I’m not quite sure what that word means anymore.
I used to think that it meant putting yourself before others and that that was a bad thing.
But is it?
If you don’t look after yourself, who else is going to? Who else understands what you feel, what you think, what you hope and what you dream?
Who else is going to do the tough stuff that has to be done even though it hurts and is messy and leaves a stain in its wake that nothing will take away?
People might say that they understand, but do they really? Do they really get down to the minutia of your reality and can they digest all the little filaments that make you who you are? Can they sustain you and fuel you and be everything that you need?
And that’s why I think I have to learn to be selfish.
I spend a lot of time thinking about what makes people tick, mostly because I’m still trying to understand who I am and what I want from this life – essentially, I’m trying to figure out what makes me tick by looking at others. It’s kind of depressing to learn that after all these years of trying to be my own person, I’m really nothing more than the product of my upbringing. My values, my thoughts, 95% of what makes me, me is the environment I was raised in and the people who shaped me.
I came across an article the other day that made me get all teary at work while I was reading it (and crying at work kind of puts you in the same category as a lady with lots of cats so I had to quickly go and do some filing out the back until I got myself together.)
The article is titled 25 things little girls wish daddies knew and if you’ve got issues with your father figure, I can guarantee the reason why is one of those 25 things. In my case, I was nodding along to all 25, but in particular, the ones that resonated the most to me are:
1. How you love me is how I will love myself.
2. Ask how I am feeling and listen to my answer, I need to know you value me before I can understand my true value.
10. How you handle my heart, is how I will allow it to be handled by others.
18. If you demonstrate tenderness, I learn to embrace my own vulnerability rather than fear it.
25. Don’t avoid hard conversations, because it makes me believe I’m not worth fighting for.
I think I missed some valuable lessons along the way and maybe being selfish is one of them.