manner. Because you will give others happiness without seeking their validation in return. Now, life will chase you rather than you chasing it.
Now your life will be filled with colors that it always deserved. Now, people around you will be proud of you without you trying too hard to please them. Now, you will find a deep sense of joy and contentment in the job of your dreams because your passion will be unbound. Now, your love will be as deep as the ocean and your true love will find the tranquility and peace she had been seeking all along, right by your side. Now, even God will have faith in his creation!
Let's get utterly selfish!
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