The Wonders of Being Selfish

It makes little sense, but grant me my selfishness. Grant me my selfishness, and I will grant you yours. Things we denied for ourselves, we can finally grant to one another. Let me return to you, and you’ll see how wonderful it is to be selfish. I want you to be selfish, you who gives tirelessly to all those around you. I know you. I’ve seen you in myself, and I know how you hurt for others. Learn to be selfish for your sake and I will bolster you upon my shoulders like I use to. We will become pillars for one another. You see I learned something; rather I unlearned something. The values our parents and culture preached, they weren’t right. They tried to instill this idea that you have to be selfless –that there is so much more value in giving, and so they create a contract in the form of a relationship; give to them, give them control, give them input, and all the while they guilt you with their obligations. And you give, give, and give until you are nothing. You who had little to give were never in a position to give. You have no substance to the Self. You must be grateful, but gratitude and servitude are two separate entities. Often they are blurred, and perhaps unconsciously blurred. So be as selfish as you can, you who already know how to give to others. You will quickly find that when you indulge your selfish ways, you become all the more capable of giving to others. It is a paradox.

I think this paradox aligns with the idea of living yourself. When I embraced everything my parents told me were bad in this world and wrong about me, I quickly found myself. I spent so much of my life trying to be an ideal that I thought they wanted me to be. Well, I realized I simply cannot. You can only be you. You can only be your affinities. You can only be your weaknesses (that doesn’t mean don’t be aware of them and work on them). And the strangest thing happened when I fully embraced myself. They finally accepted me. I no longer cared for their criticisms because I knew they were wrong. And then I was able to give them something they didn’t even know they needed.

The strangest part is it always stems from love –this desire to shape someone. But you must be careful and watch whether that love transforms into something else. Has it become a matter of power? What about control? Is it dissatisfaction? Beware of projection, intention, and the all too terrible gaslighting. I am fully aware of this fallacy because I have done this evil to you. For instance, sure I intended to help you but how I did it was completely wrong. And we argued based on my intentions. But it should have been about my actions, my words, your actions and your words. Be careful with your mom –I think this is true for how she interacts with you… Because intentions exist in the individual reality, but we must be more aware of the collective reality. It is not up to others to delve into individual realities and grasp the full magnitude of that. That is the hubris of empathy. What was said? What was done? I burned my hand in recognition of this. I had hurt you, and I never will in that way again.

So all this talk about the Self. It is the Jungian idea that the God is where you are not. If you are selfless, embracing your Self will lead you to individuation. If you are selfish, then you will find yourself in others. It’s this whole, constant struggle of balancing between two polarities, and it’s exhausting to be what you do not want to be. But that’s how the shadows grow, and how it consumes you. For me, it consumed me with fire and I destroyed. Only through fire could I understand and transform. A lot of these things are paradoxical; by understanding yourself, you understand others. When you see how ugly you can be, you accept other people’s ugliness. It isn’t abhorrent because it is in you… Humble oneself to elevate oneself.