You started out selfish. Nothing more demanding than a baby. Has to be, right? It needs something. It CRIES. Simple. But now you are an ‘adult’. You are part of a society. You want to be accepted, even liked. You have to accommodate others. You can do that. But deep down do you still make demands … have everything your own way? When you want some THING, do you have to have it? Or do you compromise? Do you give a little and get a little? Seems fair. The way things work. Only you don’t always ‘like’ the outcome. You pout “What about me?”

You may ‘feel’ you ‘deserve’ whatever you want. Everything is for your benefit:  nice clothes, a comfortable abode, attention. And deep down you may be saying “To hell with everyone else.”  “I come first.”  “I am the important one!!”  Do you feel this way once in awhile? Often? Yes, a little ‘I am THE one’ feeling helps sometimes. A positive self-image gives you self-confidence. “I want that.”  “I will do what I must and I can have that.”  This attitude can certainly motivate you. And it can become an ‘everyday’ way of dealing with life, with others. Your selfish choices can become a habit. Do something that pleases you once, you will probably do it again. You may ignore the deleterious implications:  You are unfaithful once … why not again? Try cocaine. Oh boy. Look down with condescension on ‘those people’. What a great feeling … Being superior. No end to self-serving thoughts and activities. But where will they lead you … leave you?

You ARE the center of your world. You take in everything and react to it. You decide for you. You learn, you develop skills and strengths. You are distinct. You need to think well of yourself. To know what you are capable of. To have confidence and boldly accomplish what is necessary. But, you also need to accept your limitations and acknowledge the abilities of others, their goals and concerns. You can maintain a strong sense of self, being aware and appreciating who you are, while conscientiously relating and sharing yourself with others.

This is not always easy. Your ego will always want to feel secure and satisfied with its ‘efforts’ and ‘appearance’. You can build a wall around your ‘comfortable’ inner sanctuary and keep others ‘out’. But this self-oriented, self-preservation mechanism severely limits your growth through loving. It will be difficult to be receptive to ‘what is outside yourself’ … to understand others, their needs, their wants.

Therefore you must consider and treat others as important as you feel you are to yourself. “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.”  You must constantly renew your efforts to focus on ‘others’. Get to know them. Respect them. They are striving spirits with aspirations of loving and being loved. Not unlike yourself. In becoming more ‘other oriented’ your life will become so much richer. You will be leaving your petty self behind. The childish, self-centered “me, me, me” will ‘grow up’. Your limiting ego will become supplanted by a growing, caring self, a spiritual self!!  One that considers OTHERS before self. One that truly knows what love is … and is not. Remember:  A self ‘full of self’ has no room for others.

An amazing paradox:  The more you do and take for self the ‘emptier’ your self becomes. The more you do for and give to others, the more ‘full’ your radiating spirit will be.



©2007-2008 Edwin O'Shea and All or part of only one topic, including all definitions and essay, may be used without written permission. Please see full copyright notice on home page.