Okay, so I’m suggesting we become a bit more selfish. Based on my previous blog, Being a Doormat, I’m tired of allowing myself to come a distant second. Taking care of myself first has changed my entire perspective on life.
Before I would squeeze in my needs here and there, all the while feeling frustrated that so much would get in the way of my living. It often felt that I lived for others and that no one gave a damn as to my well-being. The issue wasn’t that no one cared. The issue was that my attitude and perspective were off-kilter.
I discovered it was a matter of perception, how I thought others might be seeing me. I was afraid of being perceived as “selfish” and therefore not a good person. In the process I became more selfish. My narcissism sometimes got out of hand, as I believed the world had to begin revolving around me, otherwise I’d fall into a deep despair. I wanted evidence every day that I mattered.
The source of this despair was not that I couldn’t find time to meet my needs. It was not that others kept their distance with an indifferent shrug. Rather my despair was rooted in expecting the world to give me the message that I was important enough, that I was worth caring about, that I counted, that I existed.
The need for affirmation from the outside outran my ability to give myself the affirmation I needed. And what was that affirmation? Simply put it was that I am whole and complete, a wonderful creation, courageous, wise, and good looking. I don’t need anything or anyone else to complete me. I came fully packaged with all that was necessary on the day of my birth. There has been no need, nor no room, for optional accessories to be added to who I am. I don’t have to go to the repair shop to get fixed in order to function more effectively. I’m fine the way I am and have powers that I have yet to discover. I am uniquely emotionally wired, there’s no one else on earth, past, present, future, who will be like me. And I am able to use my intuition and empathy to help others find their own affirmation.
And so I put my “self” back into “selfless, as part of the equation. I can’t be concerned for others unless I’m also concerned for me. I willingly and lovingly place myself up there with everyone else. And together we’ll transform our lives.
About the Author: Michael Parise was a Roman Catholic priest for 32 years. He is now a life & spirit coach and speaker, with over 35 years of experience in helping hundreds find their true calling in life. Michael has helped many professionals and executives save themselves from drowning in responsibilities at home and at work by finding balance and peace.
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Text and artwork copyrighted by Michael Parise