Many of us maintain the notion that selfishness negates consideration. It requires certain levels of arrogance and dissociation. Therefore, it is widely rejected, along with anyone who exhibits the attribute. Contrarily, those that constantly put others before themselves are reverenced. We think them to be the most selfless. And they are, for the most part.
“You can’t help others until you help yourself.”
This is a saying I, and I’m sure, so many others have heard time and time again. So, what does it mean? Well, while others may feel otherwise, I think this saying is pushing for that concept we hate, selfishness. Specifically, it pushes us to be selfish BEFORE we are selfless.
In my understanding, neglecting self, ironically, results in selfishness. Some people become sad and/or angry about their lack of self care. Others become reliant on their service for their happiness. Either way, they are not truly happy. And because they are engaging in self pity or self indulgence, nor are they selfless.
Anyone who wishes to be able to give wholeheartedly has to be what I call “a self care practitioner”. In my unpopular opinion, an individual has to consider, and nurture, his or her own self before anything or anyone else. Of course, it is pivotal that one doesn’t get stuck in any level of self care. Once mastered, one must move to help others. But, accept, one should only move once one has helped his or her self.
***This article was previously published with The Odyssey: To Be or Not To Be, Selfish