Thursday, September 19, 2013

Being Selfish

“I am my own experiment. I am my own work of art.”


“The perfect man of old looked after himself first before looking to help others.”
Chuang Tzu (c.360 BC - c. 275 BC)

“But this revolutionary act of treating ourselves tenderly can begin to undo the aversive messages of a lifetime.”

“Love (your neighbor as) yourself.”


I am so glad to be here.  I’m glad to be writing.  I feel blessed and privileged.  I also feel curious to see what will turn up on the page.  I have no topic in mind at the moment.  I just want to write.  I need to write.  I need to write every day.  I really do like the physical feel of my fingers moving across the keyboard.  When I was younger, I enjoyed a similar sensation with the typewriter.  The physical sensation combined with the mental stimulus is invigorating. 
With regard to physicality, I know I need to give this area of my life more attention.  Tonight, while listening to The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, I took his advice and focused on my inner body.  What I felt was heaviness and I realized very quickly that I’m not taking care of my body.  The more I focused on my inner body, the more I realized how little I take care of it.  I’m fortunate that I don’t smoke, drink or do drugs, but I know I don’t eat as well as I’d like.  That might be why I felt the heaviness in my stomach.  I think I may need to drink more water and eat more fruit.
A good friend said that life doesn’t need to be complicated, but I think I can complicate things by not taking care of myself.
What if I were more selfish?
What if I only did things that made me feel good?  What would I do?  I’d do the following because these would make me feel good:
·      I’d be the best I could be at my job.
·      I’d write every day.
·      I’d eat better.
·      I’d smile more.
·      I’d laugh more.
·      I’d spend more time with the people I love.
·      I’d forgive myself.
·      I’d walk more.
·      I’d read more.
·      I’d write more.
·      I’d take a nap every day.
·      I would guard my heart and eyes from anything unpleasant or unnecessary.
·      I’d never utter another word of gossip.
·      I’d slow down.
·      I’d exercise every day.
·      I’d reach out to those in need.
·      I’d give generously.
·      I’d never think another critical thought about another human being and if I met someone I disliked, I would pray for him or her until I understood what that person was reflecting back to me.
·      I’d be more thankful.
·      I’d save more money.
·      I would help as many people as possible.
·      I’d use my time and money more wisely.
·      I’d get rid of things I no longer need (and perhaps never needed).
·      I’d speak more positively.
·      I’d listen to uplifting music, read uplifting books and watch uplifting movies.
·      I’d think of ways to be more creative.
·      I’d look for ways to be more encouraging to more people. 

Taking care of myself is the most selfish thing I can do; it is also the most loving.
I was going to also say that I’d make happiness a goal, but I agree with an author whose name I can’t remember, that happiness is a byproduct, not a goal.  Often some of the happiest moments of my life came not when I was seeking it, but when I was in Purpose.  Then happiness came to me like a surprise visit from an old friend.
The most selfish and most loving thing I can do, however, is to Get Started and to Keep Going.  This will make me very happy.