You Don’t Really Think That Selfishness Is Good?   4 comments

Some of you  may have balked at my last post.  Putting myself first sounds downright unchristian.   Yet for whose life do you have the greatest responsibility before God?  Should you let your own spirituality slip because you are busy helping others with their spiritual journey?  Whose physical health are you most responsible to maintain… are you more accountable for your children’s unhealthy food choices than your own?  Is there someone more responsible for your mental health than you?  Self care is about keeping oneself healthy in every way.  I do not mean that I would never choose someone else’s benefit over my own in a given instance, but as a way of life, I believe I am most responsible for myself, and that the more healthy I am, the more a blessing I can be to others.  I’d love to hear your responses!

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Posted July 23, 2011 by janathangrace in Uncategorized

4 responses to “You Don’t Really Think That Selfishness Is Good?

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  1. Did Jesus say ‘love thy neighbour more than thyself’? No, the Biblical standard using which we relate to others is set to balance our own, most basic instinct of ‘self-preservation’. Of course, there is no law against loving another more than our self, but it’s a free choice, not a compulsion. There is, and should be a balance and symmetry to everything that is beautiful in life, including relationships.

    Please correct me if I am wrong. – BK

    • BK, balance is a wonderful concept, Thanks for sharing that. I do find that balance is much more complex than a 50-50 resolution. What I have also discovered personally is that I can only give in a genuine and healthy way what I have first received, whether money or love. “Giving” what I don’t yet possess is going to leave me bankrupt, or worse still, in debt. At least that is my experience.

  2. I’ve never felt that one rule applies to everyone, nor that one rule applies all the time to any one of us. Some people are totally self-absorbed and need to learn how to really care about the interests and welfare of others. Other people have spent way too much time trying to be “good” and “thoughtful” of others and their spiritual path needs to bring them back to an awareness and acceptance of their own self. Sometimes we need to be reminded to think of others, sometimes we need to be reminded to think of ourselves. Sometimes when we share the insights we are having at any given moment, as we traverse this zig-zag path of life, our sharing gives hope and encouragement to others and lightens their world. thank you Jana.

    • Mardi, I resonate so much with the thought that our spiritual path zigs and zags, and if we have been zigging most of our life, then we will probably need to spend a long time zagging to get closer to the true path (a place I find myself). I also sync with your idea that, at least at surface level, it is good to find some kind of balance between thinking about ourselves and thinking about others. I say “at surface level,” because I really think if someone characteristically leans heavily on one side or the other, there is usually something deeper, some wounding that needs to be worked through, issues which a person is either unable to address or of which they are.unaware. In other words, I expect individuals that are markedly “selfish” are usually working from some sort of significant personal deficit. And perhaps the best solution for them is not a reminder or scolding to love others, but support for them to discover these personal needs and to find a resource to meet those needs. I think such people are often using “selfishness” as a coping mechanism to deal with a profound sense of inadequacy. What do you think?

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