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When Is It Okay to Be Selfish?

photo: Jaysin Trevino on flickr

photo: Jaysin Trevino on flickr

Dear Meli,

Is it okay to be selfish? I always think of it as a bad thing, but recently someone pointed out to me that the people accusing you of being selfish are often wanting you to follow their agenda. How can I learn to be selfish without being obnoxious or overly self-involved?

Scared to Be Selfish


Dear Scared,

I agree, sometimes, with what you heard. I have found that often those who have called me selfish did so when I wouldn’t do what they want me to – and that what they wanted me to do was something that would be good for them.

Our culture has a lot of messages (at least, I got them growing up) about the virtues of never being selfish. I think this would be great in a world where everyone deeply honors, understands and fully experiences their infinite value and awesomeness! Because then, we would be giving from the fullness of our being. This is true giving and is always a blessing for every party.

However, we are often taught to never be selfish while at the same time being taught that we are deeply flawed. This is the perfect storm for creating a person who won’t take care of their own self in order to care for others. This is not true giving, but an attempt to “get it right in order to be enough.” Ultimately, this doesn’t bless anyone. Also, this form of giving will never be result in convincing ourselves – or others – that we are enough.

So if you are conflicted about knowing what you want and questioning whether it makes you selfish or not, I suggest asking these three questions:

1) What part of me is wanting to do or say this?

In spiritual circles, we often hear people talk about the ego-centered, lower case self versus the expanded, spiritual, capital Self.

When we allow the ego self to be selfish, we are likely to be obnoxious and overly self-involved. But when we are honoring our own Truth, listening to our Higher Self guide us in our choices and actions, it is more likely that even if we are disappointing someone, our choices and actions are ultimately serving everyone – even if they don’t know it yet.

We are truly made of the One Infinite Love. When we fully know this, we cannot help but be filled with a greater sense of Self. This Self doesn’t need to prove anything, because this Self is already perfect.

However, this Self does want to express and share the infinite love flowing through them. If this aspect of our Self knows that something is ours to give or do, it will be a most wonderful gift. And if this Self knows that something is not ours to do, then the greatest gift is to honor this, and say “No.” This is Self-ish-ness of the very best kind. And it will bless and serve everyone.

2) What is my motivation?

Ask yourself, “Why do I want to do this?” “What is it about me, or this situation, that leads me to this choice?” If you trust that your motivation is from a place of love, then go for it!

3) Does this choice go against the voice or guidance of my Higher-Self?

In my years of studying the Toltec Path with don Miguel Ruiz, I came to understand a definition of Integrity in a new way. My integrity is my highest inner self, Spirit within. If I go against the guidance or knowing of this aspect of my being, then I am going against my own integrity.

I promise you that even if you are deeply connected with this inner knowing self, and choosing and acting from this place, even if you know that your choice is going to make someone feel bad, it will bless them in the long-run. And it will bless you.

Also, when you receive the message of what is yours to do or not do from this Higher Self, and you ignore it, it will end badly! I promise.

So the question comes down to, are you feeling selfish? Or Self-ish?

Go on and be Self-ish! Allow yourself to be filled with, and acting like your highest Self. Allow yourself to share and express that Infinite Love that You Are. This way, when you give to others, you give from the fullness of your Being.

Blessings and Love to you,

Meli

What is your experience with selfishness and Selfishness? Share your comments below!

Have a question for Meli? Interested in a private session (in person or Skype)? Contact her at meli@ohmygodlife.com

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4 Responses to When Is It Okay to Be Selfish?

  1. Mary July 21, 2016 at 4:11 pm #

    Ooooooooh. This is a good one! I am always worried about being “selfish.” But, as you point out, this is a complicated word. Thank you for clarifying this!

    • Melissa Phillippe July 21, 2016 at 4:16 pm #

      You’re welcome. There is a lot of confusion about this word. I’m glad that there was some clarification here for you! :)

  2. Jennifer July 21, 2016 at 4:12 pm #

    The difference between Selfish and selfish is one that I have struggled with over the years. You make it sound so simple! And I don’t mean this in a bad way. Thanks! :)

    • Melissa Phillippe July 21, 2016 at 4:15 pm #

      LOL. I am not always accused of making things sound more simple than they are, so I appreciate the feedback. You’re welcome! 😉

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