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It’s okay to be selfish…
in fact, it is critical to our wellbeing. If you are that selfless person that puts others before yourself, I commend you, but I would like to ask if it ever leaves you feeling underappreciated or bitter that others take you for granted? If you answered yes, perhaps you subscribe to the idea selfishness is wrong or even a sin. What if the two ideas could co-exist? Here are some thoughts to balance the two:
- Always fill your gas tank first. If your tank is empty, you cannot give anyone else a ride.
- Never give to others at your own expense. Helping should not create a deficit in your own life.
- No one should matter more than you do. Loving yourself enables you to give as well as receive love.
- Relationships should not be one-sided. That goes against the definition of relating.
- Teach or encourage others to help themselves. If you are the fixer, ask yourself – do I get something out of being needed? Then ask, If I keep fixing problems am I helping or hindering?
- To truly be of service to others you must first value yourself.
If it is hard to say no or doing things for yourself stirs guilt, it will take some work on your part to shift that belief system. A season of self-reflection and growth might be in order. Be as kind to yourself as you are to others and in the end, you are not selfish at all.
“You have a good heart, and you think the good thing is to be guilty and kind, but it is not always kind to be gentle and soft, there is genuine violence that softness and kindness visit on people. Sometimes self-interested is the most generous thing you can be.”
― Tony Kushner, Perestroika
By Glynis K. Fresia MS, LPC-Intern
Supervised by Juan F. Lira MA, CSC, LPC-S