I have never associated the word ‘selfish’ with myself when describing myself to others. I have never looked in the mirror and saw someone who is ‘self-centered’ staring back at me.
If anything, I have always seen the complete opposite.
Growing up, I found all my happiness in seeing or making other people happy. I would agree to things I didn’t particularly want to do because that was what others wanted. I would give up things I wanted to provide them for those who wanted them more. I would put my own needs below absolutely everybody else’s because my happiness simply mattered less in my mind.
And with all that, I was content. I didn’t have a great idea of what a satisfying life looked like; however, I knew that I was a ‘good person.’
Looking back on it, being a good person was not worth it at all. Being a good person did not make me a happy person. It made me doormat for people to walk all over whenever they pleased. It made people value me less and not consider me as an equal. It allowed people to disrespect and take advantage of me purely because they knew that I would never speak up and call them out on their bullshit.
I had allowed myself to be a good person towards everybody except the one person that mattered most to me: myself.
The way that I valued and looked at myself was a reflection of how others were treating me. Because of the fact that I had no love for myself, I also had no boundaries for other people and their actions. If I was ever going to create a better version of myself so that I could go out and be successful, this needed to change.
Then started my road to self-love. Self-love is defined as the regard for your own happiness and advantages in life. It is a physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional act devised and expressed by yourself and for yourself. Not one other person on this planet can give you the benefits of self-love—it is an investment for only you to make. A journey that can only be traveled and guided by you. To me, this was daunting. Up until this point, I had spent most of my life living for the satisfaction of others, and now all of a sudden I had my own lane to run in. I needed to make something of myself. I needed to feel pure happiness.
With self-love came a lot of new anxieties and pressures. I very quickly realised that I needed to put in a whole lot of work and develop a level of trust within myself as I had lived so many years in the shadows of other people’s voices and opinions.
This process was hard yet so rewarding.
As I started making more choices for myself, I was less and less okay with just simply agreeing with everybody else. I cared less about pleasing other people and more about pleasing myself. I did the things I wanted to do because I wanted to do them and not because other people expected me to. I started to smile more and attract different people and opportunities. I started growing this new level of confidence, which I had never experienced before.
I was finally my own person, and I couldn’t have been happier getting to know her.
Now when I look in the mirror I can see a cloud of selfishness surrounds me. In the beginning, I felt a sense of guilt. Then I wondered, does self-love really have to come with selfishness?
The more I progress through this journey, the more I feel as though the answer is yes.
Understanding the definition of self-love and being committed to achieving it for yourself means that you have to put yourself first. It means that you live life the way you want to live it.
It doesn’t mean that you become a nasty and inconsiderate human being, and it doesn’t mean you lose all respect you have ever had for everyone in the world. It simply means that you value yourself, your feelings, and your aspirations. It means that you love yourself just as much as you love others. It means that the smile you wear on your face each day is authentic and not just ‘put on’. It means that you have finally taught yourself that YOU matter.
It is ever so satisfying, and you will find that you will attract people through your confidence and love. Your energy simply just radiates through the earth, bringing to you an abundance of positivity. A perfect example of the power of the law of attraction. What is believed on the inside reflects on the outside.
The journey of self-love is a long one. It is always evolving and changing. It teaches us so many things about ourselves, others, and the wider world. If there is one lesson that I have taken from my journey, it is that the word selfish shouldn’t always have a negative connotation attached to it. Sometimes being selfish is important. Sometimes being selfish helps us to grow. Sometimes being selfish is the only option. Selfishness does not always need to come from a bad place and does not need to carry bad energy; selfishness can sometimes be your greatest quality, as it means you are evolving the love you give yourself, therefore creating the person that you are truly destined to become.
So be selfish, be happy, be real and just simply love yourself.